Preparing an RFP response is both complex and difficult from the moment an RFP (request for proposal) hits an organization’s inbox to the moment it is submitted.
The process in itself is complex because of all the considerations you must juggle within your response such as client expectations, budget constraints, and convincing the prospect of the value of your proposed solution.
What makes it difficult, however, is the time, energy, and effort required to prepare a high-quality response that converts a prospect into a client.
Some companies take on this challenge themselves, allocating a person or team of employees to focus solely on preparing and submitting RFPs. Whether the RFPs they submit are of the highest quality will depend greatly on the experience, knowledge, and number of team members allocated to complete the task.
Some companies, on the other hand, have moved past manual preparation of RFP responses and looked towards automation. With countless proposal automation software, businesses have a variety of options to choose from when it comes to automating their RFP responses.
In fact, data shows that 80 percent of organizations utilize RFP software. With that many organizations trusting RFP software, one must ask:
What makes RFP software such an enticing option? How can you determine if RFP software is right for you? Keep reading to find out, as we explore RFP software, why agencies use it, and how you can benefit from implementing it in your business’ RFP process.
What does RFP software do?
RFP software is used to create, track, and submit RFP proposals. Its purpose is to replace the hassle of manually generating responses and proposals yourself, using certain features to help you along the way.
The features of RFP software can depend on the specific brand of software you choose. Most include project management, design, content, and even time-tracking tools.
Others provide additional value by offering automation and collaboration options. It is up to businesses to research which features work best for their industry and RFP needs.
Organizations use RFP software for a variety of reasons, though most of them have to do with efficiency and productivity. Others consider it a cost-efficient way to increase company revenue.
As you’ll see in the following sections, RFP software has proven itself to be a great way to get more high-quality RFP proposals submitted in less time and using fewer resources.
These benefits may also vary by the software chosen and the needs and goals of a business. Either way, data shows that the implementation of these tools results in a positive impact on organizations.
How RFP software help build better proposals
If you are reading this, then you are probably thinking about RFP software as a possible solution for your RFP proposal needs. You might not have a full understanding of how RFP software works or how it can help you.
Fortunately, RFP software offers a variety of benefits that can positively impact you and your organization.
Some of these benefits, which we’ll cover in-depth, are a simpler response process, a lighter workload for you or your team, a reduction in time invested, and increased productivity.
1. It simplifies the response process
You may have a team dedicated to the preparation and management process of RFP responses or have given the responsibility to an individual in your company. Either way, the fact remains that preparing and submitting RFP responses isn’t easy. RFP responses require time and effort, which makes for a stressful experience over a short period of time.
Fortunately, one of the main benefits of RFP software is a more simplified process. Offering you a platform through which you can create, manage, and submit your proposals, RFP software takes the pressure off the entire process off of you or your team.
To take advantage of this benefit, consider choosing a fully optimized RFP software that offers as many of the features you need as possible.
2. It lightens the workload
If you are an organization that gets frequent RFPs sent to you, you likely have a large workload to deal with.
A workload that requires tremendous time and effort. It is not an option to simply reduce the amount of RFPs you respond to, as each one provides an opportunity to help your organization grow in clients and revenue.
This is the main kind of issue that RFP software can resolve. A great benefit of using RFP software for your proposal submissions is the decrease in workload that you or your team may experience. The implications of this simple benefit are significant.
Overworking your team can negatively impact the quality of your submissions, as exhausted members may focus on meeting submission deadlines more than anything else. Having a tool that helps the process run smoothly will also help your team focus their time and energy on other, more important aspects of the RFP process.
3. It can save you valuable time
Having your team create the RFP response might seem better than investing in RFP software. You might think having a team dedicated to responding to RPFs is more productive in the long-run. This, however, is not necessarily true.
It takes time to learn how to write a winning RFP response. Each prospect has their own sets of expectations, goals, and guidelines for their RFP, and crafting a great response involves a process that cannot be rushed. This is where automation comes in.
Outsourcing your RFP responses to a software service helps your business save the time and effort it would normally take for your team to create one on their own.
By making the process simpler and removing some of the workload associated with it, your team would need to invest less of that valuable time in a single response
4. It increases submission rates
The benefits of using RFP software go beyond making things easier for you and your team. It can also impact the productivity of your organization. Data shows that businesses that utilize RFP software may witness an increase in RFP response submissions.
How can one tool increase submission rates? Simple. It cuts down the time and effort required to complete each response, by automating the documentation process. As a result, not only will your team have a lighter workload in the RFP process, but they will also be able to submit more responses per year.
With a lighter workload, your team can focus their time and energy on improving the quality of each response, which can also help increase the chances of winning more clients.
In other words, companies that take advantage of the RFP’s benefits may find themselves submitting more responses per year than those who manually conduct the RFP process. All as a natural result of implementing RFP software as part of your response process.
Is RFP software right for you?
Whether you choose RFP software as an automated solution for your responses will depend on your organization’s needs. You may not have a high-enough role within your organization to make that decision. You may need to convince a superior or team leader of the value of RFP software.
If you are simply unsure of whether to move forward with the investment, however, consider these benefits and how they can positively impact your organization. It is prominently clear that using this software provides a high return on investment given their efficiency.
RFP software makes the complex process of responding to RFPs simpler but automating it and creating a more streamlined workflow. It lightens the workload for you or your team so they can dedicate their time and efforts to more important aspects of the process.
As a result, the time needed to complete each response is reduced, which gives your business the opportunity to submit more responses. If you want to create RFP high-quality responses that win more bids, the software is one of the best ways to do it.
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Dan has hands-on experience in digital marketing since 2007. He has been building teams and coaching others to foster innovation and solve real-time problems. Dan also enjoys photography and traveling.