Article

Integrating AI for Proposal Management

June 24, 2024
Ishani Malipatlolla

Article

Integrating AI for Proposal Management

Jun 24, 2024

With a vast amount of AI tools at our fingertips, it has become crucial for businesses to not only leverage the technology available, but also to learn how to integrate the right one efficiently. Asking tech companies the right questions while narrowing down your choices and understanding how the tools function are critical when it comes to picking a platform for your team(s) to use. Furthermore, having an in-depth cognizance of the risks and opportunities each solution offers will be pivotal in the ease of processing and deploying the AI to your proposal management team.

Risks and Opportunities

When it comes to generative AI (genAI), understanding whether the product overlays with an open source AI or if they have their own proprietary language model is one of the most critical components to consider. Solutions that use open source AI may incorporate multiple third party providers, which outputs a washed out response. This poses a security risk, and doesn’t provide a high performance level solution. A product that doesn’t replicate or understand how your company speaks will generate an output of information that doesn’t emphasize the differentiators of your company, or even give you a response that incorporates differentiators that don’t apply to your company. A company that has their own proprietary language model will have to take the software and train the AI on everything on the Internet. This takes a lot of money, time and data, which means these types of solutions are able to ingest a list of documents, compile them, and generate AI powered responses from your documents specifically. An individual proprietary language model will ensure that the output sounds like your company, incorporates your company’s differentiators, and won’t misrepresent or misclaim your company’s abilities.  

AI provides plenty of opportunities when it comes to knowledge management, along with calculation and creation. Having a database that can research inside your own KM proves to be useful and efficient. Additionally, the generated content will link to reference the documents or sources used in the response directly back to the knowledge hub it employs. AI will also prove to be an aid with one of the most frustrating aspects of any writing process- writer’s block. It is important to understand that AI won’t be making jobs go away anytime soon, it is simply providing you with a ‘super empowered’ employee, or an assistant that can work 24/7. Furthermore, AI specializes in calculation, not creation (which humans are still the experts in). GenAI platforms give you the head start and extra time to incorporate even more strategic and creative elements in your proposals. These tools also provide an opportunity for role based action control, as well as division to division collaboration between HR, legal and proposal teams.

Integration and Optimizing the Software

A large part of the integration process and training relies on getting over the initial fear and stigma around AI. Having a conversation about what genAI is, what the KM looks like and training employees on how to ingest, arrange and select documents is an easy first step. Emphasizing that the AI is something you are working with is an important point for teams to understand, and this transition is easiest by training employees to start prompts with please/thank you, and adding context when communicating with AI. This also provides more context for the software to output higher quality responses. Understanding how to craft prompts that will generate high quality answers is what will drive up the speed and effectiveness of the product. This ties in with knowing where and how to leverage AI in the proposal process, which is an art that is being turned into a science. Integrating the AI will prove to be less of a challenge when asking the right questions to the product’s experts, especially in the initial sales calls you are on. Knowing who will be training you on the integration, asking for a guide on the ingestion process or what support resources are available are important questions to consider. This goes hand in hand with the type of ROI you will see with the software. With the right product and training, you can double the number and quality of proposals that are going out the door, and capitalize on the saved time for strategizing. 

Conclusion

There are many factors to consider when looking at the different solutions that are available. With the right understanding of how these platforms function, asking the right questions, and incorporating these with your knowledge of the risks and opportunities that come with these solutions, the integration process becomes less daunting. In fact, these solutions will prove to be a powerful tool that will only enhance your proposal strategy tremendously and bid outcomes.

Illustration Designed by FreePik