Are content audits a part of your RFP response process? No. Do you have hundreds of RFP responses in your answer library? Yes.
You see where we’re going with this, and there is no reason to feel overwhelmed. Since you’re spring cleaning anyway and we’re heading into Q2, it’s the perfect time to take stock of your answer library and make it stronger.
You may not have thought of performing a content audit on your RFP responses before. Most businesses save content audits for the marketing department, but they are just as essential for RFP responders.
So, get ready to spring clean your RFP responses and make room for fresh business.
Why you need to audit your RFP answer library
First…why? Why should we dedicate time to an RFP content audit? We spend enough hours on RFP response as it is and win rates tend to be low anyway.
Exactly. And, a well-oiled RFP response machine can save your team time and increase your chances of winning. However, if your RFP responses are stale or your answer library is disorganized, the opposite effect is bound to happen.
A content audit helps determine if RFP answers are relevant both externally and internally. Your RFP responses should clearly address the needs of the business you are pursuing, in addition to presenting your own business in the best light possible.
The whole point of responding to RFPs is in the hopes of generating revenue. Taking the time to take care of your answer library is worth it when you realize how vital your RFP repository is for your team.
How often should you audit your RFP responses?
Answer library audit frequency depends on the number of RFPs your organization responds to, as well as the nature of the organization. At the very minimum, content audits should occur at least once a year—quarterly is even better.
A financial company will work well with a quarterly audit that aligns with its internal cycle. But, a software company will fare better with a more flexible schedule that aligns with product updates and releases.
As an example, Zapproved’s answer library housed many technical answers with a short shelf life of 2-3 months. When the Zapproved team started automating their RFP response process, they were able to access and update their answers easily. Because they had a better process in place, their team was able to respond to RFPs in one-third of the time.
The right setup and consistent maintenance are what make the difference. A messy answer library (or none at all) will slow teams down, so invest the time in populating your answer library and tending to it on a schedule.
How to perform a content audit on your RFP answer library
If you have RFP software already, content audit features should be built in to help you stay on top of everything. Admins can assign content owners and set up automatic reminders to notify when it’s time to refresh the answer library, based on the audit frequency you determined.
If you don’t have RFP software, a content audit can be performed manually with the help of spreadsheets and calendar notifications. Naturally, manual content audits will be more challenging than automated versions, but they are still a necessity for teams.
Whether you automate your content audit or manage one manually, ask the following questions as you declutter your RFP answer library:
- Do we have a healthy balance of RFP responses that represent our organization?
- Is this information accurate and current?
- Do the answers address business challenges others face?
- Are the benefits of our services conveyed well?
- How polished is the content?
- How consistent is the tone?
- Is the content easy to find?
- What RFP responses are missing?
Your answer library has anywhere from hundreds to perhaps thousands of RFP responses, and your team relies on this central repository any time an RFP comes in. A high quality response will only increase your win rate, so yes…a content audit is worth the time investment.
By keeping your answer library in ship-shape condition, you’ll be doing your team a favor when the next RFP lands in your inbox with a tight deadline. Delete, refresh, and set your team up for long-term success.