An Easier Way to Negotiate With Vendors During RFP Evaluation

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Conducting an RFP or RFI is a pretty straightforward process.

I, as the buyer, have questions for a group of vendors. So I issue my questions and then gather their responses and evaluate them against my needs. Simple right? 

The problem is, oftentimes you need more information, or something clarified during your RFP evaluation. So before you can begin the contract process, you conduct a Negotiation.

Which usually means long phone calls, endless emails, and generally getting away from the context of the actual RFP response. 

But we decided there should be an easier way to confer with your candidates.

Enter the new RFP365 Negotiation feature, which lets you communicate with your suppliers directly within their proposal. Ask questions and clarify RFP responses all without a single email.

(Not using RFP365 yet? Learn more about us here.) 


New & Improved Negotiations 

First, what is a negotiation exactly?

A Negotiation is a conversation you can have with specific vendors who have responded to your Questionnaires (the questions you asked in a RFP, RFI, or Profile update request). 

The negotiation happens between the RFP Point of Contact (POC) and the Vendor POC.

When to use it: when you begin a negotiation, you're essentially rejecting a response back to a specific Vendor, as a way of asking for an amended response or re-submission. 


Ways to use it to: 

  • Request a different completion date 
  • Request best and final offer (such as best and final pricing) 
  • Ask a question or clarify a response 
  • Use it to create a tiebreaker between two similar providers 


How to do it:
 
once responses have been submitted in RFP365, and are viewable by you, you can initiate a Negotiation. 

For example, if you need more information you can request it. In the example below, the initial response I received was less than stellar. So initially I scored the response as a 1 out of 5 and made an internal note of my analysis. 

Since I'm not pleased with the reply, I'm going to instigate a negotiation, thereby giving the supplier a second chance to submit a better response.

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To begin a negotiation, navigate to the Negotiations tab and click start a Negotiation. This kicks off a message to the Vendor POC, then simply write your question or request. 

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The Vendor POC receives your message along with a link which takes them directly into the Proposal. The Section is highlighted for visibility. 

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The individual Question is marked with the I-icon. The Rejected response initiates a task for their completion. 

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Once they're finished updating, they'll simply mark their reply as completed/approved. 

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You can then see the updated responses from that specific Vendor. 

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The vendor's second response is much better, so I'll go ahead and adjust my score and internal note accordingly. 

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You can continue this back and forth negotiation as long as you to, switching sections or topics until all your questions are answered, and every point is finalized.

Happy negotiating! May the odds be ever in your favor!

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