How to quickly and easily provide accurate, up-to-date RFP responses
In Part 2 of this blog series, we broke down the suggested roles and responsibilities of your organization’s teams and individual contributors during the request for proposal (RFP) response process.
In this edition, we’ll explain how to ensure your organization has the information needed to provide accurate responses in a timely manner.
Many organizations that consider RFP responses cumbersome and time-consuming are making one big mistake: they’re not reusing answers.
If you’re asking subject matter experts (SMEs) the same questions over and over again, you’re wasting their time and your own … and you’re probably causing unnecessary frustration, as many RFP responders can attest
“It all came to a head as managers kept getting kickback. The product SMEs and marketing team were tired of answering the same questions over and over,” said Beverly Blakely Jones, Cengage Learning Supervisor, referring to her organization’s RFP response process before purchasing RFP365. “They knew there had to be an easier way to manage our RFP responses.”
Fortunately, they were right.
With RFP365, you get a Knowledge Base that stores all RFP responses in a central repository — allowing you to access and reuse that content anytime. Below are tips for ensuring Knowledge Base content is accurate, up to date, and easy to search.
Categorize your content
Your Knowledge Base content is only useful if key stakeholders can easily find what they’re looking for. That’s where tags come in.
To keep your content organized and easy to search, we suggest tagging content by:
- Market segments
- Internal groups that own the content (i.e. product department)
- Security question categories
When establishing your tagging system, it’s best to keep things simple. Identify 30-50 tags that can be used company-wide, and apply no more than four tags to each record.
If your organization has regions or divisions that don’t interact and don’t need to see each other’s information, you should create sub-accounts to silo data. This will allow you to develop a tagging system that supports your company’s complexity without making content hard to find.
Before finalizing your tagging system, ensure everyone agrees on which tags to use in which situations. (If individuals start creating their own tags, it can be difficult to find the right information.)
Review the content on a regular basis
RFP365 can also help keep your content up to date by empowering you to assign content review tasks by tag, establishing SME review cycles, and flagging content that needs review.
“It’s much more efficient and clean than managing RFPs via email,” Beverly said. “There’s no version confusion, and we can make sure content was updated and approved recently.”
To ensure all content stays up to date, assign SMEs tags to review on a quarterly basis. Have your account administrator run a report to determine which tags still need review two weeks before the end of the quarter. Then, he or she can send an email to the appropriate SMEs reminding them of the approaching deadline.
When used correctly RFP365’s Knowledge Base makes it easy to provide accurate RFP responses in a timely manner. If you properly categorize and regularly review your RFP content, you’ll find Knowledge Base provides a centralized, searchable database unlike any other.
“The RFP365 Knowledge Base [KB] has done far beyond what our previous tools could do,” said Jillian Diehl, Proposal Manager at Miratech. “Unlike the others, it effectively searches past responses and provides matches and suggestions for each question. The ease of use for ‘lay’ team members to go through the KB and find what they need without looping in a SME has been amazing.”
Stay tuned for Part 4 of this blog series, which will explain how to use tags in greater detail.