RFP stands for request for proposal. This is a document that is made by a business in order to collect different types of bids from vendors that are potentially interested in a particular product or service that the business provides. The kinds of companies that use RFP software include PR firms, marketing agencies, sales companies and basically any business that sells something. The problem with the traditional RFP management software is that they took a long time to put together and then had to be individually emailed out. It wasn’t efficient enough to be able to keep up with how fast pace technology has become. Sales cycles got longer, customers were dissatisfied and revenue was lost. Now, RFP software and proposal management software can boost business by making the sales cycle and marketing teams more efficient and effective. Proposal pricing software or proposal writing software is widely available and is very helpful to companies when used properly. However the question still remains, how do you write a great request for proposal? What do vendors really need to know about your proposal? RFP software can only answer so much of these questions and they need to be programmed in order to be properly efficient.
Utilizing the correct people/strong>
When using RFP software you have to make sure the right people are involved. The biggest complaint of this type of system is that it’s not used. The truth is that when this is the case, it’s because the people who are involved do not like how the system functions. Everyone who is involved in the RFP process should have a say in how it goes. Any special terms and conditions should be agreed upon and innovative ideas should be considered.
Checking on accuracy
The description of your current environment should always be verified. You’ll need to make sure all the systems and interfaces have been included and that your figures and numbers are accurate. If you are discussing averages or estimations, there should be a very clear distinction. If your RFP software puts out inaccurate statements, you’ll run into performance problems later on and your potential vendor will get out of the process entirely.
Clarity in priorities
Figure out what’s most important to you. This is true when picking RSP software and putting out the actual statements. What is it that you require and what is it that you would just like to have? You must be clear on what your priorities are and use effective the valuations to set expectations for you as well as the vendor.
Some vendors are concerned about sharing confidential information when they respond to an RFP because of the chance that a competitor could see it. Vice versa you may not like the idea of sharing your own operations information. Up for a confidentiality clause between you and each vendor so that there is an understanding between both sides that no one can reveal information.
Costs of preparation
Typically the vendor will take on the cost of preparing a response to the RFP. This includes any travel expenses as well as conferences, etc. However, you will want to put that in writing so that the vendor is clear on their responsibility. It is also a good idea to put out a statement along with the RFP that makes it clear that the preparation process is not to be combined with any billable work that a successful submission might need.
Involving the vendor
Involving the vendor when you’re preparing the RFP may seem like a conflict of interest but it can actually save a lot of time and effort on your part. The potential vendor could write in a valuation in favor of themselves. Because of this you may want to have a requirement that if a vendor prepares the RFP they will be in eligible to contend or compete for the RFP later on. A better option is to use a vendor that is not planning on competing anyway. Using a vendor helps to certify financial interests of other vendors.
There are many ways that you could go about utilizing RFP software in order to produce an efficient statement. Make sure that your process is effective, otherwise, the best software is not going to make much difference when it come to procuring vendors.