Using an RFP proposal template doesn’t necessarily mean that your responses have to come across as formulaic. For those looking to become more successful proposal managers, a non-traditional RFP response process can be key. It actually reduces the burden of RFP completion on the members of the procurement team, while also helping your company stand out from the many other applicants.
A non-traditional RFP response process can be comprised of:
- an abbreviated executive summary section, calling out all the requirements missing from the RFP, so expertise can be quickly established
- a set of very detailed Q&A responses that can exceed competitors’ proposals and impress the client, thanks to their comprehensive nature
This is one possible combination, but there are many more – depending on the industry. Some industries are more receptive than others to new media, but proposal managers shouldn’t be afraid to experiment by pushing boundaries.
What are successful proposal managers doing differently?
- According to our article about the RFP response formula that can help you get a higher close rate, the common win rate for RFPs is less than 5%. That means that for every 20 proposals you send, just one of them will be successful. Moving forward, this means a lot of wasted time and money.
- If you work with an RFP proposal template, you can easily cut the average time required to complete and submit a new proposal, from 30 hours per RFP to a mere 10 hours. That’s quite the boost in your productivity rate.
- To be more specific, if the average size of your proposal is $25,000 and you manage to close one out of 20, you gain $25,000 in net new business, but also lose an average of 30 hours for each of the rest of the proposals. Considering that the average hourly rate is $24, that’s a loss of $13,680, before taking into account any other cost. Therefore, the productivity rate we were talking above would reach 500 dollars per hour.
- According to data gathered by the Seibert Group, 40% of your success as a proposal manager comes down to all your pre-RFP sales efforts.
- 72% of all project managers track the status of their projects manually, using spreadsheets or other tools. Also, 32% of them revealed that collaboration is the most difficult aspect of managing project teams, according to Changepoint.
- 44% of project managers don’t rely on software, even though it was revealed that this increases performance and satisfaction.
- On the other hand, 75% of senior executives agree that investing in technology, to facilitate a project’s success, was a high priority in the organisation they lead, according to the Project Management Institute.
- In terms of RFP project collaboration, the distribution of work is often lopsided, as 20 to 35% of value-added collaborations come from a maximum of 5% of employees, according to the Harvard business Review. Furthermore, a report from Mitchell Communications Group reveals that miscommunication costs businesses up to $37 million every year.
- Just 20% of companies strongly believe that their knowledge sharing efforts are actually effective, while just one third of all organisations have a defined corporate knowledge sharing strategy, whether they are using a knowledge management platform or not.
- In most cases, workers spent up to 30 minutes just looking for a single document in a third of their conducted searches. And this once again stresses the importance of having all the information in one place and making it easily accessible.
- When it comes to RFP content management, 1,000 professionals were interviewed by ClearVoice and revealed that their top challenge is time, followed by management, planning, communication, and approvals.
- Also, 27% of those who were questioned said that project management flow during the content creation process is relatively fair, but they did face bottlenecks even though some projects moved along efficiently.
- Finally, in terms of RFP response efficiency, 84% of managers say that they waste more than an hour per day inputting data manually, sometimes even entering identical data into multiple programs, according to Changepoint. This problem can be significantly improved by using specialised RFP automation software.
We know that there’s a lot of pressure when it comes to responding to RPFs, but successful proposal managers are aware of the fact that the benefits of an RFP automation software are just too many to ignore.
The capability to re-use knowledge assets in RFP responses is the single most important reason why we’ve built Kaito. Companies create lots of RFP content over the time (lots of duplicates as well), but since it’s not centralised and structured, it’s very hard to find the response to a particular requirement.
This advanced software solution allows you to import your RFP files in the system as a set of requirements (or questions), build the responses using Kaito’s suggestions, and export the completed RFP in the original file, or other templates. If you want to initialize the database, we recommend our customers to import some completed RFP, and/or RFP content they may have built over time, whether it’s an Excel file or something else.
The suggestions are based on our advanced Machine Learning – powered engine that identifies similar questions in the existing content. Basically, the more you use Kaito, more the suggestions become accurate. Your choice of answers provides human validation which, combined with language processing algorithms, results in highly accurate similarity identification. And an ace up the sleeves of successful proposal managers.