“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”
Bill Gates reminds us of the important roles process and people play in efficiency gains through automated technology.
Responders continually seek out efficiency in their RFP response process. The most successful responders see the best results by collaborating within a single response management platform…RFP software.
Software selection process steps for RFP software
Since you’re reading this, RFP response automation is obviously on your radar. And you’re the lucky person tasked with figuring out a sustainable solution.
Whether you are a proposal manager leading the charge with RFP response or a VP of Marketing who owns the technology budget, make your RFP software comparison quest easier by following these software selection process steps.
1. Meet with your RFP response team.
Before you commit to an annual RFP software subscription, schedule a meeting with your entire RFP response team (subject matter experts, executive stakeholders, bid writers, etc.). The goal is to discover gaps and opportunities in your current workflow, then make improvements through RFP automation.
2. Prioritize RFP software features.
Now that you know what your RFP response team needs in order to thrive, it’s time to prioritize RFP software features. Divide features into two columns—”must-have” and “nice-to-have.” If having a holistic view of RFP projects is a top priority, project dashboards are a must-have. If communication is dialed in, then Slack or Microsoft Team integrations are a nice-to-have.
3. Explore RFP software comparison platforms.
Third-party validation is a key part of decision-making for any purchase, including RFP software. Think of G2 Crowd and Capterra as Yelp for software products. Use these RFP software comparison tools to compare and contrast features and check out customer feedback. Seeing use cases in the real RFP response management world will inspire ideas and validate decisions.
4. Make a data-driven case for RFP software.
Have no idea how many hours your team spends on RFP responses? Demystify these costs by tracking everyone’s time. Use our ROI calculator to find out how much you will save on both hours and resources with RFP response automation. Armed with data, you’ll rely on stats instead of emotions to make a strong case for additional budget to cover RFP software.
5. Understand the product and the service.
Once you have narrowed down RFP software providers, schedule a demo to see the solution in action and meet the team you’re considering working with. Bring your priority features list, along with questions that need to be addressed. Pay special attention to the user experience as the solution should be quick and easy for all RFP contributors to learn.
RFPIO clients best demonstrate their efficiency progress with RFP software.
Before using RFPIO, 49% spent several weeks responding to RFPs. Since using RFPIO, 31% finish RFP projects in a week and 37% complete RFPs in a single day. With the right RFP software, your response management team will experience similar efficiency gains.