For the past couple of months, we’ve been going through a period of intense uncertainty. A lot of the old ways we were used to doing things have changed, and a lot of us have concerns about what our return to normal will look like. But the secret is to remain optimistic.
Everything will be fine. We need to be patient and adapt to what is happening, one day at a time.
We, the #Quandorafamily, know that a lot of you rely on our products Quandora and Kaito, especially if you come from industries such as information technology and services, marketing and sales platforms, online and mobile food ordering companies, computer software (AI, virtual personal assistants, cybersecurity, data protection, cloud) and the chemical industry.
So we have good news: our activity will go on as usual moving forward. Our team is working from home (probably sometimes replying to you while still in pijamas). Luckily, we’ve always worked remotely so we can now focus the extra energy it would have taken us to adapt, to being here for you.
How do we manage the RFP response process during COVID-19?
Shifting our focus to managing business, we’ve put together a list with useful tips on how to manage your RFP response process efficiently, even while running everything remotely.
1. Give your answer library a refresh
Whether you’re working with a dedicated RFP software or just spreadsheets, it’s highly recommended to perform an overhaul of your answer library periodically, to make sure that all the information you gathered remains useful.
Yes, we’re talking about a content audit.
Most likely, you’ve managed to gather hundreds – or even thousands – of RFP responses, so this could be the right time to get rid of all the irrelevant content and give the existing answers a refresh, to make them even better. This process could take time, it’s true, but hey, having high-quality answers can significantly increase your close rate.
2. Automate manual procedures
For a more efficient RFP automation process, automating some of the otherwise time-consuming manual procedures, is one of the first things you should do.
As a side note, 29% of salespeople are spending – potentially wasting – more than an hour per day for data entry tasks. Of course, this means less time left for more valuable activities.
Not the ideal scenario, we know.
Automation is a must-have for any business that wants to step up its RFP response process, especially during these uncertain times, but also the latest standard for any sales team that aims for increased performance.
If you want to find out more about RFP automation and what kind of impact it can have on your business, be sure to read our article on the subject.
3. Re-organize your team of SMEs
No matter how well-organized your RFP response process is, it just doesn’t work as it should without the contribution of Subject Matter Experts. Let’s not forget that we’re talking about a time-consuming process here which is not the main responsibility of SMEs, so it’s key to have the best people in the right positions.
Have you secured the appropriate people in the appropriate positions? If the answer is something else than “yes”, maybe it’s time for a bit of reorganization.
Once again, try identifying the key players in your team and be very clear about their roles and responsibilities. It’s a change that will bring forth significant benefits.
4. Reach out to any potential prospect
Since many companies decided to take a full or partial break during the lockdown, they won’t be as active as usual. However, it’s up to you to maintain great relationships with any potential prospect. Again, this situation won’t last forever and sooner or later things are going to get back on track, with businesses running at full throttle.
It’s well-known that establishing great relationships can give you a huge advantage over your competitors. And it’s not that difficult to see why.
First of all, clients can understand you easier, as well as your product and services. Then, they will see exactly what they gain by working with you. Because let’s be honest, this is one of those key decisional factors.
Having a great relationship with prospects ahead of time is always valuable but now, during the lockdown, it can make a vital difference.
Don’t forget that before starting to develop or change your RFP response process, asking yourself a few questions can be of essence. Especially during the lockdown, when managing business can be different and more challenging than usual.
We’re talking about defining budgets, the key stakeholders and evaluators, problems to solve if you want to increase your closing rate, and more. But we’ve already talked about this some time ago, if you’re curious about the essential questions you should ask yourself if you manage an RFP team.
How are you managing your RFP response process during the COVID-19 pandemic? Did you make any significant changes? We’d love to hear about your experience, so please drop us a few lines in the comments section below.