How to Make Sure Your Sales Proposal Process Isn’t Putting Your Company at Risk

How to Make Sure Your Sales Proposal Process Isn’t Putting Your Company at Risk

uplandsoftware logo With GDPR regulations now well underway, compliance has become the watchword for companies of all sizes and in all industries. Each one must ensure that every bit of content it produces and shares adheres to internal and external standards – and Marketing and Sales content has not escaped this scrutiny.

According to an Upland Qvidian survey, pulling together a winning Sales proposal or response to an RFP typically involves at least five people depending on the size of the company, as well as dozens of pieces of content, pulled from various places within the organization. If there isn’t a reliable system in place for ensuring that every piece is compliant with the most up-to-date standards, companies are exposing themselves to serious risk. Essentially, the very process of building its customer base may open it up to noncompliance vulnerabilities.

So how can you ensure that your Sales proposal initiatives are not putting your company at risk of noncompliance to GDPR?  You should be asking the following four questions:

Can Your Teams Easily Access the Most Up-To-Date Content?

Tracking edits to content is important, but if those edited versions aren’t stored in a central, easy-to-navigate library, the chances that your proposal teams will be able to locate and use that content are slim. Creating a library with all approved key messages, assets, and other responses will help your teams locate the important content they need with a minimum amount of effort—and minimal risk that they will use noncompliant or outdated information.

Are You Using Manual Methods to Track the Content in Proposals?

Some organizations still track all their content manually, often in Excel spreadsheets or other internal databases. In addition to being a very time-consuming, labor-intensive process, this leaves plenty of chances for error. Proposal and Sales teams can unknowingly use outdated or non-compliant information—or even just content that no longer fits current brand guidelines. Not only does this create opportunities for potential fines, but it also hurts the brand image by creating inconsistencies in tone, as well as a reputation for mishandling information during the Sales process.

Does Your Workflow Enable Sales Teams to Work Efficiently?

Be sure that the tools you’re using enable efficient workflows. Changes should be tracked and logged even after they’re accepted, and changes should sync automatically to ensure that every change is reflected in the version of the content that is available to the whole team. Streamlined review cycles and detailed reports on content performance and usage help teams stay both compliant and effective.

Are You Creating Audit Trails?

This is especially important in highly regulated industries, such as financial services. Compliance and audit teams will need to see who reviewed approved content, and when and what changes they made. Time spent manually gathering that information after the fact is the time that your teams could be using to complete new RFPs and attract new prospects. Clear audit trails also help ensure that all required parties have approved the content in question. Trails created in tracked changes disappear once those changes have been accepted, so it’s important to ensure that the tracking system you use can maintain records of changes and authors even after the content has been finalized.

Adherence to GDPR and other data privacy regulations, along with other content compliance requirements, are only growing globally to keep pace with an increasingly data-driven world. For Proposal and Sales teams on the front lines representing their companies, putting the controls in place to ensure compliance is being met not only can help them avoid fines and damage to their reputations, but they also can help them put their best foot forward and deliver compelling proposals that can seal the deal.

Read more: 4 Tips for Scaling Your Event Programs in the GDPR Era

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