Use Technology to More Effectively Respond to RFPs

Part 1: How to create internal processes that support success

Responding to requests for proposals (RFPs) requires tremendous coordination. Various key stakeholders must work together to ensure issuers receive accurate, up-to-date information that addresses their key concerns.

Fortunately, technology — such as RFP365’s end-to-end RFP management solution — can help streamline that coordination, leading to quicker responses that are more likely to lead to wins … but how you use that technology matters.

Below, you’ll find advice on how to develop an internal RFP response process that effectively leverages the benefits of RFP365.

1. Evaluate the RFP
When your sales or marketing team first receives the RFP, they should review the issuer’s criteria to ensure your organization can address their primary concerns. If they believe it's a good fit, they should send the RFP to the proposal manager.

Note: The proposal manager may want to consult thought leadership articles, like our ebook, How to Write Better RFP Responses, Faster

2. Upload the proposal and assign tasks
Once the proposal manager receives the RFP, he or she should upload the proposal into RFP365. From there, the proposal manager can electronically assign writer and approver tasks to members of the team. Writers will then craft their proposal responses, and approvers will receive a notification from RFP365 when it is time for them to review and finalize answers.

3. Export the proposal 
Once your procurement team and subject matter experts (SMEs) have completed their responses, the procurement manager can export the finished document into:
1. The original Word/Excel/PDF document.
2. A branded template.

Note: We recommend that the completed proposal be sent to marketing for final review before it is submitted to the RFP Issuer.

4. Submit the proposal and document the results 

The original contact who received the RFP should submit the proposal. Once the bid is won or lost, sales or marketing should notify the proposal manager, who will document this in RFP365 by updating the status (i.e. Closed - Won, Closed - Lost, No Bid, etc.).

Pro tip: Conducting win/loss analyses can help your organization determine how to respond to RFPs more effectively, and which RFPs you’re most likely to win in the future.

Final thoughts

It’s important to establish a proposal management process to ensure that RFP response deadlines are met and stakeholders understand their role in winning new business. Software solutions, such as RFP365, can be leveraged to write responses, assign tasks, track progress and submit your proposals.

Stay tuned for Part 2 of this blog series, which will explain how to define roles and expectations around your RFP response process.