The RFP – short for ‘request for proposal’ – has been around for some time now. It’s a document that solicits proposals, in most cases made through a bidding process, by either an agency or a company interested in buying a service or a valuable asset, to potential suppliers to submit their business proposals. Nowadays, you can even use RFP software to automate part of the response process, and ease the burden that repetitive tasks place on you and your team.
Working with RFPs is a mutually beneficial process: they create a competitive atmosphere for stakeholders, allowing them to show their best in an attempt to win attractive opportunities; while for vendors, it’s an excellent chance to look at their clients and examine their project descriptions before signing any contract.
If you are part of a company that could use the benefits of an RFP response automation platform, take a look at this list with five tips to convince the management to get the product you need.
1. Demonstrate the need for the RFP software
One of the main reasons why a company needs specific software is to solve a problem. Therefore, the first thing you need, in order to convince the management, is a solid argument in favor of the acquisition of an RFP software.
The best approach is to present meaningful data and statistics, showing exactly why and how your company is losing time and other resources when it comes to dealing with requests for proposals. Then, focus on how this software can fix all those issues. Don’t resume to a simple “it’s good to have it”, but instead explain how it will create efficiency.
2. Talk about the costs and technical implications
The financial aspect is also a very important one when it comes to acquiring new software for a company. Presuming that you did your research and created a shortlist with the best RFP software options available, you should also get quotes for each of them.
It’s very important to let the management know how much this will cost and – very importantly – what the implementation presumes. A lot of people tend to ignore the latter, even though it’s pretty much an essential factor, especially when you’re talking about software.
3. Anticipate objections and have a plan to address them
One of the scenarios you shouldn’t ignore is the one in which you encounter roadblocks. In most cases, management will be concerned about the costs of an RFP response automation platform, but also about its benefits, implementation, return of investment, productivity and so on.
In this case, you should have a strategy for addressing all of the above. For example, if you believe that the price could be a problem, consider asking other departments in the company – departments which can benefits from the use of RFP software – if they want to contribute to the acquisition.
In fact, asking other departments about how they can benefit from this is one of the first things you should do before presenting the idea to the management, as you will have enough arguments in favor of the purchase.
4. Create a presentation
If you feel like you need a lot of time to present all the arguments in favor of the purchase of an RFP software, you should consider putting together a presentation.
Focus on the quantifiable benefits of having this automation platform, like increasing productivity and saving a lot of time. Expect some questions and prepare a set of answers ahead for management. Make sure to think about the purchase decision from different angles, so you can see both pluses and minuses. And make sure to have solutions for the minuses. To be extra convincing, create a sense of urgency or even some fear of missing out on something the competition is already using.
5. Schedule a demo with a vendor
You did it! Your attempt to convince the company’s management that you need an RFP response automation platform was a real success. Now, what’s next? Showing the actual platform in action, of course.
Schedule a demo with your vendor of choice – demos for our very own Kaito are also available, so don’t hesitate to reach out – and show it to your superior. Put together a set of questions about integration and usability, as well as about how you can train employees. Keep in mind that it’s almost mandatory to have one of the decision makers in the company join you, as a few questions will surely be in order.
Convincing your company’s management to purchase an RFP software can be pretty demanding, but just think about how this could improve the way you’re currently handling requests for proposals. It would have a sizeable impact on your team’s efficiency, and even help you get a higher close rate.
An RFP response automation platform will completely change the manual response process you’re currently using, as it delivers high-quality responses for each section, better completion times and less involvement from the team.