Juggling RFPs is tough. When your team is tasked with answering multiple RFPs in a short amount of time, it is easy for details to slip through the cracks. And when it comes to RFPs, details can have a big impact on whether your company wins or loses potential business.
Outlining the expectations and responsibilities for the various roles in an RFP team gives all teammates a clear picture of what they are responsible for. From department heads to proposal analysts, knowing which part of the process to pay close attention to, and what actions to perform, can give your team confidence that they have done everything to help form an accurate, up-to-date, winning RFP response.
Read on to learn the importance of setting expectations, understanding responsibilities that are specific to your role, and how having the right proposal software can improve the process of completing RFP-related tasks.
Benefits of Setting Expectations
Developing clear expectations and roles for your RFP team can improve response quality and overall team performance. As we look across key people who play major roles in crafting an RFP response (department heads, RFP managers and analysts), there are two ways in which clear expectations make a big difference: to increase consistency and decrease the risk of mistakes.
Establishing consistent tasks that each team member of the RFP team is responsible for allows your RFP processes to become second nature. When each team member knows what is expected from their performance, and how they will be assessed, they can start to form consistent methods to meet those expectations.
Reduces Risk of Mistakes & Errors
By defining distinct roles on the team, each team member has ownership over a specific piece of the process, reducing the risk of mistakes or items falling through the cracks. Building approval and review workflows that go through multiple layers on the team can help improve quality and consistency even further.
Now that we have established the importance of having clear expectations, let’s discuss the primary actions where the various roles are held accountable.
What is Each Team Member Responsible For?
When developing an outline or performance checklist, you want to ensure that actions are specific to each person’s role and used to evaluate their performance.
Here are a few key responsibilities that fall on the shoulders of a department head, RFP manager and analyst, along with proposal software features that can lighten your load.
It is the department head’s responsibility to align their organization in support of the company’s goals. Tasks that fall under that responsibility include guaranteeing that major company projects are on track to completion and collaborating with a variety of managers.
- Ensure Major Projects Stay on Track
As someone who oversees the various projects being completed by your organization, you are held accountable for ensuring that they are carried out at the proper pace. Part of succeeding at this task, is making sure no team in your organization is taking on a heavier workload than they have the bandwidth to carry.
- Collaborate with Managers
In order to carry out major projects in your organization, you need to equip your department with the best possible processes and procedures to follow. Collaborating with managers is key to establishing department standards. They will provide the insight that is necessary to empower your team and ensure that everyone is supporting the overarching company goals.
The central responsibility of an RFP Manager is to maintain an accurate, up-to-date content library (or database) for their team and oversee the completion of day-to-day RFP-related tasks. Often, an RFP Manager must do this for multiple projects at a time, so having the software capabilities is key.
- Confirm the Use of Accurate Information
Presenting out-of-date information in your organization’s RFP response can give the issuing company a false account of what your company is truly currently capable of – or worse lock you into pricing or expectations that your company can’t meet. Having features dedicated to maintaining your content library, gives you the confidence that the content used by your team will always showcase your company’s most up-to-date and strongest assets.
Also, being able to filter your content library for the content that is most frequently used, allows you to perform a quick skim of your most frequently used content that makes up your responses.
- Ensure Completion of Day-to-Day Activities
In leading your RFP team to the completion of your response, you first have the responsibility to oversee the completion of their daily tasks and intervene if necessary. These daily tasks may seem small or have little significance at the forefront, but they serve as the foundation to the quality of your response, and determine your team’s ability to meet the issuing company’s deadline.
So before sending your company’s response to the issuer, make sure every step associated with the stages in your RFP process is completed. With software capabilities dedicated to efficient project management, you can confirm that your team is completing their daily RFP-related task.
Analysts and Associates
Often referred to as RFP Writers or Proposal Analysts, these are the team members whose responsibility is to select the best content from the library and tailor responses to the RFP. RFP Writers are also tasked with maintaining communication with SMEs.
- Collaborate with SMEs
In the process of gathering content to use in your response, you will often need to reach out to SMEs to review or update content. Since they are often pulled from various directions, you want to make the process of receiving their expertise as seamless as possible. Developing a thorough approval process with the proper support from your proposal software, can make this task less daunting and even encourage participation from SMEs.
Some proposal software features that contribute to accomplishing this goal are, the ability to assign a piece of content to a specific SME, set expiration dates and review cycles, attach notes for the SME, and enable notifications.
- Complete Questionnaire and Perform Quality Assurance
By going through the pages of your response, you can verify that you have done your due diligence in making sure every question was met with the best content possible. Luckily, if you are given the ability to work natively in applications that you are highly familiar with, such as Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel, this task can be completed in a breeze.
Having RFP software equipped with Microsoft Office integration gives you the ability to answer questions directly in its applications. Plus, due to its familiarity, you can import a template your organization already has used, eliminating any surprise formatting mishaps in the process of publishing.
Adhering to the responsibilities above can improve the quality and speed at which your company’s RFP team completes their responses. From team managers to associates, everyone can make use of a reference sheet and criteria, which will form the basis of their evaluation.
Improve the RFP Process for the Whole Team with the Right Software!
Outlining your team’s responsibilities and executing on RFP responses doesn’t have to be stressful! The features and capabilities highlighted throughout this blog can all be found in RocketDocs.
At RocketDocs we enable all parties involved in crafting a winning RFP response, with the latest features to ease their processes. Schedule a free demo today and see how we can help you complete your daily task.