By now, you realize the best approach to managing RFPs is to treat them like a project. You know the challenges of the RFP response process backward and forward—the import/export formatting issues, collaborative bottlenecks, and information silos. Now it’s time for a better framework.
RFP response software is the answer. But how will you implement this transformative change?
With any big change, an organization will experience growing pains. You know the change is worth it. But you need a strategy to get everyone on board, along with a roadmap for continued success. Let’s explore several tactics for navigating RFP response software implementation.
Start smart: Early implementation and your answer library
Implementing new technology is tough. Platform functionality is intricate, the learning curve is steep, and many team members are change-resistant. The goal is to protect time and resources, so RFP response software implementation is a positive experience from day one.
Plan implementation carefully
Make implementation a priority and stick to the schedule. Consider every detail and construct a sensible timeline. After you have devised a roll-out plan, begin implementation as soon as possible. You want to give your team plenty of time to feel comfortable and confident before using RFP response software on a pressing RFP project.
Prepare your content foundation
A well-constructed answer library is the foundation of successful RFP software implementation. Quick access to accurate information saves time and enhances collaboration. Focus your energy on the RFP answer library set up before the official roll-out. Ensure optimum quantity and quality of responses, and use an effective tagging strategy.
Let technology do the heavy lifting
You’ll gain tons of efficiency within the first few months of implementation…as long as you let RFP response software do the heavy lifting. Import long-winded RFPs and complex security questionnaires to populate your answer library. Allow the system to load and automate your response content. All you have to do is organize and refine after that.
Collaborate: Team buy-in, training, and mentorship
Make RFP response software integral to your team’s process. Get team buy-in early so everyone is collaborating happily on the new platform. Encourage salespeople to communicate with marketing through this great new tool.
Keep people accountable and assess any training needs. Have the sales team, for example, complete a short check-box form to answer these questions:
- Is this RFP, RFI, or security questionnaire in the platform?
- Have you been trained on the tool?
Getting your team trained—and consistently using a solution like RFPIO for responding to all business queries—is the name of the game.
Onboard newer, less-experienced team members early. They’ll be the most receptive to using a new solution that makes their job easier, so this is a great strategy for promoting change throughout your organization.
Implement a mentorship process to phase your response management team into using the tool independently. With RFPIO’s unlimited licensing model, you can create a “test” account for your team to practice in before going live. Consider requiring “certification” before granting live access to ensure quality control once people are unleashed in the solution.
Stay the course: Ongoing success with RFP response software
Once everyone is using RFP response software consistently, you’ll need to keep the ball rolling. Make the effort to continue getting buy-in from your team and win over anyone resistant to change.
Share team success stories
The best way to sell the solution is by showing how it works. Publish a weekly newsletter with real-world success stories everyone can relate to. Highlight time-savings, increased sales, and collaborative efficiencies.
Hold monthly user groups
Help your team circumvent any issues that arise, and stay proactive about content. A great way to build this collaborative spirit is to hold monthly user groups. This can be a Q&A session focused on troubleshooting. It’s also a great time to find out what kind of response content your team needs.
Leverage and create resources
Learning never ends when you’re improving your response process, even with technology lending a helping hand. Be sure everyone is familiar with your RFP response software provider’s help center. Design customized internal user guides based on roles and scenarios as needed. Webinars and brief videos are especially useful.
Continue learning and growing
Keep informed about RFP software functionality and feature updates so you stay on top of your game. RFPIO offers customer success webinars (which you can also watch on-demand on our YouTube channel). Additionally, we hold annual user conferences that better equip our customers and help them build a community with their peers.
Change is never easy, but it’s absolutely necessary for improvement. Get your team on the road to greater RFP success with RFPIO.