Many years ago (ok, THREE years ago), the fine folks at Entrepreneur magazine made a pretty good case for effective RFP responses in a short, powerful article, The 10 Things You Need to Know When Responding to RFPs.
They included, and we paraphrase, things like: know the process, know where to find RFPs to begin with, don’t include your lowest price, and have a response at the ready.
We agree: assuming there are exactly 10 things to know, these would all figure in.
But forget knowing; what are the 10 things to DO with an RFP response? That’s where quoting software doesn’t just help out, but takes over, putting every RFP response on steroids.
Here are three ways to give your RFP responses a lot more “juice.”
1: Templated RFP responses
Why just have a response written (like Entrepreneur recommends), when you can have it almost completely built and ready to send?
Most B2B orgs serve specific vertical markets: before going in search of your next RFP in your given verticals, have your design team or agency create some templated responses with vertical-specific infographics and other visuals to which you only have to add products and pricing. (How do you do that last part? Quoting software.)
2: Bundle up!
Product and pricing configuration made easy
Entrepreneur says “bundle price where you can.” In our opinion — as a sales proposal automation company — that means just about everywhere. And while Entrepreneur meant that as a best practice, in the IQX quoting solution, it’s a feature.
The product and pricing configuration engine at the heart of IQX makes adding the best product mix with your most competitive pricing as easy as 1, 2, CLICK.
3: Get technical!
We don’t mean bamboozle your prospect with tech jargon like “You can't copy the array without parsing the ethernet PPPoE protocol!” or “ input the neural CPU mainframe” (thanks, Jargon Generator!).
We mean understand their systems and how your offer works within those systems. For example, everytime an IQX sales rep connects with a new customer, one of the first conversations we have is about their CRM and/or ERP platforms.
And when your prospect hears you talking about their systems — whether it’s a technology platform, supply chain management standards, hardware, human resources management solutions, etc. — they hear you speaking their language, which can put you on the fast track to closing sales.
To know is not always to do
While we think our friends at Entrepreneur magazine got an awful lot right about RFP responses, we also think they came up a little short when it came time for something actionable.
The things they say you need to know are (surprise, surprise) mostly common sense: don’t give away your secret sauce, leverage back channels, etc.
But knowing is maybe half the battle. Once you start using quoting software, you can turn what you know into something you can do, and that’s not half the battle — that’s winning the whole war.