Bid software (also called proposal or RFP software) helps you manage, track, report, and submit government bids for federal, state and local contracts across several service industries. With it, you can automate the more cumbersome aspects of proposal writing while maintaining a detailed and professional-looking document. Some software is also a good fit for companies that are soliciting proposals—in this case, the software helps to organize and evaluate various aspects of multiple proposals at once. But with so many dozens of online bid software services available, what do you need to know to choose the right one for your business?
Determining which bid software to purchase depends on your needs. Most bid software offers analytics tools to help you identify the best bid opportunities for your business or product services and tools to specifically target and research your competition. Some other common features include:
- Centralized access to contractor and subcontractor information
- Centralized, paperless project document and communication databases
- A function that ensures all relevant documents and information are submitted
- A shared calendar to organize bid due dates, project participants, and alerts
Many bid software services offer different levels of membership service (e.g., standard, pro, or premium), so knowing things like knowing how many bids you expect to submit at one time or over several months, how many project participants you will have to work on developing proposals, or how many software licenses you will need can all help you determine the right software for your size project and business.
While some government agencies may have specific requirements for submitting your bid or use proprietary software to evaluate your proposal, all bid software intends to minimize the amount of time your business spends keeping track of all information during the bid process, aims to eliminate all clerical errors by automating as much of the work as possible, and attempts to flag or mark all unclear or risky content. Here’s a list of just a few online bid software services that can help you create, organize, and stay on track of your winning bid:
Paperless Proposal (http://www.paperlessproposal.com/)
Ember Opportunity System (http://www.emberproposals.com/)
Qvidian Proposal Automation (http://www.qvidian.com/)
Sofon Guided Selling (http://www.sofon.com/)
This is not an exhaustive list, so you will definitely want to thoroughly research what is available, but most of these offer demos and free trials to give you started towards making the most informed decision. And after you’ve chosen the bidding software that is best for your business, GovSpend takes you a step closer successfully landing those new contracts. GovSpend is an online database of detailed purchasing information from federal, state and local government agencies that let you know exactly how much is being spent on products and services your business has to offer. You can research your competitors’ rates and gain the business edge to write those winning proposals and earn more government business.