What exactly does good content management look like in the RFP world? It’s a trifecta of resources, data, and process.
Good RFP content management means preparing the best version of your content alongside your internal process to accelerate success. RFP responses are groomed in such a way that the content is compelling and fresh. Content is organized, so your team responds quickly and accurately.
By properly maintaining RFP content, you can:
- Build confidence in your response process.
- Gain the advantage when you’re under a tight deadline.
- Save time and get back to what you do best.
The ultimate result of good RFP content management? Winning new business. The trick is to continually improve internal processes. That starts with investigating the RFP content management efforts you have in place today.
1. Define Your RFP Team
A successful RFP content management strategy begins with allocating the right resources—and defining roles and responsibilities so everyone is crystal clear about their commitment.
Misalignment is common within organizations. Responders tend to ramp up too quickly with a shiny solution like RFP software, diving right into the next project without a dedicated process.
Discuss the overarching RFP content strategy with your team. If you’re using an RFP management solution, several factors need to be taken into consideration. A tool, even an intelligent one, is only effective if the response team is maximizing its capabilities with a grounded RFP response process.
The common thread with good RFP content management involves ownership and accessibility. Identify owners early on in the process and divvy up responsibilities among a set of core admins.
An internal contact will be the first line of defense with questions, while another admin will handle moderation workflow to ensure content in the answer library is being cleaned, amended, and deduplicated. A common mistake for teams is assigning too many moderators—don’t overmanage, just manage the content well.
Your SMEs (Subject Matter Experts) are also owners of specific sections of an RFP response. With RFP software, an admin can assign content to the correct SMEs so they can avoid viewing parts of the proposal that don’t concern them. Managing content is a happier time for everyone if they have this level of accessibility.
2. Organize Your RFP Content
Organizing your RFP responses and projects make collaboration better across teams and departments.
Many companies want to make sure that every Q&A pair is present, but you can end up with several thousand responses. Even with search functionality in RFP software, quality inevitably decreases when you have too many Q&A pairs living in the answer library—and accessibility is affected as well. So it’s important to strike the right balance between quality and quantity.
Within your proposal management solution, a standardized naming convention for projects is very helpful for busy teams. A good way to go is “date_issuer_product name.” Whatever you decide, make sure it works well for your organization and that admins are consistent with the naming structure.
Tags make searching easier for your team to access the right information. Like project naming, tagging content is also personal to each company. Tagging responses by industry is a favorite for sales teams, since they can find specific content for the targeted industry they are working with.
Last but not least, star rating is a great feature within RFP software that helps you manage your content effectively. This is your way to manually influence the recommendation engine within the answer library. Once you have culled your responses down to a more reasonable set of 200 Q&A pairs, rating allows you to further refine your answer library until you have the top 20 responses.
3. Future-Proof Your Content
To future-proof your content, you need to keep content up-to-date and continually share knowledge within the organization. It’s time to dig into two of the most overlooked parts of an RFP response process—content audits and succession planning.
Keep your content fresh and clean by performing regular content audits. Every organization is unique, but we recommend quarterly reviews of your answer library. If you experience frequent changes with pricing or product specifications, then you’ll audit your content bi-monthly, monthly, or even weekly.
For those with RFP software, enable answer library moderation and customize alerts to your preferred content audit cadence. You’ll receive a friendly email reminder when it’s time to clean house.
If you don’t have RFP software—and your answer library exists in a spreadsheet—you can still be diligent about content audits as long as you refer back to Tip #1. Make sure you have resources allocated to manage your content.
Succession planning is often overlooked by companies, but this is a big one. Do you know who is next in line to manage your RFP responses?
Find out now rather than later, in case your RFP content “gatekeeper” suddenly moves on. It happens, and you want to be in a position to keep your RFP process moving forward so you don’t miss out on opportunities.
Another process to standardize is training. Although RFP response software is intuitive and doesn’t require special training, there’s still something to be said about having everyone on the same page with content audits and tagging practices, etc. Comprehensive training safeguards your RFP response process as your organization evolves, and team members come and go.
82% of our customers said managing response content all in one place is the primary way RFPIO helps them achieve success. It’s your turn to dominate with RFPIO.