Harnessing the Power of AI: Reimagining Proposal Development with ChatGPT


Over the years Ive seen how shifts in technology can help to link people, processes and systems together by infusing harmony into a workflow or automation routine. These days Im usually talking about this in relation to the Metaverse but for today, Im going to step back and throw on one of my old hats. I am many things, one of which is the former Director of Professional Service for a software company that specialized in collaborative proposals and workflow automation. My expertise included onboarding new clients, streamlining the proposal process, and outlining workflow efficiencies with our Process Designer and Resume Manager solutions. With the onset of the widespread use of artificial intelligence (AI), proposal development stands at the threshold of this transformative era. OpenAI’s ChatGPT, an advanced language model, is at the forefront of this change, among other contenders like Google’s Bard and Stability AIs Stable Diffusion. These tools offer an evolving suite of capabilities that will help you Augment Your Creativity, in this case refining the approach to the bid, capture and propose process. Let’s explore the enormous potential of ChatGPT and similar artificial intelligence in enhancing the bid, capture, and proposal process.

ChatGPT: A Game-Changer in Collaborative Proposals

The value-add of ChatGPT lies in its ability to generate coherent and contextually relevant text, sometimes en masse. This capability extends to proposal writing too. Simply type in a prompt to make a request and within moments you have the one thing every proposal team needs – relevant content. When used correctly, AI can help draft initial responses, brainstorm ideas, automate routine tasks, and suggest meaningful inputs for various proposal sections.

AI as an Ally, Not a Replacement

When used correctly, artificial intelligence can supplement our resources and teams, enabling productivity at a grander scale…but it is not meant to supplant us. In other words, its imperative to understand that ChatGPT is not here to replace human expertise but to enhance it. Our job is to augment our creativity, in this case, proposal development by understanding and utilizing AI capabilities to create winning proposals. If you are among the millions that don’t know how to use it or just want to be more effective in your use of it? Check the links at the bottom to gain access to a training session to equip you to do just that.

While ChatGPT brings immense capabilities to the table, it’s not here to replace your team or your best team members. Instead, it is here to enhance what we do best understanding our customer’s needs, leveraging our collective expertise, and delivering winning proposals. In the spirit of collaborative creation, this is a game changer for bid, capture and win. It’s about forging a powerful human-AI collaboration that brings greater efficiency and effectiveness to our work. It may sound a bit cliche but arent you more effective when you leverage the tools at your disposal?

AI as a Contributor

Maybe it’s time to power up your bid, capture and win process and empower your core team to get a good night’s rest. Use it to help draft initial responses to the RFP, offer the writing team some fresh perspectives, or assist with brainstorming sessions. It can even help analyze vast amounts of data for competitive pricing insights or generate ideas for impactful data visualization. Imagine how valuable it could be to include ‘AI-as-a-Contributor’ in your proposal process, assisting with tasks such as competitive analysis and researching competitive pricing.

Going Beyond the Draft

It’s not just about drafting content. AI can help with the theming and brainstorming processes also. Need more hands on deck but working with a limited budget? Proposal teams are often overworked, under pressure and in high demand. So how about augmenting the team? AIs, like ChatGPT, can also help with the routine yet essential tasks, such as formatting, proofreading, and ensuring compliance with RFP guidelines – is there any professional on the proposal team that couldnt use some additional support? ChatGPT can also give an assist for the “GO” or “NO-GO” decision process by summarizing complex documents and identifying key requirements, providing data-driven insights to inform this crucial step. The final call will continue to be verified, vetted and enriched by human expertise and strategic considerations, and should always remain a human responsibility.

At each proposal stage from Pre-Proposal (planning, teaming, strategy development), to Proposal (kick-off, writing, reviews), to Post-Proposal (submission, lessons learned, BAFO) ChatGPT can offer a helping hand. Its like an extra team member (or two or three), who is available 24/7 and eager to provide assistance whenever and wherever it’s needed. Using AI-as-a-Contributor can help to add an extra layer of support, which may result in minimized errors and achieving a higher standard of quality and compliance which eventually will lead to a better performance history and scorecard.

A Case for Evolution: Shipley Methodology

Enter the Shipley methodology, if you are familiar with it, you are likely to instantly understand and appreciate the potential of ChatGPT to streamline this endeavor. Not only can you augment team members, expertise and content you can also use ChatGPT to infuse warmth into this often rigid and complex process. Automation can provide a means to simplify specific aspects of the process without diluting the method’s thoroughness.

How badly have you wanted to evolve the process over the years? Wanted to come up with the next best thing, something that more accurately fits the nature of your business? Artificial Intelligence can open doors to creativity and flexibility within the confines of the traditionally stringent proposal structures. By reducing the time spent on routine tasks, teams have more time to focus on strategic elements such as capturing the client’s vision, articulating value propositions, and perfecting the proposal narrative. It’s about evolving the proposal process, leveraging AI not as a replacement, but as a supplement to your team’s effectiveness.

See it in action

I let ChatGPT review portions of this article before posting it. I originally wrote the sentence, Using AI as a tool, can help to add an extra layer of support, which may result in minimized errors and achieving a higher standard of quality and compliance which eventually will lead to a better performance history and scorecard. As would my review team of collaborators and contributors, ChatGPT provided the feedback that the sentence should be simplified, offering up a new suggestion, Using AI as a tool adds an extra layer of support, potentially minimizing errors, enhancing quality and compliance, and improving performance history and scorecards. This is one of the simplest ways that you can augment your proposal team’s productivity with AI tooling.

A Word of Caution

While AI holds immense potential, it comes with its unique set of risks. First, practical applications for it evolve several times a day, standards are not always readily understood and your own organization or your clients, may not have a set standard for using it yet. It’s always important to understand and avoid pitfalls such as plagiarism, copyright infringement, and tone consistency in a proposal. While AI can help with that it can also add unintended concerns. Youll want to be aware of these and learn to navigate them like a pro. Your team will want to consider adding rules, guidelines and strategies for when an AI language model will be used and how its work will be validated, just like with any other teammate or contributor. If you will be training it on your organization’s data, be sure to create guidelines for this as well.

With AI like ChatGPT, proposal development may be transformed so it is more fluid, longer a painstaking process but an efficient and engaging experience. Decide for yourself, can you learn to thrive with AI as your fellow collaborator? Sign up for the upcoming training session to experience this firsthand and stay ahead in the game.

Ready, Set, Go – Add ChatGPT to the Proposal Workflow

In this ever-changing arena, it may be time to harness the power of AI to elevate your proposal development process. Implementing artificial intelligence into your proposal process presents both a challenge and an opportunity that your team can’t afford to miss. That’s why Im offering a special training specifically designed for proposal management teams to help you augment your teams’ creativity and keep the competition on their toes. This training is designed to help you to facilitate a responsible and effective incorporation of AI into your proposal process, so that can extend your toolkit however you see fit.

This workshop will guide you step-by-step on how to utilize ChatGPT as a tool in your proposal development arsenal. We’ll cover everything from a beginners standpoint so by the end you’ll be proficient in leveraging AI to elevate your proposals to the next level. Were also going to cover best practices for developing guidelines for the use of AI on your team. This course is perfect for full-scale teams as well as smaller teams and solopreneurs.

Ready to go? Register for the introduction session and embark on this journey to propose with me in 2023. We’re offering special pricing for those who register by Memorial Day.

Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to stay ahead of the curve.


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