“80% of customers say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services.” Expectations for the customer experience are at an all-time high, especially in the highly competitive healthcare market.
RFPs affect your organization’s bottom line. Even if you aren’t directly responsible for sales KPIs, you are responsible for representing your company well. As a subject matter expert (SME), providing expertise is a huge part of your job function, which is why healthcare RFP responses frequently land in your inbox.
Below are a few key obstacles facing subject matter experts in healthcare—and opportunities for improvement through healthcare RFPs and collaborative processes.
3 obstacles facing a subject matter expert in healthcare
Albert Ho, Consultant at Healthcare Heroes and Project Manager at William Osler Health System, is a subject matter expert across multiple healthcare projects at any given time. Over the past two decades, he has faced plenty of operational obstacles as a Registered Nurse, Care Coordinator, and a Project Manager—below are his top three challenges.
1. Not enough IT resources
“IT resources often have multiple projects going on and I’m lucky to get 0.2 of a full-time equivalent. It takes days to get a response from the resources that are completing the work. This makes it difficult to report the status of projects to my manager and senior leaders.”
2. Leadership changes priorities
“Senior leadership will create an Annual Project List, which is reviewed quarterly. This should set the priorities for the upcoming three to six months. However, new priority projects often jump the queue of other priority projects, changing our focus at the last minute.”
3. Unable to obtain consensus in a short timeframe
“I’m often asked to gather requirements from five or more stakeholders, and it takes weeks of meetings to make one decision. With slow decision-making, this makes for slow-moving projects. One particular project took ten years to deploy.”
Turning obstacles into opportunities with healthcare RFPs
You might relate to one, two, or all three of these SME obstacles. So, the question is: How will you overcome them? Although Albert mentioned three obstacles, time and resources are the moral of the story.
Presumably, you can’t solve ALL of your organizational challenges singlehandedly. What you can do is start addressing one facet you are deeply involved in…responding to healthcare RFPs.
In a recent RFPIO survey we conducted, half of SMEs across industries said their primary challenge was spending too much time on RFPs. Keeping company content accurate was a close second, with 33% saying this was a hiccup in their response process.
A response management platform like RFPIO helps healthcare SMEs overcome time and resource obstacles, making space for you and your team to focus on other priorities.
1. A quick, collaborative environment
Healthcare RFPs are complex, requiring multiple collaborators to create content that is technically accurate and compliant with the issuer’s requirements. You’re the expert in your field, but since security measures are of great importance in the healthcare industry, often you will need to work with your IT team on responses.
With RFP software, a proposal manager assigns questions through the platform. If you’re working on your assigned response and realize IT needs to chime in, you simply assign the question to your IT team after you include your response. Or, if a minor clarification is needed, use Slack, Microsoft Teams, or @-mentioning within RFPIO to get a quick response.
2. Anytime access to accurate company information
When you are summoned to respond to healthcare RFPs or other business queries, the answer library is your best friend. Rather than hunting down previous content in folders and spreadsheets, all of your historical documents live in one place. That means you can search, grab, and drop the content into your assigned responses.
Another quick way to find content is through RFPIO LookUp, which is a Chrome extension that allows you to find information straight from your browser without logging into the platform. To ensure accuracy, make sure you perform quarterly content audits to clean up your responses.
3. Moving projects forward with visibility
If shifting priorities and a lack of project visibility are common situations with your healthcare RFPs, response management dashboards diffuse both of those situations. From executive dashboards to project dashboards, your entire proposal management team will track progress as you move together toward the deadline.
Even with robust technology like RFP software, an important step to establishing success involves empowering individuals within your company to manage the system and processes. Make sure your team designates internal stakeholders as soon as you start using the platform, so projects run smoothly with an appointed owner, content manager, trainer, and project manager.
“We answer many security questionnaires from many healthcare organizations each year. It is estimated to take roughly 16 hours to complete a security questionnaire. The initial benefits we have seen with RFPIO are the ability for multiple people to collaborate on the same response versus emailing questions back and forth. That has saved a lot of time and effort.” – Rob Solomon
Being the expert in your field, you truly “hold the keys to the castle” when it comes to getting a proposal done right. You own anywhere from 5% to 20% of the questions on an RFP project, and your revenue team depends on you as a key player in the RFP response process.
By improving the way your organization handles healthcare RFPs, you’ll increase productivity and see greater success in your role. Schedule a demo of RFPIO to make a positive impact on your organization.