Productivity Tips for RFP Proposal Managers During CV-19
Thank you Loopio for creating and hosting this town hall for RFP Proposal Managers. It was great to see that over 400 people from the RFP industry participated and asked questions to our panel (see link to webinar at the end of this blog).
One of the topics discussed was around the effective ways that RFP managers can be productive and proactive during our COVID confinement. This blog addresses some of these tips:
Review your Content Library: RFP Issuers tell us that they want to be wowed – and they want to easily recognize a company’s unique value. How can you make it easy for them to do that?
We suggest reviewing your RFP Response content objectively. Do a gap analysis – what needs to be improved – where are the gaps? What do you currently have that needs to be updated, revised or rewritten?
Review some of your competitor’s websites and their positioning statements too. Identify what your company does meaningfully better and different from the competition.
Then, re-write specific content or sections based on what the issuer really wants – and highlight the unique value that your company provides.
Make this stressful pandemic time productive – and work on updating your most important RFP response sections first.
Prepare Policies, Plans and Procedures: We see significant increases in Policy requests from RFP issuers. They now require vendors to submit the actual policy, plan or procedure at the same time that you submit your bid. You can be prepared for this.
Updating your Health and Safety (H&S) Manual makes sense at this time. Do you need to develop a separate Pandemic Procedure document? Customer Information Security is imperative in most industries – do you need to develop specific policies around the security procedures your company takes to ensure that your customers information remains safe?
We have recently seen RFP requests for other important documents too:
Emergency Escalation Procedure
Project Execution Plan
Caution: don’t just copy and paste Policies and Procedures from the internet. First off, these are legal documents and should be written carefully and reviewed from a legal perspective. Secondly, issuers tell us that “copy and pasted policies areweak and easy to spot”. I am certain that “weak” is not the kind of differentiator you want your company to be known for.
Peruse the RFP Portals: Many Proposal Managers are also responsible for Biz-Dev. If business development is part of your job, then we highly recommend that you visit Biddingo, MERX or another favorite online Bid portal. There is so much vital business information waiting there for you 24/7.
For example, you can search for past contracts awarded for your company’s particular products and services. The renewal dates for these valuable contracts will be listed. Are any of these contracts coming up for renewal this year? If yes, then it’s time to develop a relationship (or reconnect) with the Issuer. The buyer’s name and contact information is even provided for you there.
We suggest introducing your company and relevant products/services. You and the Buyer can both gain valuable insight. You can ask about what is going well with the current contract provider? You could discover what needs the Buyer is anticipating they will require in future RFPs. This is especially important if you have a unique technology or value-add that could benefit the issuers organization. They could potentially include your company’s specialty in their next issued RFP. You could also discover what the current incumbent isn’t delivering. This is all vital biz-dev insight to have when that next RFP gets released.
Summary: The RFP business isn’t going away. Now is a great time to review your current approach and prepare for the future! Thanks again to Loopio for hosting this event. We hope that you stay safe and positive! Karen McElroy, CEO Boardroom Metrics
Karen McElroy is the CEO of Boardroom Metrics. She leads an experienced team of business writers across Canada and the United States. Dedicated to helping clients win competitive RFP/RFI/RFQ and Proposal pursuits, Karen is known for her unfailing responsiveness, lively personality and wealth of RFP and Proposal bid writing experience.