In Part 1 of this series, we explained how you can create internal processes that help you maximize the effectiveness of RFP365 in your request for proposal (RFP) response process.
Now, we’ll get a bit more granular and break down the suggested roles and responsibilities of your organization’s teams and individual contributors.
Determining fitYour marketing manager should evaluate all arriving RFPs. If you’re a larger organization, you may wish to develop a formal review process, but for smaller organizations, the marketing manager can simply answer the following questions:
- Is this a client you can see your organization working with?
- Does your solution meet their needs?
- Are you likely to win? (Is there an existing relationship with your organization or with a competitor?)
- Is this an opportunity to enter a new market?
According to Brandon Fyffe, Business Development Associate at CareHere, RFP365 streamlines the review process, empowering a more strategic approach to RFP responses.
“It's definitely made us more efficient,” he said. “RFP365 has given us back our time and allowed us to really pick and choose our projects. We’re not frantic anymore. We can take a deep breath, focus on being strategic, and make sure we’re choosing the right projects and providing quality responses."
Once the marketing manager determines an RFP is worth pursuing, he or she will pass it on to the proposal manager.
Gathering relevant information
After receiving the RFP, your proposal manager will ensure the response addresses all of the requesting organization’s key concerns. He or she will then hold kick-off meetings with all key stakeholders to go over everyone’s roles, responsibilities, and timelines.
Another option is to have your proposal manager take the first pass at answering the questions, then have key stakeholders and subject matter experts (SMEs) review to ensure accuracy.
Without proposal management software, this process can feel like herding cats, but using RFP365, your proposal manager can easily send questions, assign tasks, track progress, and even send reminders to those who have not yet responded.
“The task reminders, progress status tracking with all the nice graphs, and the ability for SMEs to communicate and adjust without pulling me in have all been great added benefits we didn’t expect,” said
Jillian Diehl, Proposal Writer at Miratech.
Gathering specialized information
At this point, you may need to involve a sales engineer or SME with specialized knowledge to answer detailed questions about functionality.
Because these individuals are generally busy, they often prefer not to answer the same questions twice. Fortunately, with RFP365’s Knowledge Base, organizations can store their responses for use at a later date, as Lesa Alexander, President and Principal Consultant at Ultimate Software, can attest.
“We’re thrilled to no longer have to start from scratch,” she said. “Using RFP365 allows us to easily reuse previous responses, which saves us hours. The stored Knowledge Base means we only have to ask SMEs new questions, and our sales representatives love only having pricing questions to complete now.”
Once you’ve answered all the questions, the proposal manager will send the RFP back to the marketing manager. He or she will then ensure your organization presents your response in the best manner possible by:
- Using a cohesive, engaging voice
- Including relevant charts and graphs
- Leveraging RFP365 templates and styles to make the response visually appealing
Next the marketing manager will send the final RFP response to the prospective client and save all responses in Knowledge Base for use in upcoming RFPs.
By defining roles and responsibilities, you can ensure your organization develops an effective RFP response process that takes advantage of RFP365’s key benefits.
Stay tuned for Part 3 of this blog series, which will explain how to properly manage Knowledge Base.