Tips From an 11-year RFP Manager: How to manage RFPs

Last updated by Brecht Carnewal Brecht Carnewal on 2023-05-26

The world of RFPs can be complex, time-consuming, and frustrating. However, with the right tools, processes, and people, you can significantly improve your chances of success and streamline the process. In this post, we will explore essential advice from an 11-year RFP manager and solution consultant, who works in the SaaS software industry.

Leverage the Expertise of an RFP Manager

It's crucial to have an experienced and capable RFP manager on your team. This role should be filled by someone with a consultative approach to RFP management, meaning they have a deep understanding of your product, industry, and potential win themes and strategies.

It's essential to choose an RFP manager with the right background for your industry, as software RFP professionals and those from service organizations often possess different skill sets.

Invest in an RFP Management Tool

An essential first step towards streamlining the RFP process is to invest in a helpful RFP management tool. Platforms like Tended.ai are popular options for managing top-tier content.

These tools not only facilitate quicker drafts but also eliminate the need for manual editing during the proposal stage.

Ensure that your chosen tool is compatible with your company's desktop publishing tools, like MS Word or Adobe Acrobat.

Establish Two Processes: Standard and 'Last-Minute'

Preparation is key when tackling RFPs. Establishing two different processes – one for standard RFPs where there's ample time to work on the project, and another for those urgent, 'last-minute' RFPs – will help ensure that you can adapt to various situations. This is where your consultative RFP manager and RFP management tool become invaluable, as they provide a means of cutting corners and fast-tracking the process when required.

Sell the Importance of Time Investment to Your Team

One significant challenge when managing RFPs is convincing your SMEs, executives, and other team members of the importance of investing time in the process.

Make it clear that a lack of commitment to RFPs can undermine the potential business you could gain from them.

By emphasizing the importance of the RFP process and highlighting the benefits, you can encourage your team to prioritize the time and resources required.

Conclusion

The process of managing RFPs can be demanding, but with the right tools, people, and processes in place, you can set yourself up for success.

By investing in an RFP management tool, hiring an experienced and consultative RFP manager, and establishing both standard and 'last-minute' processes, you can greatly streamline your RFP management and improve your chances of winning new business through this essential channel.

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