ResourcesStrategic Proposals: The end of the age of AInnocence?

Strategic Proposals: The end of the age of AInnocence?

Download the Strategic Proposals research findings on AI in bids and proposals.

AI: friend or fad?

Much has been written about AI in bids and proposals – some of it, I suspect, by AI itself. We’re awash with webinars and conferences. Our LinkedIn feeds share news weekly of the latest, greatest products. The mainstream media talks of AI with a sense of paranoia and impending doom.

In Strategic Proposals, we love tools that make bidders’ lives easier, help people to do their jobs better, and raise the profile of bidding internally within organisations. But it struck us that pretty much everything we’ve seen and heard on the topic had been generated by vendors with products to sell. And we’ve always approached the software debate in our profession from a stance of vendor neutrality.

So: what’s really going on in the bidding world when it comes to AI? And how do we all feel about it? It’s time to stand back and bring some objectivity.

In late September, we therefore launched an online survey – the latest in a series of research initiatives into topics such as the gender pay gap in the bid profession, how we were all coping during the pandemic – and our recent “Buyers’ Guide to Bidding”. We love tapping into current thinking and sharing it to help shape ideas – and, sometimes, to provide re-assurance.

The survey ran for a week. We received hundreds of replies from around the world. We committed to sharing the results within a week.

And: here goes.

A Bavarian friend recently quoted a memorable local idiom, “There’ll be another pig through the village
tomorrow”, to dismiss some fad that was drawing media attention. Our firm belief is that AI is different: we’re at a tipping point that brings real opportunities to the teams who embrace it in the right way and at the right time. And, perhaps, a threat to those teams who bury their heads in the sand.

AI’s here to stay. If you’re worried about it or unsure where to start, we hope we’ll offer you some pointers. And if you are a software vendor with AI skills — we admire you for being pioneers in something so important, and hope this may provide you with a few tips as to where your potential clients may perceive and realise value.

Jon Williams
Managing Director, Strategic Proposals
Fellow – APMP, Institute of Sales Professionals, Royal Society of Arts
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