Completing a Request for Proposal (RFP) can be an arduous task, but it doesn’t have to be – here are our top five tips for streamlining your RFP response process to give your company the best chance of winning the contract.
Understand the problem
Don’t waste your time – or that of the client – by waffling your way through the RFP. Be thorough in your examination of the document, understand exactly what they require, and respond with informative and to-the-point answers.
Don’t see it as an opportunity to deliver some kind of sales pitch of your company, but rather make it clear that you understand their issues, and list how you will solve it. That is half the battle won.
RFPs are very rarely a one-person job; it’s a complex document that requires detail from various SMEs (Subject Matter Experts). You could be both an SME and the Project Manager, but you will still need the input of various other sources, i.e. legal, IT, security.
Establish a chain of command, define everyone’s responsibilities, and set deadlines that need to be met. The better prepared you are, the less daunting the task.
Build up a content library of past RFPs – both successful and unsuccessful. The thing about RFPs is that they are often very similar in look and feel, so if you are able to access past efforts and use some of that content again, that’s plenty of time saved.
The added bonus of a content library is that it also allows you to go back and see where you went wrong before – learn from past failures to ensure future successes.
Don’t be shy
Big companies can be intimidating to deal with, especially when you are hoping to secure business from them. However, that doesn’t mean you should be afraid to ask for clarity on certain matters.
If you are unsure of anything in the RFP, ask for clarification early on rather than guessing and ultimately being left to do it all again.
As with most things, there is technology out there that can make your RFP journey a much smoother one. In fact, there are quite a few options about, and it’s not nearly as expensive as you may think. Investigate what works best for your company and give it a trial run.
You may not be surprised to hear that EasyPQQ meets the needs of much of the above guidance. In short, EasyPQQ is an online software platform that allows you to complete your document collaboratively (where needed) by accessing previous answers and other company information you require.
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