Betty Manning is Proposal Software’s Client Zero and one of our most experienced implementation and training managers.
If necessity is the mother of invention, you could say that it was through Betty’s need for a proposal management system that PMAPS was born.
Back in 1993, Betty was on the proposal team of a Fortune 500 healthcare company where responding to RFPs was a very manual process. For every new RFP, a writer had to search through a database of completed proposals to copy and paste appropriate responses into the new questionnaire. Betty’s job was to format the responses to create a professional-looking proposal for the prospect. She quickly realized that 20% of the responses were used 80% of the time—she was constantly reformatting the same responses over and over again, so she reported this finding to her manager.
At the same time, one of Proposal Software’s founders was working as a consultant for the healthcare company’s marketing. When he heard about the proposal team’s issues, he called upon Steven Heffter, a software developer/consultant who is now Proposal Software’s co-founder and CTO. Steven met with everyone that was involved in the proposal process—writers, SMEs, consultants, account managers, sales representatives, etc.—to better understand the process and discuss ideas for how it could be improved.
Steven’s solution was a software tool he named Proper, the precursor to PMAPS (Proposal Management and Production System). Proper allowed Betty to search the database and maintain content so that she could format an RFP response once, and then find and insert that response over and over again without further formatting. In Betty’s estimate, it improved the proposal team’s production by 70%. Also, because the RFPs were now being loaded directly into Proper (now PMAPS), Betty’s team was able to run over a dozen daily, monthly, quarterly, and annual reports to monitor performance metrics.
As the healthcare company expanded throughout 16 states, they hired additional writers to support the increased demand for proposals. Betty was promoted to database administrator and was responsible for managing all the proposal content across the entire organization, so she needed access to each office’s PMAPS system. With so many writers and separate proposal systems, it became apparent that there were huge inconsistencies in RFP responses across the different regions. With Betty as his primary contact, Steven developed a database that housed the content for all 16 regions and created a script that allowed users to pull records by region as needed.
With these enhancements, the first version of PMAPS was born. After seeing the value that PMAPS provided for this company, Steven recognized that other healthcare companies would likely benefit from PMAPS as well. He began promoting PMAPS to other big healthcare companies. Betty contributed her support (and her vacation time), travelling to PMAPS clients to provide implementation and training support.
Betty was invaluable in helping define the features and functions that became PMAPS WebPro and continues to play an influential role in customers’ success with the platform. Today, as one of Proposal Software’s implementation and training managers, Betty is just as passionate about the value PMAPS brings to companies and travels the world helping customers experience the power of PMAPS.
"Every engagement with a client is a different story. It’s never boring," Betty said. "And because of how much they like PMAPS, it’s a really positive experience. It’s especially great working with someone at one company and then having them bring PMAPS to their next company, and the next one after that."