Give a person a seafood, they’ll eat for a time. Teach a person to seafood, and they’ll eat for life. Surprise all the end users of your new software purchase using a fishing trip and they will wonder, “Do I have to do that, and how do I get off this particular boat? ”
As a proposal manager having a shiny new RFPIO entice guaranteed to attract every large fish you can reach using a cast, sometimes it feels like you’ re stranded on dust with a map to the angling hole but no way to obtain there.
Presenting new software into your product sales enablement tech stack and workflow is no joke. Change management is a sophisticated discipline that examines the procedures behind organizational transformation. It’s way too deep a bunny hole to fall into here, other than to say that 99 out of 100 proposal supervisors I work with during RFPIO onboarding don’t have any particular experience in change administration or software deployment. Which make the prospect of convincing owners that their jobs and lives will improve with RFPIO somewhat daunting.
As soon as I get the chance to work with the person or even team in charge of deploying RFPIO — whether it’s a proposal manager, sales manager, or IT specialist — I recommend inhabiting the following mindset: “How do I set myself up for success? ” We now have a bite-sized challenge we can overcome, rather than an amorphous source of anxiety such as “change management. ”
My response to the question, “How do I set myself up for success? ” is “Follow 7 steps to improve consumer adoption. ” Let’s roll through them.
#1: Get executive buy-in
Trying to implement any change without professional buy-in is akin to growing a garden without any seed products. The need and desire might be there, but you just have no anything to get started. So consider that need and desire and employ it to build a business case intended for adding RFPIO to your product sales technology stack.
This all has to happen before deployment even appears on the horizon. Attaining and maintaining buy-in from managers and executive sponsors will be important to making end users more open to your excitement and the feasible benefits. According to Steve Silver at Forrester , a leading global study and advisory firm, “Every business case must have an executive to champion the investment. ”
To build the business case, Magical advises to call away timing of adding RFPIO (i. e., answer, “Why now? ”), identify risks and dependencies (key that he includes this nugget, “Tie the consequences of not using the technology to failing to meet specific goals that the sales organization has committed to attaining”), and clarify budget allocation and source of financing.
After you secure executive buy-in for the purchase, you’ll need to keep them engaged with monthly or quarterly status updates on execution and RFPIO benefits. It is important to obtain and maintain their own endorsement so that they continue to motivate their teams to use RFPIO.
Here’s a message template of what among the initial updates might appear like.
SUBJECT: RFPIO has already accelerated response period by 40%
Hi [EXECUTIVE NAME],
We’re off and running with RFPIO, and I wanted to give you a quick update on how it’s going:
- [X#] associated with end users are now using RFPIO
- We have tried it to respond to [X#] of RFPs this month
- Compared to the same month last year, we responded 40% faster to RFPs
- Of the RFPs submitted this 30 days, we know we won [X#] at a valuation of [$X]
End users are picking it up quickly : “It takes about 10-30 minutes to train the client-facing teams on how to look for information in RFPIO. ”
As we always add content to the Answer Library, we expect to see an even greater leap in proposal quality, greater usage of Auto Respond functionality, and more efficient workflows.
I’ll send another update next month, but feel free to reach out if you have any questions!
Thanks a lot,
#2: Make sure you have got bandwidth
Before you kick off your RFPIO implementation, make sure you have an accurate expectation of the amount of time you’ll have to dedicate to the project. It will require some extra bandwidth. On average, anticipate to spend about five hours per week for the first three to six months.
Some RFPIO admins choose to assign their regular duties to another team member so they can “cram” on RFPIO. They will spend 15-25 hours each week to focus solely on the rollout and learn RFPIO as quickly as possible. Then they’re able to pare back to a few hours a week. You’ll need to determine which method is most effective for your team and objectives.
As far as what you’ll be doing with that time, here’s an overview of what to expect:
- Deployment processes: From generating enthusiasm to coordinating with IT, and from amassing content to arranging training, you need to balance your daily workflow and responsibilities along with what’s expected of you during deployment. This will be the short-term issue. While we will be there to lend you support, you need to make sure your bandwidth can handle being the point person on this project.
