The process, people, documentation and sheer amount of hard work involved in building a successful Request for Proposal (RFP) response cannot be underestimated. From the moment the RFP arrives on an organization’s desk, tens (maybe even hundreds) of people need to jumpstart into action and the flurry of numerous documents across thousands of emails and inboxes begins.

However, working with large teams of people and sending files back and forth for multiple revisions, input and approvals can lead to mistakes being made and ultimately that jeopardise your chance of winning that all-important bid. So, what can you do to ensure the process is seamless and secure from start to finish?

At Huddle, we follow a few simple rules to ensure we are in the best position to avoid confusion and errors, increase our conversion rates on successful responses to RFPs, and ensure end-to-end delivery on our wins.

1) Make it easy for all relevant parties to find the information they need – and fast!

In today’s workplace, teams are bombarded with information from every angle and not all of this information – in fact very little of it – will be relevant to people. Being able to find the right information quickly is vital to getting positive responses from all stakeholders. It can be as simple as using clear summary sections, short paragraphs, or illustrating your work into simple diagrams.  In addition, do you provide electronic copies of your RFP that can be quickly searched and accessed from any device? Anything you can do to ensure the decision makers can find and read what they want, when they want it, will help your cause.

2) It isn’t “me, me, me”, it’s all about the client or prospect

Everyone knows that one person who just loves to talk about themselves. Whatever you’ve done, they’ve done it faster, better or more times! Unfortunately, many responses to RFPs are also like this. They’re far too inward looking and absorbed with the supplier’s offering and technical solutions rather than what the client or prospect actually wants to achieve and the issues they’re currently faced with.  What are the hurdles the client is trying to overcome? What are the business objectives for the client? It’s all about them and the key to a successful tender response is being client-focused. Step into the client’s shoes and re-read your response to their RFP. Carefully consider whether the document you’re reading aligns to their goals, company objectives, and the benefits they’d like to see rather than simply being an advertisement for your product, with a blow-by-blow account of features.

3)  Be different!

What’s going to make an impact and ensure you, your services, and your RFP really stand out? Is your tender response focused on how your service can benefit that particular client and examples of other relevant success stories or is it just a list of facts? You need to ensure you get all your qualifier information into the tender, of course, but then you have to build something unique into your proposal, which brings extra value to your clients and can be tailored to their needs.

Here at Huddle, we ensure focus on these three key points and leverage our own technology to connect the dots across our global business. This ensures that the right people are involved in the process at the right time and everyone involved in the bid always has access to the latest documents.

Don’t just take our word for it – bid management is one of the key ways our clients use Huddle’s cloud collaboration offering. In fact, Keolis, one of Europe’s leading public transport operators, in a joint venture partnership with Amey used Huddle to manage its successful bid to operate the Docklands Light Railway automated metro network. Tasked with bringing together internal staff and colleagues at Amey to work on the documentation for both the pre-qualification stage and bid itself, Keolis Huddle enabled secure cross-firewall collaboration. The organization had to capture all the required work streams, draft documents, research and create a final submission. With around 40 people working on the bid at its peak, full audit trails, version control and approvals were vital.

According to Jim Lawless, Bid Director for Keolis Amey Docklands: “Huddle proved to be an efficient and effective tool for ensuring that we had a shared knowledge of each element of our bid. It provided the perfect platform for the team to work across the many plans required for the Invitation to Tender and allowed us to secure a consistent vision and approach, which ultimately delivered a winning bid.”

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