Amusing comments from bid team members the other day, discussing customer’s procurement processes: “It feels like customers use work experience students to write their RFPs” and “Do purchasers get paid by the question?” I hope there are a few buyers out there reading this: understanding the challenges facing folks on the other side of the negotiating table can be really beneficial.
- 86% of bid team members agree that the better the customer’s RFP, the better the proposal they submit in response.
- Only 14% agree that the quality of the RFPs that they receive is very high.
- Only 8% find that RFPs provide sufficient context on the customer’s business issues and the project’s drivers.
- 91% state that the length and complexity of the RFP is not always commensurate with the value of the deal.
- 85% agree that there is a direct correlation between the quality of the RFP and the quality & cost-effectiveness of their proposed solution.
- 83% agree that “the less time we have to respond, the poorer the quality of solution that we can offer”.
- Only 5% of proposal teams have customers who seek feedback on the quality of their RFPs.
And on the flipside, most buyers are disappointed by the quality of the proposals that they receive. There’s a self-perpetuating climate of mutually low expectations here. Perhaps the two groups should talk more. (Actually, if anyone out there – from either side – fancies being part of any such discussions, let us know and we’ll see if we can set up a suitable forum).