1. Focus on developing a sales relationship
RFPs may appear to be open competitions but often they’re not. The marketing department may have a specific vendor in mind but the procurement office needs to satisfy policies so it sends out an RFP to collect more proposals – even though the other vendors don’t stand a chance!
The only way to know where you stand is to develop a sales relationship. Ask if you can get on the phone with someone from the company to ask questions, and seek to learn crucial information about the RFP specifically, but also about the organization and their decision-making in general.
Speaking directly with the client:
- you can zero in on the priorities within the RFP, but also
- even if you don’t win the RFP, you’ve started developing a real relationship instead of working ‘blind’ through the RFP process.
2. Assign a project manager
Consider assigning a single point person to oversee the RFP process. That person should be responsible for:
- interpreting all the RFP requirements,
- organizing assets and responses,
- assigning tasks and staying on top of subject matter experts, and
- managing the entire schedule.
Most of the people involved are working on multiple projects and it will be natural to procrastinate on their RFP responses, which is a recipe for making your win rates suffer.
3. Stand out with rich media (video!)
You can really enhance your RFP with a combination of rich media, such as:
- creating a simple but well-designed mini-site that answers the key questions and showcases your unique value proposition,
- incorporating infographics or well-designed process-flow images, or
- converting your executive summary into an explainer video that clearly demonstrates your value proposition
Branding and design are the most overlooked opportunities for B2B companies. Perception is reality, and you’re judged by how your services look. With a small incremental investment, you can really move the needle on your RFP win rates!