How To Create A Winning RFP Response

Congratulations! Your company has been invited to participate in a Request For Proposal (RFP) process. Now the hard work begins. Creating an RFP response may involve nearly every department in your organisation. Sales, product management, marketing, consulting, R&R and legal can all participate in the development and review of your response.

Typical challenges organisations face in building RFP responses

  • Who should work on the response? What members of each team or department?
  • How do we keep everyone involved in contact and on the same page?
  • How do we stay on schedule and make sure we get what we need in a timely manner?
  • How can we use this response to build a model for other responses and form easy-to-follow procedures?

Let’s take a look at how an enterprise social network can improve and speed up your organisation’s RFP response process.

Build Your RFP Team

An enterprise social network will help you organise your RFP response team. You can start by sharing the RFP with the department heads or team leads. They can help you review and decide which RFP sections to assign to each team or department. Once you know what departments to include, it’s time to find the right members to help.

Searching user profiles is a fast and easy way to locate the best people to bring into the RFP process. Search by department and/or expertise. Connect with them in an instant by sending a message and ask them to join the process.

Throughout the RFP process, you can use the enterprise social network to find an answer. If your team has a challenging technical question, you can do a quick search to bring in expert input from other members of your organisation.

Establish Open Communication with the Team

Once you begin working with your RFP team, an enterprise social network let’s you instantly connect and communicate in real-time. Easy-to-use social networking tools make it simple for you to post questions and submit ideas to the team and get feedback. Also, the ability to assign and track tasks makes it simple to keep everyone organised and on schedule.

Collaborate on Responses

Enterprise social software brings organisation and consistency to your RFP process. You and your team can create a Wikidoc to build and organise RFP content in tandem. Marketing can update the company background description; sales can coordinate with engineering on technical and functional requirements; and support can outline the services they’ll provide.

You can also ensure that your RFP content is accurate by reviewing and agreeing on the right response as a team. It’s easy to proofread and edit your colleague’s contributions and to get department supervisors to review and sign off on sections.

You can keep the RFP resources together by uploading all supporting files to the enterprise social network. There’s no need to send files by email or upload to them to an Intranet. All of the sections of the RFP are organised and stored in one place.

Developing a Response Process

An enterprise social network gives you immediate access to archived projects and shared files and information from past RFPs to use as reference. This makes it easy to repurpose content, which can save you time on the next RFP. You can also create an internal RFP knowledge base by capturing typical RFP questions and your company’s responses.

Enterprise social software is also a great way to create an RFP or requirements document. If your company needs a new application to support a business process, you can use the enterprise social network to create a list of requirements and questions for vendors.

Building a Winning RFP Response

Building a winning RFP response is a great example of how an enterprise social network can improve business operations throughout your company. By making it easy to connect and work together, your teams deliver the kind results that win business, and make lasting impressions.

So, tell us, is your organisation working as one team? What would it mean for your business if they did?

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In January 2011, JL Valente was appointed Chairman and CEO to bring additional enterprise software leadership to the blueKiwi team. His software experience spans over 25 years at an international level in the software industry. Prior to blueKiwi, JL was President and CEO of RiverMuse, an IT Operations software start-up and before that executive Chairman of CITTIO, a network & system management software start-up. He also led the Americas Operations of InfoVista, and marketing and business development at Viasoft as Senior Vice President. JL also spent 10 years with CA, where he ran marketing for the information management division. JL’s objectives at blueKiwi are simple but ambitious. Equip every business professional with an enterprise social software account. Beyond the usual growth objectives of any start-up, JL is committed to ensuring the success of blueKiwi’s customers and accelerating the adoption of its enterprise social software in the marketplace through careful listening and with intellectual honesty.