480 is the average number of searches for "How to write an RFP" each month on Google.
(Are you a vendor or supplier responding to RFPs? Get your proposal writing tips here.)
Prep for Success
- What tools are we using in this RFP process?
- Are we requiring a certain response format?
- Is it time time to try a new RFP sourcing and review process?
- Have we selected a Project Manager or Project Lead? This one is is crucial. Establish who will be the primary external Point of Contact early on. Also, decide who will be internally responsible for keeping the process moving.
- Have we established the key stakeholders/judges? It may sound obvious, but it's easy to overlook.
- Are all the key stakeholders involved and up-to-date?
- Do we have a clear budget? You need to have budget approval from your C-Suite before you start your search. Otherwise you waste everyone's time.
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Key Questions to Ask
Step 3: Establish crucial "deal breakers."
Step 5: ask both open and close-ended questions.
Step 6: ask about contract specifics.
Don't be afraid to ask for agreement and contract details in your RFP. Some topics you may want to get specifics on:
- Ask about trial and warranty restrictions
- Their competitors - who are they? Why do they lose to them?
- Implementation time frame, how long does it typically take?
- Ask about contract duration options, can you pay monthly, annual, etc.?
- Industry-specific questions (ask colleagues for recommendations)
- Ask security-specific questions, your IT department will likely have several
- Ask for customer and/or third-party reviews and specific use cases.
- Ask for final and best pricing.
Step 7: specify how you want additional collateral/attachments submitted.