Modernize the RFP Process: Modernize Your Work
As public sector contracts become more competitive in response to evolving technology, the phrase “modern problems require modern solutions” couldn’t be more true. The key to success with modernizing an RFP process is investing in technology that’s easy to use and efficient for client communication. With the right supporting technology, all other aspects of your proposal become a little easier.
If your RFP process hasn’t changed since you owned a flip phone, maybe it’s time to make a change. Keep reading to see how you can keep up with current trends in modernizing RFPs and include them in your proposals.
Create a Flexible RFP Process in a Virtual World
One of the best things you can do right now is to ensure the continuity of products and services for clients. Confirm that your project and staffing plans allow virtual work with the offeror if needed. To create an on-trend, modern RFP process, respond with relevant answers sensitive to changing needs as employees work from home. Always dedicate time to your plans for addressing additional assistance your client may need. If you strategize ahead of time, you won’t be scrambling to figure out how you can help later on.
Of course, extend this same level of flexibility to client communication. Make sure you have the technology to communicate long-distance with clients. Secure a messaging app where you and your team can quickly exchange messages. If you haven’t already, download a teleconferencing app like Zoom as a safe and distance-friendly alternative to in-person meetings. Treat virtual communication with the same priority and responsiveness as if the client were sitting across from you.
Offer Security for Peace of Mind
As technology continuously advances, security is more than likely a significant concern for your potential clients when they create an RFP. Explain how you would prevent a security breach and what security protocols you would employ. If you’re a tech company, do you use two-factor authentication when granting access to your data portals? If you’re working with a government entity, how do you give security clearance to the right staff? Account for providing this information in your modern RFP process. The offeror can then rest assured that their data is safe. Plant the seeds of trust in your proposal before the potential project begins.
Include your Background and Values
Your potential client has already identified their requirements and what they expect from you. Create an RFP explaining why your company fits the bill for the project. Include some information on your background and why you do what you do. For example, think about what makes you unique from other competitors. If you’re a minority- or women-owned business, speak to that in your RFP. If you’re at the forefront of developing new technology no other company can offer, highlight that in your response.
Also, don’t forget to mention your values and what drives your vision. You’ve already told the offeror what you do; now tell them why. What does your company hope to improve or change within your industry? Chances are your company’s values align with some asset the offeror is looking for. Be transparent about your offerings during the RFP process and respond in a voice that reflects what your company stands for.
Take Advantage of Design Software
The modern RFP process can be a design ‘gray area.’ RFPs are a bit too complex to develop using programs like Word, but not quite detailed enough to warrant the use of InDesign. The good news is that there are options out there that are created specifically to make your document look good and save you time. Programs like Proposify and Qwilr cover formatting for you and make it easy to add design elements. Doing so adds a modern touch to your proposals and is a massive help if graphic design isn’t your area of expertise.
Choose Electronic Submission
If possible, elect to submit your RFP via an online portal. Online submission is cost-effective and efficient. This helps you avoid common problems caused by mail-in submissions. No more delayed shipping times or chances of losing the proposal in the mail with modern RFP processes!
Online submission often allows you to choose the format of your documents so you can optimize them for viewing. You can also include links or videos to supplement your proposal that can’t be traditionally included in a printed proposal. However, a word of caution when submitting digitally: Always input your proposal into the portal well before the deadline. When it comes close to submission, portals may get overloaded by applicants, resulting in technical problems that prevent on-time submission.
Save Content for a Future RFP Process
If you’ve completed an RFP before, you likely have most of the information you need to get started on your next bid. Once you’ve completed an RFP, save your content in a database so you can use it to inform future bids. This could be your company’s database or something as simple as Google Drive. As with most things, getting started on an RFP is always challenging. Therefore, previous content provides a basic outline for your proposal and makes the entire process feel a little less overwhelming.
You Don’t Have to Modernize Your RFP Process Alone
If you struggle with modernizing your RFP process, you’re not alone! Staying on top of current trends requires time and resources that many smaller companies may not always have. At The Bid Lab, we believe that all companies should receive the support they need to modernize and remain competitive. So keep reading about ways to navigate the changing RFP processes to stay on trend, and check out Bid Banana, the user-friendly RFP search engine, to see the latest bid opportunities on the market.
At The Bid Lab, we truly care about your success and will guide you through your RFP process from start to finish. Additionally, we’re ready to address any questions you may have. The end result is a strong, visually pleasing proposal that you are proud to stand behind. Reach out for a free consultation by calling 1-844-4BIDLAB or emailing email@example.com.