In part 1, we talked about the best practices to scale your response management procedure from your end. This week we are going to look at how RFPIO’ s i9000 toolbox can help you standardize your operations, improve communication, and trim response time, so your team can spend more time driving revenue.
The RFPIO features which will help manage your response period
The RFPIO platform includes several features to help with your bid/no-bid decision-making.
We developed the intake feature to help teams submit their project requests as intakes towards the proposal team. The consumption submits project requests to the designated user(s), who will say yes to or reject them. In addition , you can create an intake form with custom fields that will help you decide whether or not in order to pursue a project.
Another way to increase transparency and automate processes around the bid/no-bid decision is through certainly one of our CRM integrations. For example , if sales is monitoring information used in a bid choice, you can pull those areas into RFPIO. Your sales force will only ever have to enter the information once. Some of RFPIO’ s CRM integrations even allow teams to fill out the intake form without having ever leaving the CRM.
Lastly, you may use custom reporting on any fields you create in the intake form to analyze your own win/loss rates and how they might be affected by certain factors within the opportunities you choose to pursue. This enables your team to evaluate your strategy and determine if you use your resources wisely whenever responding to RFPs.
What is your own proposal management process?
You’ ve decided which RFPs are worthy of responses. The next phase in auditing your RFP process is evaluating exactly how you’ re managing the particular proposals.
Are you having kickoff meetings?
A kickoff meeting is one of the most critical parts of the response process. At the end of a successful kickoff meeting, each group member will leave armed with clear roles and duties – all designed with one clear goal, winning the bid!
- Are roles and responsibilities superior? – Carrying out a kickoff meeting, each group member should have an action plan. Follow up in your project management software .
- Do you have a specific schedule? – Create tough deadlines for each team associate and each response phase.
Are you following the proposal’ s i9000 progress?
Proposal managers should perform daily progress assessments to ensure that they can address issues and lags before leading to delays or inaccuracies.
How is your day managing your team?
Suggestion response has a lot of moving pieces. A proposal manager’ s role is to adhere to those pieces, even if the obligations are outside the team’ s immediate control. For example:
- How are you tracking and handling tasks outside of the RFPIO platform?
- How are subcontractors handled?
- How do your teams juggle multiple proposals?
- Is there the shared calendar?
How many of you have several tasks for every project? And exactly how many of those tasks have nothing to do with the work in RFPIO? I’ m referring to such things as responding to an intent to bet or prepping shipping brands. Task templates can help you monitor those tasks automatically. Assume you’ re the manager of a team of offer managers. In that case, you can even handle the tracking of tasks or stages across a shared calendar for a group, giving you better insight into the team’ s workload on a given date or week.
These are great ways to automate task creation. You can produce a template for standard tasks under your organization settings and have it appear in each task upon creation. If you will find tasks that you track together in a shared calendar, you can create a user in RFPIO that is assigned to these jobs automatically when you set all of them up in your organization configurations. You can then sync that user’ s calendar to a discussed calendar in Outlook or Google to see all duties across your team.
Clarifications , often overlooked, is a great tool to help you compile any questions that you and your team need to send back to the company of your project. Then, you can export the questions, deliver them to the issuer, and import the responses back into the system.
RFPIO’ h calendar view provides at-a-glance project management for you and your team.
Adding on our integrations for Teams or Slack can help increase openness. I’ ve also known customers to take advantage of our API integrations in their project management tools.
The discussions tab in the task is a great way to not get at the rear of on potential issues. Using this tab, you can quickly sort through open up comments within the task. When managing multiple projects during a period, I made it a routine to open the discussions tabs of each project every day to assist reassign questions and resolve issues as they appeared.
RFPIO’ ersus Answer Library uses AI to intuitively auto-populate and answer all of the most common and not-so-common questions. In addition , the solution Library offers several blocking tools, options, rules, and tags to help ensure that you’ ll receive the most appropriate answer, even with simple one or two-keyword searches. Furthermore, your AI-driven library will update while you input data.
Look inside your content management lifecycle
Whenever did you last audit your content?
I’ m likely to let you all in on the bit of a secret. Every time I perform an audit of the customer’ s Answer Library, I start with the Answer Library Insights Report.
This document is also available for any filters you apply in the Solution Library. So , for example , when you have an Archive collection set up, you can filter it out there and look at the Insights survey without skewing your data.
You can even use RFPIO to create an indoor knowledge base, perfect for education new hires. Here at RFPIO, all of our sales enablement content material and sessions are easily available from our company-wide instance of RFPIO. It’ s simple for me to remember a session from the month ago, and I can simply use the search to find a Q& A pair that directs me personally to the video.
Other customers have found increased collaboration between their proposal team and their particular marketing and security teams but are saving the most recent variations of client-facing documents in the document library. Using RFPIO as an internal knowledge foundation and a single source of truth also provides a level of self-service to your organization that can improve morale.
