Writing an amazing RFP is essential for finding the best vendor for your IT telecom and cloud needs. In this blog, we’ll give you the tips you need to write a killer RFP and how RFP writing software can simplify the process while also saving you money.
Let’s dive in.
How do you write a good RFP?
A good RFP will clearly communicate to potential vendors what your goals, schedule, budget and potential challenges are. It must be specific enough to attract vendors who can actually meet your needs, but not so niche that it makes potential vendors rule themselves out unnecessarily. Whether or not you rely on RFP writing software, most experts recommend you include:
- Background or context on your company and your project
- A brief outline of the project goals and the services you need from a vendor
- Details on proposal submissions and your selection schedule
- Your project timeline and details on how flexible your schedule is
- A checklist of what vendor proposals should include
- An outline of your expectations and how you’ll evaluate proposals
- Details of any project constraints or potential challenges
- Your budget for the work you’re asking vendors to do
How RFP writing software can help
Choosing RFP writing software over the traditional paper-based manual development processes has a number of benefits. The right software can make your RFP process, simpler, faster, and more productive.
A survey by IDC found that more than 80% of business leaders — ranging from sales, HR, procurement as well as other departments — said that working with disconnected internal systems leads to problems. Developing an RFP often involves input from different departments or stakeholders, each with their own priorities and goals.
RFP writing software can help streamline the process and improve collaboration between departments. Choosing from pre-developed questions helps ensure you don’t miss any important aspects of your RFP and makes it easier to develop an RFP that will attract the kind of vendors you’re looking for.
When selecting RFP writing software, look for one that has an extensive library of questions written specifically for your particular industry. Software that also shows answers that vendors have previously given to those RFP questions is even better — as it gives you a better understanding of what to expect.
It’s important to be realistic in your timeline when sending out an RFP. On average, the process can last two to three months. And while finding a vendor to partner with shouldn’t be something you rush into, sometimes you just don’t have that kind of time. Can RFP writing software help if you’re working against the clock?
Yes, it can.
With a library of questions ready for you to select and add to your RFP, you won’t spend days or weeks going back and forth trying to write questions as a committee. The need for lengthy collaborative processes and question development is largely eliminated.
As a bonus, RPF writing software that includes answers that vendors in your sector have provided to the questions in previous RFPs can help you eliminate the RFP process entirely if you’re really pressed for time. You might be able to hone in on a suitable vendor while developing your RFP.
Research shows that procurement leaders are already recognizing the value of predictive analytics and marketplace recommendations — 81% of procurement leaders say they already use them. But the power to foresee what kind of responses your RFP will attract (and from whom) is simply not there in the manual RFP development process.
RFP writing software, on the other hand, gives users greater insight into the vendor space. It allows your organization to refine your RFP so you’ll attract the vendors that best fit your needs. After all, the success of your RFP process lies with you — only the right RFP will bring in bids from the right vendors.
If you’re considering using software to create your RFP, look for one that offers access for both procurement teams and potential vendors. Just as seeing vendors’ previous RFP responses gives you a better understanding of what they can offer, getting to see the questions companies include on their RFPs — and the answers other vendors have provided — gives vendors a better idea of what you need. The system effectively improves communication between future partners each time they use it.
RFP writing software for telecom and cloud
DirectRFP®’s RFP writing software offers ready-to-use questions and predictive analytics to help companies or consultants improve their RFP process. Our focus on IT, telecom, and cloud procurement means we have built up a database of questions and answers specific to your industry, providing a wealth of information that other RFP consultants can’t offer. Ready to learn more? Contact us now.