Tips for Working with Subject Matter Experts that Minimize your Stress Levels and Theirs

Proposal Managers must juggle resources and calendars to make their deadlines.  Here are a few tips to leverage your subject matter experts (SMEs) without burning them out or you.

Reach out early

Identify topics that require help from SMEs as early in the process as possible.  Mark the sections in the RFP or RFI and get the request on the SMEs calendar as soon as possible.  Don’t wait until the end of the writing to ask for help with the ‘remaining parts.’  Make sure you notify the SME of YOUR deadline and remind them, nicely, if necessary.

Supply help and guidance

Make sure to provide a context for the requests you are making. Include a link to the RFP or information about the opportunity. If your SME is a good writer, make sure to identify win themes to keep in mind. If the SME finds writing to be more challenging, provide a writing prompt or ‘starter’ paragraph or bulleted list.

Don’t keep asking the same questions

It is aggravating to look for content you just used in a proposal and not be able to find it when you need to use it again.  It is even more aggravating to have your work interrupted repeatedly to answer the same question again. Spare yourself and your SME from this unnecessary aggravation by storing this content instead. Collect, organize, and catalog the content your SME’s provide for future use.

How Expedience helps you work with your SMEs

Because the Expedience Proposal solution is 100% MS Word-based, you can leverage all the native collaboration tools built right into MS Office: real-time co-authoring, inline comments, track changes, and more.   Expedience also provides proposal management features that let you flag questions and email them directly to your SME, directly from your proposal.  And best of all, SME’s do not require a software license, so you can manage your SME collaboration in the way that best supports your team, without having to worry about incurring additional costs.

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