Every time you get an RFP, it’s a BFD, or at least it should be (BFD = Big Financial Driver, of course…). For most businesses, the arrival of an RFP should be the same as a bell ringing in a fire station—time to spring into action!
Because @@the sooner you reply to an RFP, the sooner you could secure a new customer@@ which is why it’s important to have RFP response templates you can easily and quickly customize for any possible inquiry your business may receive.
The early bird gets the business
We hate to break it to you, but your prospect is probably “seeing other people.” It’s rare, if ever, that an RFP is sent to only one possible vendor, which means a timely—ideally, an immediate—response is critical.
This means your CPQ solution—in addition to having a preconfigured catalog of products—should have a preconfigured library of response templates that have been shown to drive business. As importantly, it means your team should be schooled in the importance of immediacy. With very few exceptions, responding to an RFP should come before other work.
Be brief and bet on benefits
@@Be brief in your responses to an RFP. Every business values precision and efficiency@@ and you have a chance right from the start to show in your response that you value them, too.
You should list features where appropriate, but don’t worry too much about a deep dive into feature details, because it’s a near certainty that your prospect recognizes in your business and products the features required to meet their needs (you probably wouldn’t have received an RFP otherwise).
And in everything you deliver to them, ensure you @@speak in benefits language more often than features language. The reason is: “features tell, benefits sell.”@@ Which means that your prospect is less interested in what your solution does, and more interested in the business benefits it delivers, so ensure your RFP response templates hit the customer-facing benefits repeatedly to help you sell, sell, sell.
Vertical marketing means vertical targeting
Although a CPQ solution is essential to quickly delivering proposals and quotes, it’s only ever as good as the content (such as the templates) you put into it. Ideally, you have RFP templates customized to the vertical markets you serve, and more than a few for each market.
It’s a huge time- and cost-saver to have preconfigured content that demonstrates both your understanding of a given market and details how your product fits into it. And if you can include vertically targeted testimonials, client lists, or case studies in your RFP response templates, even better.
Imagine you work for a manufacturing company, and you have an RFP out for supply chain management software. You get a response to your RFP that shows industry data and uses industry terms. You see a screenshot of the software you need. You see clear connections of the benefits of the product being offered and the industry it serves. And you even see a list of company names in your space you recognize. You’ll say, “Wow… they know my industry… their products are trusted by companies I recognize… they’re sure to save me time and money.”
Because the reason your prospect sent out an RFP is the same reason you’re using a CPQ solution. Like all businesses, they want to save time and money.
If you'd like to learn more about this topic or see IQX for yourself with a free demo, contact us.