Responding to a request for proposal is living proof of the old adage, “It takes a village.” With so many contributors and so many moving parts, RFP branding is far from consistent. If you’re reading this, marketer, chances are you’re looking for a better way to execute RFP documents.
Your attention is always divided amongst projects, including RFPs. Your energy is best spent on creating quality content and refining your marketing strategy, not the mechanics of reformatting spreadsheets. But, you know how important RFP responses are to your organization—and you have the content expertise and stamina to knock them out of the park.
Ultimately, you strive to promote brand consistency and increase revenue. And that takes time and effort. RFP branding is easier and more cohesive with automated exporting features. Get ready to transform your RFP document workflow with a smarter approach and RFP automation.
Improve your RFP document workflow in 5 steps
An RFP is a selling document. It should speak for your organization and convey your brand’s purpose and vision. How can you safeguard against branding and messaging inconsistencies to deliver a winning RFP document? By improving your workflow first.
1. Apply content creation efficiency to RFPs
Use your in-depth content expertise to make recommendations that speed up and smooth out the creation process. You produce more content than anyone else at your organization. Help your proposal management team draft responses in the most efficient way possible. The more time you have to refine your RFP document later, the better off you’ll be with your deliverable.
2. Establish roles in your RFP workflow
Together, with your proposal manager, define who is involved in the content creation cycle with every request for proposal. Your sales team handles pricing and clarifies questions with the issuer. You and your team review for brand consistency before executives sign off. Document your RFP response process so the workflow is defined from start to finish.
3. Protect your RFP response content
Be clear that only your team creates, manages, and approves all of your organization’s RFP content. Subject matter experts (SMEs) own specific questions and sections. But your team owns the final RFP document generated as a result of that collaboration before the issuer ever lays eyes on it.
4. Curate and cultivate your content library
The epicenter of a great RFP response process is the RFP content library. When curated and cultivated effectively, it’s really your internal knowledge center. Every step of the way, your team will have ready-made, reusable content at their fingertips. The final deliverable is that much easier for you when approved content is accessible to other contributors.
5. Spend time on the presentation
At the end of the workflow, after all of the information and content is pieced together, you’ll be prepared for final formatting and export. With a clear division of labor, you maintain control over the final document and can dedicate time and attention to the important details of the presentation. The result is a polished, professional, and engaging RFP document.
Make RFP branding seamless with RFP automation
“As an RFP responder, really we’re the front line. It’s important that what we’re giving prospects is relevant, timely, and accurate. For a lot of our prospects, an RFP is one of our first touchpoints. It’s where we develop our tone, brand consistency, and professionalism. It’s really about ensuring all of those elements are met through RFPIO, and that we’re putting our best foot forward.”
Hope Henderson is the Marketing Communications Coordinator for Alera Group, one of RFPIO’s customers, and a brand consistency champion for RFPs. She stresses the critical nature of RFPs and marketing’s key role in that process. So, how does RFPIO ensure all of those elements are met?
As you are putting all the pieces of the puzzle together, your deliverable might resemble a crazy patchwork quilt rather than a cohesive RFP document. You spend valuable time reformatting everything to create the final deliverable…and that’s just one RFP document of potentially hundreds you will encounter in a single year. RFP automation supports your efforts to save you time and standardize content.
RFPIO offers customizable export templates. It’s up to you to maximize RFP document potential through these capabilities. Template customization for RFP documents looks different for everyone, but the point is that it’s your tool for your team.
Create templates that represent unique branding needs and simply export your content in that chosen template during the final stages of your RFP project. Are you a SaaS company with a product that serves healthcare and financial organizations? If your organization works with different verticals, design a template with distinct branding for each vertical.
All you do is run the RFP document through its appropriate template, and the formatting is polished for you. No more realigning lists and resizing headers and fonts. By using RFPIO, you end up with a well-designed, polished RFP document that represents your organization through professionalism and brand consistency.
RFP automation is a natural progression for marketers searching for advanced content creation methods with RFP documents. Transformation starts with improving your workflow, then finding technology that supports your content creation goals.