5 RFP response habits for reaching organizational success

The task of responding to RFPs is just like any other habit—some are good, some are bad.

A good habit is using intelligent search in your answer library to find the perfect RFP response. A bad (or, if you prefer…not-so-good) habit is pillaging endless spreadsheets at midnight when your RFP is due first thing tomorrow morning.

No matter the size of your organization, the RFP response process is complex. And habits? Well, they rule your organization more than you think.

The goal is to transform bad habits into good habits. That all starts with deciding it’s time to make a positive change at your organization, so you can achieve success.

Winning habits of successful organizations

Why change your existing RFP response process? Because you want your organization to be liberated from bad habits, so you can make more room for the good.

We don’t often take the time to investigate how habits can impact our organization. But it’s critical to acknowledge them—then focus on improvement. Because a team following good habits is a successful one.

An organization with good habits is completely focused on achieving the best results. They aren’t spending precious hours with manual processes, because they’re using technology that automates repetitive tasks and boosts productivity. The team is in sync, working toward the same goals together instead of working separately in silos.

Every day the organization benefits from these positive habits. Over time, with regular good habits, more success is achieved.

Why good habits matter when responding to RFPs

Think of your health. What is one bad habit you are trying to change? Why are you working so hard to change that bad habit into a good one?

Maybe you want more energy. You want to feel happier. Or, perhaps you want to live longer.

Your RFP response process can experience those same benefits with improved habits. The health of your organization isn’t all that different from physical health.

manage rfps
Let’s say you’re like the majority of organizations, the 84% still using a manual process to respond to RFPs. Turning this bad habit into a good one might mean adopting RFP software to help you manage the process.

Saving time gives your team more energy to focus on high-priority tasks. Without inefficiencies and silos, they’ll feel happier working together toward a common goal. A more sustainable process will help your organization live longer.

When you improve any type of habit, it feels good, right? The RFP response process can undergo the same transformation with a mindset switch.

What habits set proposal teams up for success?

We interviewed proposal managers across industries to learn what differentiates successful proposal teams from the rest, and how technology aids the request for proposal (RFP) process.

In our research, we learned that proposal team headcount is expected to remain at its 2020 status quo throughout 2021, indicating proposal managers will have to do more with less.

75% of organizations plan to respond to more RFPs in 2021 than 2020. But only 37% plan to increase staff.

Organizations with dedicated proposal professionals submit 3x more RFPs than those without

Fewer than half of the respondents to our survey currently use RFP software. This is surprising, considering the fact that those that use RFP software were able to submit 43% more proposals in 2020. Technology is transforming the proposal management landscape, making it easier for organizations to efficiently create their first proposal draft, thus giving them back the time they need to personalize responses to win effectively.

Only 43% of companies use RFP-specific technology today

Check out the full report to learn more about the state of proposal management, including our four recommendations for success in 2021.


Madeleine Work

As Sr. Content Specialist at RFPIO, Madeleine Work is passionate about telling stories of digital transformation. Before diving headfirst into the world of response management, Madeleine lived and worked in Taiwan, using her Mandarin fluency to drive international communication strategy at Taiwanese companies. She graduated magna cum laude from Boston University in 2015. Connect with Madeleine on LinkedIn.

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