Ask anybody who had to deal with Requests for Proposals, Requests for Information, Security Questionnaires, as well as Due Diligence Questionnaires and most of them will agree that the entire process behind them is filled with both complications and frustrations. However, they will also say that using RFP software can be one of the best solutions for such issues, being able to significantly reduce the chaos created during the response process. It also allows you to actually respond to requests in a quick and efficient manner.
Most RFP automation software solutions available right now on the market focus on making content easier to centralize, but also find and use it in responses. Basically, they’re trying to use all your content-based resources!
Take for example RFP solutions who facilitate collaboration on requests and provide improved visibility into who’s doing what. Still, this doesn’t mean that using them is easy, as there will always be the so-called myths about RFP automation software which will make integrating a solution like this somewhat difficult.
Let’s take a few moments and talk about the most common challenges people face when writing RFPs.
Top RFP process challenges
There are situations in which even the most up-to-date content can easily ‘slip through the cracks’ if a regular update isn’t applied to a proposal library, but this can be easily avoided as long as all content is updated when writing proposals. Still, don’t forget that one crucial aspect: a proposal should always be cohesive and should read like it was written by a single, persuasive voice.
Other common issues are caused by document style, like dealing with corrupt formatting, as well as an improper table of content updates. The latter should be revisited from time to time, to ensure it’s fully accurate and captures the major sections of the proposal.
And finally, it’s all about editing. Probably one of the most unavoidable challenges when it comes to writing proposals, it’s still required for creating the proposal. It’s highly recommended to have the review team provide the final go-ahead before a proposal’s submission, so everything can work smoothly.
So, we agree that using an RFP automation software involves some serious challenges, but another problem is that despite using it for a while, some companies are ‘haunted’ by some myths which don’t allow them to take full advantage of this solution.
Myths about RFP automation software
1. RFP automation software will terminate jobs
Let’s start with one of the most recent myths surrounding RFP software, that keeps appearing on various discussion boards lately: jobs disappearing because of the increasing popularity of RFP automation software.
Sometimes, it can be difficult to leverage a strategic side when wasting time searching for proper content or looking after subject matter experts. Using an RFP tool won’t terminate any jobs, but eliminate all barriers and enable employees to focus on their expertise.
2. RFP automation software is just for…responding to RFPs
This is not true, as such solutions are actually designed to optimize the response process to other information requests as well, like Requests for Information, Due Diligence Questionnaires, Security Questionnaires, as well as many other Q&A-type information requests a company usually receives in the sales cycle.
3. Only Proposal Managers can work with RFP software
Yes, Proposal Managers do find a lot of value in RFP automation software, but the uses of a platform actually go beyond proposal management. Security teams, sales or operations teams, as well as Subject Matter Experts, can also find it incredibly useful.
A lot of teams within a company can use an RFP solution for sourcing product data, which can be used in product meetings, to find technical information required for onboarding/training or information needed for Security Compliance applications, to mention a few.
4. Implementing an RFP software solution takes forever
When it comes to this myth, the truth is that it actually depends on how you move. Sure, it will take some time to set up the entire library, but most software vendors will also work alongside your team on an implementation plan, tailored according to your own needs and goals. Therefore, in the end, it doesn’t take forever at all, as everything is influenced by how you’re working with the RFP provider.
5. RFPs take way too much to complete and manage
It was proven that this can be one of the most common reasons companies don’t seem to be open to the idea of doing a formal RFP.
A lot of property managers, for example, admitted that they are so busy and they don’t like the idea of spending even more time to develop a document like an RFP at all.
Despite all these myths about RFP automation software, there are actually several benefits that should be convincing enough and help managers understand that using it can only help a company.
Among the most popular benefits of RFP software is the ability to save the time otherwise wasted with generating answers to common questions, keeping everything organized and accommodating multiple users, but also making it very easy to update outdated content.
Even though these arguments in favour of using an RFP automation software may sound simple, they should be enough to convince anybody that this could be one of the best decisions a company can take, as it will eventually save both money and, one of today’s most important resources, time.