- Ongoing “office hours”: End users will have questions, especially first. And every time there’s a brand new hire in sales or pre-sales or proposals or even customer support you’ll need to make sure they’re trained and able to thrive in RFPIO. Plus, you will want to encourage feedback, undesirable and positive, to adjust your usage, increase features, or add integrations later on.
- Generating response management processes: Any tool is only as good as the processes behind using it . Even a hammer has to be thrown accurately to hit the head of a nail. A huge benefit to AI-enabled tools like RFPIO is that it will be able to automate most of your existing manual procedures. You will still need to function behind the scenes to execute activities, push collaboration buttons, plus drive deadline management. Put simply, the robot can golf swing the hammer as long as you place the hammer in its robotic addendum.
- Auditing content: Do a full content audit to ensure you are starting off with a cohesive, succinct Answer Library. Watch this web conferencing to learn more regarding completing a content audit in RFPIO, or follow these four steps to set your Answer Library on with success:
#3: Admin team, assemble!
Make sure to recruit administrative team members from each division that needs to be involved, and has the bandwidth to help with implementation, rollout, and RFPIO day-to-day operations. Sometimes admin teams are made up of only one or two individuals, and that’s okay, too. Whatever the makeup, they will in turn be responsible for evangelizing RFPIO, reinforcing the value message from executive sponsorship, and liaising along with you to provide team-specific training for owners in their department.
For larger, global institutions, the admin team will also be responsible for figuring out a rollout plan. They’ll determine which departments get onboarded first, taking into consideration metrics such as proposal quantity, knowledge sprawl or content material silos, and collaboration difficulties. They’ll also develop a repeatable onboarding process that can be turnkey for new hires or some other new end users.
This team will continue to exist beyond the initial deployment of RFPIO. Their meeting cadence will likely be weekly at first, but that cadence will reduce to monthly as you meet up with a critical mass of owners.
The admin team will also create and monitor milestones that mark success and check in regularly along with leadership to report to the milestones. It will be responsible for interacting RFPIO’s value to management and end users, promoting openness for feedback and user expectations, and overseeing the strategy for #4…
#4: Generate excitement via an “awareness campaign”
Start generating excitement, even when you’re still finalizing the purchase. Involving your power users during the early stages of launch will increase the likelihood that they’ll use new software by 55% .
You can do this by setting up an internal email campaign. In addition to informing end users what’s coming, this can also get the organization used to hearing from you about RFPIO education and product updates. Ultimately, you want to provide clear concise answers to the following queries that are common to end customers:
- Exactly why do we have RFPIO? (e. g., “To automate manual response processes, streamline content material management and access, and create higher quality proposals. ”)
- Why is RFPIO thrilling for me? (e. g., for any sales end-user, “Locate solutions to prospect questions within near real-time based on up-to-date content that’s searchable from your application you’re already doing work in. ”)
- How can it help me do our job better? (e. gary the gadget guy., for pre-sales end-user, “Spend more time creating innovative solutions instead of answering the same queries over and over. ”)
- When will I be trained upon RFPIO? (e. g., “Go-live for RFPIO is XX/XX/20XX. Your department is scheduled to be trained the 7 days prior to that go-live time. ”
One of the first couple of emails need to come from the executive recruit (some proposal managers like to send a short teaser regarding an impending big announcement about changing the game with regard to sales enablement). It will confirm the addition of RFPIO to your sales tech stack while communicating a high-level value proposition of improvements in efficiency, efficiency, and outcomes. It will also set the expectation of cooperation and collaboration among end users to plow the road for your deployment.
Make each email short and informative. Respect your own readers’ time. Include links for more information for end users which choose to learn more. Set up the next thing in the process. Here’s an example of an announcement email to get you started.
SUBJECT: Announcement: Assist with sales response and content material is on the way!
I’m excited to announce that we are adding RFPIO — one of the best AI-powered sales enablement solutions available today — to your toolbox in the next few weeks. RFPIO helps you to save us a bunch of time, enable us to focus on improving reaction and proposal quality, unify all sales content, and improve how we collaborate.
