Has your B2B company received a Request for Proposal (RFP) from a prospective buyer? In the B2B industry, buyers often use them to solicit bids from vendors and suppliers. They'll send an RFP to multiple vendors or suppliers, after which they'll choose the best one from which to purchase the stated products or services. Because of their competitive nature, RFPs require a strategic response. Following these five tips will help your B2B company secure more contracts and generate more sales from RFPs.
#1) Identify the Problem
When responding to an RFP, you need to identify the buyer's problem. Buyers seek products and services from B2B companies to solve a problem within their own business's operations. Maybe a buyer is currently using outdated equipment, or perhaps a buyer is struggling with a particular step in its production cycle. Regardless, you should identify the buyer's problem so that you can offer a solution to it in your response.
#2) Research the Buyer
Like with most sales-related correspondences, you should research the buyer before responding to his or her RFP. A little research goes a long way in winning contracts. You can research the buyer on LinkedIn. As the world's largest social media network for professionals, it's an invaluable research tool. LinkedIn can reveal the buyer's job title, duties and responsibilities, certification, work history and more.
#3) Schedule a Meeting
You don't have to respond to an RFP immediately after receiving it. In most cases, it's best to schedule a meeting with the buyer beforehand. By scheduling a meeting with the buyer, you'll have the opportunity to ask him or her questions. You can inquire about the buyer's problem and what he or she is trying to seek as a solution. With this information, you'll be able to craft a more compelling response to the buyer's RFP that increases your chance of landing a contract.
#4) Offer a Competitive Price
Don't forget to offer a competitive price when responding to an RFP. After all, buyers use RFPs to solicit bids from multiple vendors or suppliers, so they are typically conscious about pricing. If you offer a price that's higher than that of your competitors', the buyer may not choose it. Your response needs to offer a low and competitive price.
#5) Don't Give Up
Responding to RFPs can be time-consuming. Some B2B companies, in fact, ignore RFPs altogether. While it does take time, though, responding to RFPs can bring new buyers to your B2B company, some of whom may become long-term buyers that stay with your B2B company for many years thereafter. You may not win all the RFPs to which you respond, but that doesn't mean you should give up. Even a single successful RFP contract can prove well worth the time and effort it takes to create a response.