Responders play a pivotal role in winning new business for enterprise organizations. You are a key team member who wears many hats. From content writer to marketing and sales, you add tremendous worth to your organization’s growth strategy.
Your leadership is particularly apparent in the enterprise sales cycle, where the process is long, complex, and high-stakes. A competitive RFP demonstrates to prospective enterprise clients that you understand their pain points and that you are the organization that adds the most value.
Read on to discover how you can pursue highly lucrative opportunities in the enterprise sales cycle with more efficiency and ease.
What is enterprise sales?
Enterprise sales refer to the acquisition of large contracts that involve a higher level of risk than more traditional sales seen in small to medium-sized businesses (SMBs).
Enterprise sales cycles are long, involving multiple decision-makers that bring about large-scale corporate solutions. Contrast this with SMB sales cycles, that are short, lower risk, and fueled by marketing and sales. Enterprise sales offer solutions that are mission-critical to the success of the enterprise, directly impacting business operations at a strategic level.
In general, the enterprise sales model involves solutions that are highly complex, requiring the brains of various subject matter experts. These large-scale enterprise solutions often necessitate more training and customer support.
The role of RFPs in the enterprise sales cycle
Responding to RFPs plays a crucial role throughout the enterprise sales cycle. Unlike SMB sales that often focus on marketing to win the contract, enterprise sales must address various components, including onboarding, security, support, and automation.
Make no mistake, RFPs always require the input of many different SMEs. This intensive collaboration from subject matter experts is even more apparent and necessary in the case of enterprise sales.
Most RFPs are submitted in the final eight hours before the RFP is due. Of these, 35% are submitted in the final hour. Submitting close to the RFP deadline is fine if your team is taking your time to fine-tune your response content. It’s not fine when you’re figuring out content creation at the last-minute. Your organization could miss out on potentially valuable, highly-lucrative contracts just because you didn’t have time to produce high-quality content and go the extra mile.
Although the enterprise sales cycle is long and the acquisition costs are steep, the rewards are enormous. For these big-ticket proposals, it’s imperative that your enterprise has an efficient RFP response process in place. In doing so, your teams can provide the level of detail required for each proposal to close large-scale accounts.
Proposal software brings ease to the enterprise
Andrea Kameron is an RFP analyst at Reflexis Inc. who integrated RFPIO into her enterprise tech stack. Soon after bringing RFPIO to her organization, her response management team reduced the RFP completion time span by one week. Over the next few months, Reflexis doubled efficiency and submitted twice as many RFPs as before.
With proposal software, Andrea can organize questions into sections so they are presented to internal collaborators in a very clear and straightforward way.
How does this approach help streamline and automate the enterprise sales cycle? It encourages the RFP responder to use content already available in the library, rather than tag-teaming the Q&A content to already time-burdened SMEs across departments.
Here are a few other benefits of using proposal software like RFPIO to support the enterprise sales cycle.
Brand consistency is one of the most common challenges for RFP responders. Because many different SMEs are involved throughout the enterprise sales cycle, each player has their own idea of what makes for the most attractive font types, headers, and bullet point styles. Proposal software resolves visual inconsistencies, thanks to systematic exporting capabilities.
Multi-dimensional response platform
Unlike traditional proposal software, RFPIO is a response management platform that supports many use cases beyond responding to RFPs. Use RFPIO to respond to any business queries: RFx (RFIs, RFQs, RFPs), statements of work (SOW), security questionnaires, proactive proposals, and sales proposals.
Centralized, collaborative, and compliant
A centralized Content Library allows your team to easily find and repurpose content. Because RFPIO has an unlimited user model, your enterprise team works in a collaborative environment to quickly produce standout content. To maintain compliance requirements, simply set up automated content audit reviews and invite your legal and compliance teams to leverage the platform.
By minimizing the content time investment during the enterprise sales cycle, you’re able to focus on crafting a captivating narrative that speaks to your prospect’s objectives and makes your enterprise solution stand out. Proposal software supports your sales efforts, so you can focus on landing the next big deal with greater efficiency and ease.