You’ll receive more info about RFPIO from myself or your manager once we finalize the rollout plan. I’ll also schedule you for a quick training so that you can hit the ground running (no worries, RFPIO is extremely intuitive and will integrate along with other apps you’re already making use of! ).
In the mean time, learn more about how RFPIO will make life easier and more productive:
- Expand sales intelligence plus personalize sales documents along with RFP automation software
- How Microsoft saved an estimated $2. 4 million with RFP software
Let me know if you have any kind of questions. You’ll be listening to from me again shortly!
#5: Train yourself
You’re the tip from the spear on this project. No matter how much help you have out of your admin team, executive recruit, IT, or evangelized end-user base, you’re going to be the individual handling initial questions. Even when you tell everyone that they are free to create a help ticket of their own with RFPIO, they’re going to ask you initial.
Best to prepare yourself.
During onboarding, we’ll take you via extensive training until you feel comfortable with the tool. We’ll become available when something comes up that stumps you. You could also refer to the following pertaining to help, too:
- RFPIO Help Center (RFPIO customers only): Access an RFPIO self-guided trip and Brand new User Training Checklist in addition to expert insight into importing your first documents, organizing your Answer Library, and more.
- New Consumer Training Checklist : Follow this checklist to have the most out of your RFPIO encounter. Each step includes links to assist Center articles to set a person up for success.
- RFPIO College (RFPIO customers only): View video training modules on project management, content administration, and other powerful capabilities like user management and Car Respond.
- Customer webinars : Sign up for the next live webinar or drill down into the on-demand archive of recent webinars for further training, product updates, and response management best practices.
#6: Schedule education by role
RFPIO is an intuitive tool. Even so, we have your back when it comes to user adoption. Institutionally, we have prioritized it. You’ll understand our efforts in consumer experience upgrades, the new studying management system (LMS) RFPIO University mentioned above, and certification events designed to help you teach end users.
Learning how to use RFPIO is relatively simple. Eric Fink, Dynamics & Business Applications Specialist at Microsoft , said, “The first time I actually logged into RFPIO, it took me about 10 minutes to obtain comfortable with the platform. After that, We quickly found responses to any or all of my open queries — seeing 100% worth from the very beginning. ”
Sales users are usually savvy. They can pick it up in an hour-long training. You should contact shorter, recurring training sessions to make sure they’re really using it, realize its benefits, and feel at ease asking for help, if necessary. Regard end users’ time by training them only on what they need to know.
Again, manager buy-in is vital here. Work closely along with sales managers to make sure they fully comprehend the opportunity offered by RFPIO. They will help you conquer any pushback from sales end users, who may hesitate at the request to affect their workflow for a coaching, no matter how short and useful it may be. They will also help ensure their team is using the tool consistently.
#7: Monitor, collect feedback, adapt
The push for higher user adopting is never complete , but it can most certainly be less painful and onerous. The good news is that user-adoption pushback fades as win rates increase.
After the rush of your initial rollout, you’ll be re-investing some of the time you used to waste on all the manual tasks of building proposals and running after down content and material experts into RFPIO administration. Beyond driving your fundamental processes of project, articles, and user management, you will also be communicating regularly with your admin team and executive sponsor.
RFPIO makes it easy to report upon usage because every motion is captured within the tool and spun into insight for your desired output. Nevertheless , you’ll want to gather anecdotal input as well. Speaking to owners and their managers about what’s working and what is still a struggle with regard to RFPIO or your response administration strategy will help you adapt to long term needs.
Depending on the size of your organization, you will probably see value from using RFPIO 90 days to six months after implementation. You may see worth in as few as 35 days if you push it, yet be wary of setting impractical expectations that can circle back again around to sabotage the entire adoption.
Want to hear from someone besides RFPIO? See how Hyland Software managed user adoption: “By making sure RFPIO is something everyone can use… most people are using it. User adoption continues to be outstanding. ”