Managing a request for proposal (RFP) across a large team can be very demanding. It’s one of the most important documents in the company and it involves high-pressure tasks that need to be accomplished by a variety of roles.
Simply put, a business proposal is a document in which a company offers a product or a service to a client, to show what kind of value it can bring to their business.
In most cases, a request for proposal is used by B2B companies and the process to manage one has three main components:
- Identifying the problem: Or persuading the client that you understand both their needs and the challenges they face
- Presenting the solution for the problem: Detailing why your product or service can help a company, as well as a specific plan of action.
- Settling the arrangements: All the details that need to be made clear for the partnership to function, like pricing, deadlines, details on third-party involvement and many more.
At first, this might not seem that complicated, but the truth is that managing RFPs, as well as creating winning responses is a challenging process.
We have identified a few main objectives any manager needs to set when beginning to deal with a request for proposal (RFP) across large teams:
- Conduct research in order to observe what the prospect really wants;
- Create a solid play to solve the challenge;
- Present the proposal in the most compelling way possible;
There are a lot of reasons to consider an RFP automation program and dealing with large teams is one of them.
How to manage an RFP across large teams
1. Maintain efficient communication
Inefficient communication is by far one of the biggest challenges large teams face, especially when working at a request for proposal.
“Communication in a large team can become less frequent in a workplace, relying more on memos, network communication, instant messaging, emails and morning meetings. But, at the end of the day, when it comes to successfully communicating in either a small or large team, each person counts,” a report from Communication Studies claims.
Basically, the larger the team, the more difficult it is to keep each member up to date on the progress. But technology is here to help.
Tools like Skype or Slack are great to start with and make sure that everybody keeps in touch and works efficiently.
2. Create a timeline and stick to it
Another important challenge you will deal with when managing RFPs across large teams is making everybody stick to a timeline. In most cases, prospects have a strict deadline when it comes to submitting the final proposal and, obviously, missing it can even disqualify the organization you’re managing.
The key here is to create your own schedule, with various checkpoints that will occur before the final deadline.
3. Streamline collaboration
One of your “missions” should be streamlining collaboration between all the members of your team, including external subject matter experts. After all, those responsible for responding to RFPs will spend a significant amount of time sanding out, following and putting together responses.
4. Put all the elements together
It really doesn’t matter what your response process looks like, as one of the best ways of creating the streamlined collaboration we were talking about above is to opt for using RFP software.
This approach will also allow you to facilitate both communication and collaboration with subject matter experts but also manage your RFP content with ease.
5. Keep all of your company’s content in one place
Each and every time an RFP comes in, your team needs to put everything they have in and provide up-to-date responses. So why not use all the information they are gathering to create a knowledge base, then make it accessible to everybody involved in the RFP response process?
Doing so, you will not only save important amounts of time but you will also help new team members become familiar with the project a lot quicker.
Whether you’re working in a small or a large team, the solution to managing things smoothly and run an effective RFP response process is pretty much the same: being well organized.
Start with creating a timeline for the entire process, have an efficient workflow and make sure your work environment is one that favors communication. Additionally, an RFP automation platform is one of the most valuable assets a team can rely on.
Keep in mind the points mentioned above and not only will you manage an RFP across large teams with ease, but also avoid a big part of the stress that the response process usually involves.