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Using MustWin Now for winning proposals when working remotely

Go beyond simply working remotely and start working better

If you suddenly have to do your proposals with everyone working remotely, we want to help. From now until the end of April, we're going well beyond normal technical support and providing all the free hand-holding we can to help you keep your proposal efforts on track using MustWin Now. We'll walk you through getting your RFP online, creating your compliance matrix, and preparing your proposal content plans. You still need to subscribe to get access, but we won't charge you anything for the extra help.

MustWin Now is a great tool for working on proposals remotely because it is 100% web-based and designed for winning.

MustWin Now is built to provide what people need to know and then help them figure out what should go in their proposals to maximize their chances of winning. MustWin Now is very different from how people use generic tools like SharePoint on their proposals. It's not a simple file management tool built with no awareness of the proposal process. In fact, MustWin Now doesn't do file management. Instead it helps people collaborate, gather, and assess the information that they need and turn it into a blueprint for winning. If you have SharePoint, Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, or even good ol' FTP, you can use them to manage the files while you use MustWin Now to figure out what should go in those files and do it smoothly even though everyone is remote.

MustWin Now makes it easier to collect the information you need from remote participants

You can use Pursuit Capture Forms or Proposal Input Forms to distribute a list of questions, figure out what to do about the answers, and then map the action items to the proposal outline so that they show up in your proposal section plans. This flows the information to where it's needed and puts it right in front of proposal writers while they are working. They are easy to use and can be customized. 



Understanding Pursuit Capture Forms   |   How to use proposal input forms to improve your win rates


Working with subject matter experts remotely

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About MustWin Now

I like to have MustWin Now onscreen when I'm interviewing subject matter experts on the telephone. I also use it during proposal strategy meetings or to get the input of multiple stakeholders.

When people say things that can help win the proposal, I use MustWin Now to instantly capture them as an instruction in the relevant proposal section(s). All it takes is one click. I use them to build out the section plan and load it up with highly relevant insight before any writing begins. Interviewing subject matter experts using MustWin Now focuses participants onto turning what they know into what should go on paper in the proposal, making it much more efficient than trying to take notes during open-ended interviews. If you end the discussion with a review of the instructions you plan to give the section writer, you get a preliminary assessment of whether the section plan covers everything the subject matter expert and you think it needs to. 

With MustWin Now, you may not even have to interview your subject matter experts. You can just give them access to MustWin Now and ask them to enter some instructions for what they think the section should address. That way you don't even have to synch up on the phone at the same time. They don't have to write the entire section and articulate everything to make a contribution. If they just itemize a few things in a list it can be a huge help to whoever does the writing. You may choose to edit their entries to incorporate and fine tune the presentation, win strategies, and other elements. It can be an online tool for collaboration about what to write before you write it. Then you only have to write it once. And you can do it all remotely.

The instructions you capture can also work like a checklist to verify that the draft addressed everything it was supposed to. Instead of some talking with some notes followed by some writing followed by a subjective review with many chances for information loss or changing goalposts along the way, with MustWin Now you get a list of instructions and quality criteria. They can be reviewed by stakeholders before you write. They can be used to verify that what got written followed the instructions. You have traceability of the flow of information into and out of the draft.



Helping people figure out what to write while working remotely

MustWin Now enables you to capture input and contributions and put them in front of proposal writers while they work, along with the relevant RFP requirements. They get constant guidance no matter where they are. And it's not just what to write. It's how to write it. Writers not only get the full text of the RFP requirements onscreen next to them as they write, but they also get guidance from the instructions you added. And when they are uncertain, they can ask other people and capture what to do as new instructions.

This is key to reducing proposal risk. When working remotely, talking in circles and then turning to a blank page to write increases the risk of failure even more than when people are co-located. But the best part is that your instructions can go beyond just what to write about and help them realize how they should present it. If you want certain things emphasized, points made, or themes substantiated, with MustWin Now you can do that in a format that provides inspiration and reminders while writers are working. Wherever they happen to be.



See some examples of proposal content planning using MustWin Now


Improving the quality of what people write

MustWin Now enables you to get a much better quality first draft from writers, even though you may never see or meet them in person. In addition to the RFP and instructions, MustWin Now enables you to put your quality criteria in front of proposal writers while they are working. This enables you to inform your writers about what they need to accomplish in order to pass their proposal reviews.


It's better to verify and write once than to manage infinite rewrites when working on proposals remotely

MustWin Now makes it easy to create a Proposal Content Plan that can be validated before the writing starts. During writing MustWin Now makes it easy for proposal writers to self-assess their work, using the same quality criteria that reviewers will use. And the reviewers get more guidance than a copy of the RFP. They can use the Proposal Content Plan to verify that the draft addressed everything it was supposed to, in the ways it was supposed to.

MustWin Now can keep a proposal from becoming an exercise in writing draft after draft in the vain hope of stumbling over a great proposal. If you think managing draft after draft without losing track of something is hard, it's much more difficult and far more risky when doing a proposal remotely.

The result is a better first draft and much, much lower odds of a proposal restart at the review stage. Instead of infinite rewrites until you run out of time and submit what you have and trying to manage that while working remotely, you get a solid baseline while there's still time to fine tune it.



Plus some new things that will help even more

We're adding some new features to MustWin Now that will make it even more useful when working remotely. Think assignment management and issue tracking. Think built-in proposal coordination and real-time reporting. If proposal management is really nothing but problem solving, then think about what the perfect tool for dealing with everything might be, and make it remotely accessible while everyone is working. We might even add file storage for those who don't have an IT infrastructure that supports working on proposals remotely. If you want to know more, reach out and we'll tell you what we're up to.

Let's discuss your challenges with preparing proposals and winning new business...

Access to premium content items is limited to PropLIBRARY Subscribers

A subscription to PropLIBRARY unlocks hundreds of premium content items including recipes, forms, checklists, and more to make it easy to turn our recommendations into winning proposals. Subscribers can also use MustWin Now, our online proposal content planning tool.

Carl Dickson

Carl is the Founder and President of CapturePlanning.com and PropLIBRARY

Carl is an expert at winning in writing, with more than 30 year's experience. He's written multiple books and published over a thousand articles that have helped millions of people develop business and write better proposals. Carl is also a frequent speaker, trainer, and consultant and can be reached at carl.dickson@captureplanning.com. To find out more about him, you can also connect with Carl on LinkedIn.

Click here to learn how to engage Carl as a consultant.

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