An RFP, which stands for request for proposal, is a competitive bid document solicited by a company or government agency that clearly specifies the issuer’s purchasing needs and any additional information that may aid the recipient to put together a quality response.
For example, if the buyer wishes to get a CRM system implemented in their organization, they will look for capable technical partners who can fully implement the CRM for them. In such a case, the buyer will prepare an RFP that will detail their requirements for the CRM system.
For a supplier, receiving an RFP means that a potential customer is considering them as an option to meet their purchasing needs. The potential seller now needs to put together a quality proposal that addresses buyer’s needs and do so in a timely manner.
To expand upon the CRM implementation example above, an implementation agency will provide a detailed proposal explaining their solution, address the need for workshops and trainings, implementation timeline, pricing, etc. And it needs to do so in in a clear and understandable way – the audience may not be technical enough to understand industry jargon – before the submission deadline just to be considered for the next phase of the bidding process.
Whether you put together a request or a proposal, teamwork and expert input is a must
A proposal can only be as good as the quality of the RFP it is trying answer. To create a proper and easy-to-respond to RFP, procurement needs to work together with the department that is looking to make the purchase as well as other departments that may be affected. If the project is especially complex or specialized and you lack in-house expertise, you may even want to include external advisors just to ensure you’re asking the right questions.
To get back to our CRM example, you may have sales making the initial request, but then IT may need to get involved to fill in the technical requirements and departments such as customer support and marketing may also need to use this CRM in the future, meaning their needs need to be considered as well.
Answering an RFP with a consideration-worthy proposal is not much different; sales will need to be involved and they in turn will need to involve other teams who add information based on their expertise.
That means there’s a lot of coordination on both sides of the table, something that only intensifies once you get to the negotiation phase. But before you get there, getting everything down in a document that then ends up being readable is a project in itself. Documill streamlines and automates the way companies coordinate and collaborate on these complex document creation projects – regardless of whether they’re buy side or sell side.
- Use Documill Leap to orchestrate who does what and when without additional overhead
- Take documents from a simple .docx template through various iterations with unlimited collaborators, revision rounds, approvals and – when needed – electronic signatures
- Automate what can be automated to keep every document project on schedule with minimum management
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