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Infographic: Tips for Streamlining Your RFP Response Process

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Practice makes perfect when it comes to RFP responses. 


And practice is something Veracode’s Sarah Small and IBM Watson Health’s Rob Wunder have had in spades—they’ve handled hundreds of RFP responses over their careers. So it’s no surprise that they've developed tricks to de-stress the process. 


We asked Rob and Sarah to break down some of their best practices so you too can master the art of an efficient RFP response. 


They have four key strategies for streamlining your RFP response process:

•   Be consistent with communication

•   Keep your team aligned on progress

•   Prepare standard templates

•   Create a content tiger team

 

Here’s how you can put each one of these into action.


Meet Rob Wunder, RFP Team Lead at IBM Watson Health Imaging, and Sarah Small, Solutions Architecture Team Lead at Veracode. Sarah and Rob have handled hundreds of RFPs over their careers and have mastered the art of an efficient response process. These two have some tips for keeping the process under control and streamlined.   Rob: Be consistent with communication  -Once you’ve received an RFP, host a quick kickoff meeting to divide the RFP into parts (if necessary), discuss responsibilities, key dates, and the information needed. A RACI chart is helpful for this.  -Check the temperature of the team. How is bandwidth? Will anyone be on vacation? Assign responsibilities accordingly in advance–it’s frustrating to receive tasks at the eleventh hour.  -Establish cross-team buy-in so people can understand WHY their work is important to the team’s success.  Sarah: Stay aligned on progress -Set and track due dates for deliverables with your team so you can meet the submission deadline. -Send a daily RFP priorities email, including a list of updates on all items related to ongoing RFPs, to the team involved.  - It’s especially helpful for keeping global teams up to date and diffusing potential communication bottlenecks related to different timezones.   Rob: Have standard templates ready to go  -Have headers, footers, cover letters, and executive summaries templated and available in a folder so you have everything organized if you need to section out an RFP. -Templates are important because you can turn content around quickly without wasting time on formatting.  Sarah: Avoid the Content Graveyard -Identify and utilize subject matter experts (SMEs) and group them into an RFP tiger team.  -Hint: keep this team small, no more than five people.  -Set a review cadence that is realistic and manageable.  -I recommend  conducting a monthly review of 10 questions and their answers each month with specific SMEs. -Don’t try to review too much in one go–it’ll lead to burnout -Encourage salespeople to flag responses that look outdated. You can’t keep track of everything!

Check out this video of Sarah and Rob's presentation at Loopicon19, Loopio's first-ever customer conference, on tips and tactics to maximize efficiency when responding to RFPs.

Find out how IBM Watson Health scaled its RFP response process with Loopio

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