Lastly, especially for little companies and startups, making use of RFPIO to track crucial information related to delivery can help create an excellent database for customer references in the future.
Are your Q& A pairs heading unused?
RFPIO’ s Q& A pairs is one of the the majority of exciting features on the system. Users can upload any type of document and customize it to suit their needs. In addition , you can edit and shop content in almost 20 languages. In other words, the majority of what you ought to respond to an RFP is correct there, at your fingertips, and on top of that, RFPIO is consistently studying.
How often do you by hand respond to RFPs?
Sometimes, previous habits die hard. Maybe response managers feel they have to manually respond to justify their own worth. RFPIO doesn’ to want anyone to lose their particular job; we want to help them be more productive plus respond to the RFPs they may not have had time designed for before automation.
How often do you automatically respond to RFPs?
RFPIO makes the RFP response process easy through near-total automation. Sure, some questions require at least partially manual responses to push the RFP over the finish line, but RFPIO will take you as much as 80 percent of the method toward full automation .
If you aren’ t automatically responding to every single RFP that is worth an attempt, we would love to hear from you and see how RFPIO can make the response process quicker, less expensive, and, dare I actually say, enjoyable.
How do you make use of your Answer Library?
I’ ll bet you that you’ ve answered the majority of questions on each RFP multiple times – perhaps intended for other customers. Utilize the Answer Collection to let RFPIO take care of the redundant and tiresome aspects of response management.
Can be your Answer Library content appropriate and up to date?
Perhaps the most common feedback we get, especially through companies that aren’ t fully utilizing RFPIO, is that they’ re hesitant to use the Answer Library because they haven’ t audited it. Therefore, their content isn’ t up to date. I get that will. It seems daunting to audit boost answers, but it’ h not, and you can’ capital t beat the long-term benefits.
At RFPIO, we refer to auditing the Answer Library as eliminating the ROT (redundant, outdated, or trivial content). Here’s a simple guideline to take you through the process.
I get it if you’ re worried about deleting information you’ ll need one day. Who hasn’ t thrown something away in a fit of cleaning, only to require it the next day? Instead of deleting that information, you can warehouse it in case you might need it again in the future.
Are you utilizing your subject matter experts?
Subject Matter Experts (SME), which we sometimes pronounce “ smee, ” are, as the name implies, experts in proposals, sales, marketing, etc . Your SMEs might be experts on your organization or in their fields generally. They’ re the people you turn to when you don’ t know how to answer a specific question.
Do you have a moderation process?
Do you have a moderation process? Is the moderation process documented? When was the last time you checked the moderation’ s organization settings? Does the content have owners and review cycles? How will you ensure your library is free of redundant, outdated, and trivial content?
The RFPIO features that help keep your content organized and current
Answer Library Insights Report
Here’ s a tip: Every time I perform an audit of a customer’ s answer library, I start with the solution Library Insights Report.
This report is also readily available for any filters you utilize in the Answer Library. Therefore , for example , if you have an Archive collection set up, you can filtration system it out and look in the Insights report without skewing your data.
This report is an excellent way to see what can become easily archived: Q& A pairs that you don’ to use or pairs having a star rating of less than 3. This report may also help see if Owners have become inundated with reviews. Maybe you can reassign Q& A pairs to another SME.
I recommend customers look at the Answer Collection Insights Report and the Executive Dashboard routinely. Use them each to guide your content strategy and look for improvements.
Additionally , you may want to evaluate where you can use merge tags more. While a lot of the customers are familiar with the use of combine tags to replace a client or perhaps a company name in a offer, did you know you can use merge tags for content that gets updated frequently? For example, track the number of employees in your organization or clients who use a specific product version. Updating that number once in the organization settings will reflect wherever the merge tag is used in your library and carry over into the project.
Lastly, many of our customers add on custom reporting to help guide their strategy. It allows for more in-depth reporting of custom fields and usage. I have seen customers use this feature to determine areas where they may need more content developed in their library.
You never want to leave your response management team guessing. The Executive Dashboard provides your team insights at-a-glance. The dashboard tracks the lifecycle of your RFP from the time it’ s received until it’ s archived.
The Executive Dashboard lets users create reports, such as RFP viability, based on similar bids from the past. In addition, managers can pull win/loss analysis, average completion time, and identify the top contributors.
If this blog post inspired you and you want to dive deeper into your workflow or content management strategy, RFPIO’ s Professional Services Team can help! As an RFPIO customer, you can purchase bundles of Professional Services hours for specific projects and initiatives. You’ ll work alongside a Professional Services consultant like myself for the entirety of your engagement. Reach out to your customer success manager or account manager, and they’ ll connect you with a member of my team who can scope your project.
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