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05 Ways to Improve Your RFP Response Process in 2020

Processes adapt as times change and, believe it or not, the RFP response process is the same way. We decided to think about how to take a structured and matter-of-fact process and refine it with innovation and creativity. After considering the many challenges proposal writers and proposal teams face, here we are with 05 ways to improve your RFP response process in 2020.

Whether it was inefficiency that brought you here or curiosity, picture your current process flow and how to use these 05 tips.

#1 Define Process Transparency

We can’t tell you how many times a proposal writer or business owner revealed that they did not have a “process” for responding to RFPs. There were no predefined steps – they just got it done.

While that is understandable and pretty common, it might not be the best way to get the results you want. A defined RFP response process backed with a quality RFP software helps you replicate repeatable solutions and swiftly onboard new teaming partners. It can even be unique to your organization and the way you do business.

RFP Response Process Visibility and Dashboards

Define process transparency for all stakeholders with:

  • Guidelines for sourcing new opportunities (Databases, Networks, etc)
  • Defined target markets and annual revenue per contract
  • Synced collaboration spaces with a shared repository
  • Reporting and timetable visibility during the proposal development lifecycle
  • Guidelines on role-specific requirements

You’ve written proposals. You know how it works, but maybe you were previously managing each component manually or your team worked in silos. Process transparency will keep everyone informed, especially with unexpected changes, and make your life easier. Use a proposal management software to track information and offer the team visualization tools.

#2 Plan for Opportunity Assessment

Avoid waiting to the last minute to make a Go or No-Go decision or responding to every RFP that comes your way. Plan for opportunity assessment in a strategic and time-worthy manner. Begin to build your pipeline once you have an inkling of information for an upcoming bid or opportunity. Just having a client name or market is good enough to begin the assessment.

When you gain more information along the way, by the time the RFP is released, you will have a clear understanding of how to respond and of the best partner matches. Planning ahead saves you time and loss of money from making the wrong decision.

#3 Fast Track Proposal Management

Proposal management is mission-critical to improving the RFP response process. It is the one factor that can make or break your chances for cutting response time in half and winning the next contract. New opportunities come up quickly and we don’t want you to be overwhelmed. We want you to win!

Fast-track proposal management with:

  • Clear segmentation of the RFP
  • Adaptive compliance matrices
  • Automated proposal management tools

Increased efficiency without a reduction in quality is a tricky business, but possible. In 2020, it is all about maximizing effort with the tools and processes that add value, which brings us to the next point…

#4 Leverage AI and Technology in the Right Places

Leverage AI and Technology in the Right Places

We are in the age of AI. Technology is leading the way we do business and orchestrating our daily lives. You are a writer and maybe could care less yet AI is driving your craft too. The same way that you don’t hesitate to power on your computer or pick up your cell phone, technology and AI are driving how we do everything – including managing the RFP response process.

Before you skip to the next point, take a look at some new ways to improve some old habits:

  • Use AI to make smarter decisions
  • Use SaaS solutions to connect worldwide
  • Maximize efficiency with multiple team members

You cannot be everywhere at once, or mentally note every single requirement in a 200-page RFP. These are things for technology. This is your year to embrace the power of technology and leverage it for better outcomes.

#5 Refine Collaboration

Remote and fast-moving proposal teams need to adopt well-oiled collaboration. Though we’re often skeptical of tools and software, and for good reason, the best proposal management software will help reduce the barriers to good teamwork. Evaluate what works best for your RFP response process and choose a software that allows you to gain 24/7 access, manage the entire process in one secure space, and implement project management.

Zbizlink links each of these tips into a single, SaaS solution. Request a demo.

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