Finding the best way to respond faster to requests for proposal (RFPs) is one of the biggest challenges a bid manager faces. Don’t get discouraged though, we are here to help.
We’ve talked about 5 tips to respond faster to RFPs on the blog if you want to read more on the topic.
According to a study from the International Data Corporation, most employees spend around 2.5 hours per day – which translates to roughly 30% of their full workday – just looking for the information they need to complete their tasks.
Let that sink in for a minute.
So what is the solution for such an important issue? An RFP content library.
A request for proposal content library gathers essential information everybody from your company needs, no matter the level. It helps everyone to work more efficiently and save important amounts of time. Not to mention it empowers users to organize and search for the content they need.
There’s also a downside: It can be a bit difficult to take care of such a large amount of information.
Let’s talk about how you can manage your RFP content library efficiently and get the most out of it.
How To Manage Your RFP Content Library
1. Using tags when organizing your library
Having heaps of content is good, but what happens when you need a specific piece of information? That’s right, it will be a bit difficult to find it. Unless you keep everything organized, with tags.
Most knowledge management solutions feature complete tagging systems, so you can rely on them each time you need to find the right answers to some of the most commonly asked questions regarding proposals.
The idea is simple. We’re talking about keywords and phrases which can be associated with RFP content. And whenever you need something related to those tags, you just search for them in your knowledge base and you will see everything that’s been tagged with what you need.
2. Make sure your library is re-usable
Not only do you need to keep it up to date all the time, but you also need to check your request for proposal content library periodically to see if everything in there is reusable.
There are a lot of cases when managers end up with content from old RFPs, for example, containing former client names. And you don’t want something like that to happen.
In order to avoid such situations, you can use an RFP automation software and replace sensitive information with placeholders. This way you scrub out any client-specific information like names or company information.
3. Focus on continuous evolution
Organizations evolve constantly, or at least this is how it should be. Given this, it’s important to consider making improvements to your overall RFP response process.
We think that one of the most important changes you should make periodically is updating essential pieces of content every year. Specifically, we’re talking about financials, audit reports or information about employees.
Then, there’s also leveraging subject matter experts so they can enhance their RFP responses and get involved in content upkeep.
And, obviously, segmenting content into mini-libraries, which makes organizing all the information you have at your disposal a lot easier.
4. Develop a process
Organizing and keeping your content fresh and error-free is key to efficiency. To achieve this we recommend having a process in place for managing your RFP content. It can be a difficult task, but it will significantly improve the efficiency of your team.
Make distinctions between who manages the responses, who edits all the content, who updates the RFP content library, and so on. Each task should be assigned to a specific team member. This will provide you and your entire team with clarity and responsibility, and drastically reduce the time you currently spend writing requests for proposal.
The initial effort that both you and your team need to put in, to start working in the frame of a new process can be demanding. But coaching your team is absolutely worth it in the long run.
Begin with a few incremental improvements in your company’s RFP response process and you will see where this leads in terms of improving both the consistency and accuracy of responses.
To summarize, all of the above-mentioned points lead to one clear conclusion an RFP automation software can significantly improve your chances of winning more projects. Other benefits are spending less time writing RFPs and, of course, help your entire team work more efficiently. And these are just a few of the most important reasons why you should use an RFP automation platform.
What other ways of managing a content library are you using? Let us know, by dropping a few lines in the comments section below.