The RFP is a fickle beast. With no “right” way to construct or develop a single RFP, and with varying formats and components for each and every solution, it can be difficult and time consuming to get your RFP just right. Assessing and prioritizing the needs of your organization, what features and capabilities will help solve your problems, and which solution is ultimately the best one for the job is a daunting task. Four of the major challenges of constructing an effective RFP and how to get past them are below.
1. Getting the right people involved
There are more decision makers involved in the decision making process than ever before, meaning it isn’t just one department or individual deciding what’s best. Many solutions affect multiple departments, which requires input from multiple departments. When constructing your RFP, the first step is to make sure all affected parties are involved in order to address the problems and needs of everyone.
2. Identifying and prioritizing needs
The challenge of having multiple decision makers involved means that each brings his or her own pain points and needs to the table. These vary based on role and responsibilities; a CTO’s priorities may be very different from the CMO’s. It can be challenging to identify all departments’ pain points and rank them based on importance, while keeping all teams happy. Be sure that each team has its needs prioritized and that the most crucial problems are addressed in your RFP.
3. Determining your investment boundaries – and who is paying
An RFP indicates a costly investment; you want to make sure that your money is going a long way to solving your organizational problems. But another issue with multiple stakeholders in the decision process is figuring out which team is fronting the bill. One way to do this is by determining which team is spearheading the investment, and weighing this against the benefit all other departments experience. Each company has its own protocol surrounding multi-team investments, so make sure yours is clearly understood by all parties involved before starting your RFP creation.
4. Coming up with a timeline
There are many time-restricting challenges surrounding an RFP: when the RFP should be completed by your own company, when vendors should have it filled out and sent back, when your company makes a decision based on the RFP, and how long implementation of the actual solution should take. Having a strict and clear timeline is important to make sure your organization can start feeling the benefits of your solution investment as soon as possible.
There are a number of challenges surrounding what an RFP should include, as well as who should be involved. To help you construct a sales enablement RFP, including crucial questions to include, download our free guide below!