Aligning for Success, by Amanda Peck, Fifth Third Bank
We are very excited to be presenting “Content management in a highly regulated industry” at Connect 2016 in Nashville, TN, April 4-6, 2016, Qvidian’s annual customer conference. Amanda Peck, Barry Longhauser
When you become a Qvidian customer, it’s very exciting. You know that you are going to be saving tremendous amounts of time through Qvidian’s proposal automation. This causes many customers to become overly eager to start automating and they forget that there is another half to this equation – managing your content.
At Fifth Third Bank, we began our process of utilizing Qvidian the way many others do. We put our proposal managers in charge of using the system to create the RFP (request for proposal) responses as well as manage and update the content. What we discovered was that this process was not very successful for us. Proposal managers work under tight deadlines. For them, there was always the pressure of another proposal and another deadline. Incorporating new information and proactively improving the quality of the information in the system naturally fell by the wayside. What we found was we had a great content management and a terrific proposal automation solution in Qvidian, but it really wouldn’t matter if all that people were generating from it was stale information. We understood the benefits offered by Qvidian and we were committed to maximizing its value for us. We took a look at our process and made some changes.
First, we made it one person’s focus to manage and update content. This was effective, and we quickly saw that it wasn’t enough to have it as a side job for someone. It was a whole new role. As we moved along, the positive impact of this was apparent and we continued to add personnel building a team of Knowledge Managers. This team is responsible for growing our content and improving its quality. We also have a team of Proposal Managers. They are responsible for using the content in their RFP responses and unsolicited sales proposals.
Another key change we made was to have the Knowledge Managers sit organizationally with the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) in Product to create, manage and input content from the very beginning. It works well for us giving us better engagement with our SMEs. We understand their world a bit more and can proactively schedule things more effectively. Now that we’re partnering more closely with the SMEs, we are shaping that story more and building in a sales focus from the start. This was a critical change in approach that’s made a huge difference for us.
I believe many people think of Qvidian as a sales tool, but you really want to ensure your messaging is focused toward the client from the very beginning. Having a Knowledge Manager involved from the beginning that can message that way and write that way makes a big difference especially when a lot of your SMEs are very technical in nature. Having to translate technical information into a sales message later on can be very challenging. It works a lot better if you’re sitting with them and can do the translation at the beginning.
Key Steps: 1) Think about your strategy of when in the cycle you want to shape the story. 2) Embrace the fundamental realization that you’re only going to get as much use out of Qvidian as the quality of the materials you put in.
Your sales and proposal teams can create lots of proposals quickly if your content is current. If it’s not, it’s going to take them longer and longer to create proposals because they will have to then verify everything they use. Aligning and streamlining these efforts will set you up for the success you desire.
Amanda Peck is the Product Knowledge Manager, managing a team of Knowledge Managers, and Barry Longhauser is a Sr. Knowledge Manager for Fifth Third Bank. Fifth Third has been a Qvidian customer since 2010 utilizing Qvidian for RFPs, Sales Proposals, Product Documentation and Content Management.