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tier RFP process. They use requests for qualifications and requests for information to create a shortlist of providers before it even goes to the RFP. That way you’re limiting the full RFP process to a final five or 10 vendors. This enables the organiza- tion that initiated the RFP to actually review in depth. At the same time, it enables bidders to spend more time creating a quality proposal, because they know that they’re already on a shortlist, as opposed to a cattle call.” Theme 3: Collaboration will be the backbone of the RFP process. More than ever, buyers are connect- ed to information. Consequently, the future of RFPs will make buyers and sellers more connected as well. Potential buyers come to the table


with large amounts of information from their own research. Through a capture plan, vendors can tailor their offering to best meet the needs of potential buyers. However, all that work and research is wasted if both sides can’t communicate clearly and effectively. Managing RFPs manually through email creates a high risk of miscom- munication and inconsistency between vendors. It is also time consuming and makes providing detailed individual feedback extremely difficult. RFP issuers want better answers.


Vendors want more feedback about their responses. And, everyone wants to have enough information to be successful. To accomplish that and reap the benefits of longer partner- ships and fewer RFPs, the process must become more collaborative and transparent.


When we discuss the need for bet- ter buyer and seller collaboration, it may start with a new kind of RFP. The request for partnership methodol- ogy, also known as “collaborative bidding,” encourages buyers and vendors to work together toward an ideal solution, rather than meeting a predefined set of qualifications. A white paper by University of


Tennessee, Knoxville, defines this new kind of RFP: “Request for partner is a term...to describe a highly collabora-


‘‘


There is going to be a hundred thousand doors slammed in your face before one opens, so feel OK about taking rejection. – HEATHER MATARAZZO


tive competitive bidding process used for strategic and complex sourcing initiatives. A key goal is to identify a supplier that is innovative and able to provide transformation through outsourcing, and also is a good ‘fit’ for their organization. For this reason, the competitive bid process is very trans- parent and encourages collaboration.” While not every business may be


ready to workshop procurement with their potential vendors, the idea is promising. Certainly, this collabora- tive mindset will be a big part of the future of RFPs. It’s difficult to know for certain ex- actly what the future holds. However, it seems clear that how buyers and sellers connect through the RFP pro- cess is changing. The shift is already happening – and now is the time to prepare. As RFP issuers pursue effi- ciency, respondents must be prepared


SELLING TIP What Do You Expect?


Our expectations today have a way of becoming reality tomorrow. Most people use negative expressions like, “I thought that would hap- pen,” or, “I’m afraid that doesn’t surprise me,” or, “I could have told you that,” more frequently than you’ll hear them say, “I just knew I could do it,” or, “I was sure it would work out well.”


Why do expectations have such a powerful influence on our lives? Be- cause, when we expect something to go a certain way – whether for better or for worse – we instruct our subconscious senses to be on the alert for the people, places, things, and situations that will make those expectations become reality. That’s why certain people seem to have all the luck – either good or bad. Don’t just hope for the best things in your life; wishing is a potent factor in fairy tales, but your subconscious mechanism doesn’t take it very seriously. Expect the best for yourself, and believe that the best will come to you. Expect to be healthy, happy, successful, popular, and financially secure. This attitude will automatically set your mind in the direction of happi-


ness and fulfillment, and set your feet on the path to a better life. – JOSEPH P. KLOCK


SELLING POWER JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2021 | 35 © 2021 SELLING POWER. CALL 1-800-752-7355 FOR REPRINT PERMISSION.


to improve technology, transparency, and collaboration. Kelly Ellis offered an issuer’s perspective on the potential conse- quences of avoiding change, say- ing, “My best advice is to read the instructions provided and embrace technology that serves the client. For us, if they’re not willing to respond in the tech we use, they’re disqualified. I know that sounds harsh, but it’s not about them – it’s about the client and being able to evaluate vendors fairly.” So, the question is, will your busi- ness be a part of making RFPs better for everyone and subsequently thrive in the future of RFPs? 


Beau Wysong leads the marketing team at RFP360 as the chief marketing officer. He leverages his background in technol- ogy marketing and sales to drive busi- ness growth.


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