The sad truth is, not all Request for Proposals are well written.
In an ideal world, those of us who respond, would have questions clearly, and succinctly spelled out for us. Leaving us to fill in the appropriate blanks.
But the reality is, responding to RFPs often means lots of parsing, and trying to figure out what the buyer is really asking for.
The good news is you're not alone, and there are tools that can help.
Here's how to crack the code of those confusing (and lengthy) RFPs.
Keep it Simple
You have essentially 2 options when it comes to tackling the dozens (or hundreds) of pages of an RFP. You can either:
- Read through and copy/paste each requirement individually. Which is time consuming (and painful).
- Or you can use a parser engine to help with the heavy lifting.
So if you're tired of going over ancillary text over and over, trying to find buried requirements; our friends over at Atebion have a solution that could save you hours (or days) of sifting through thick RFPs.
Atebion's Document Analyzer
Basically, Atebion's document analyzer does the "grunt work" of digging out RFP requirements.
You "train" (or configure) the software to read through your RFP and search for specific keywords, such as "must", "will", "shall," etc.
The Data Analyzer quickly scans each page, accurately finding, or "parsing" keywords. Once they've been identfied, you can then compile them into a Compliance Matrix, add notes or tasks as needed, and then export into your format of choice.
Giving you clear focus from the get-go, and peace of mind knowing "everything's been covered, without actually having to read line by line.
Atebion is not affiliated with RFP365 (they don't pay us to say nice things about them). We endorse them simply because we like their software, and that they make Responders' lives easier.
One Step Further
Atebion generously returned the favor, and made us a custom "RFP365 export" format option. So if you're one of our customers, you can now quickly create a compliance matrix and load it directly into our platform. Where you can immediately assign sections and tasks to your team.
Here's how it works.
Step. 1. Use Atebion keyword search to scan your RFP and identify your requirements.
If you're an RFP365 customer see next steps (below). If you use an alternative RFP management software, ask your provider about your options. And if you've never used RFP software, but are intrigued, check out our ultimate guide.
Step 2. Prepare an upload for RFP365. (Here's a screenshot of Atebion's latest version).
RFP365 Response Management
Step 3. Once requirements have loaded, use our search engine to find and reuse relevant past responses.
Step 4. Filter and refine as needed, and select your desired response.
Step 5. Use our workflow functionality to assign task/sections writers and approvers.
Everything is web-based, so your writers can work simultaneously, and see what one another is crafting.
Step 6. Use your custom dashboard to monitor completion progress.
You do a lot. Don't waste time doing something good software can do.
Here's to less process, more content.