Ask the Expert

RFP Question

Question by: Steven Morgan

Hi Peter,

What would you expect a sales team to be doing before an RFP drops?




This is a great question Steven, thank you.

In my experience sales teams only start to focus on the “Capture Phase” when they get wind an RFP will be dropping. This tends to be up to 3 months prior to any RFP. This leads to a very frantic period of time where stress, anxiety and frustration levels increase significantly, and team dynamics and cohesion suffer.
A quality sales team will consistently be offering feedback into the head office based on their meetings with stakeholders and partner/suppliers. This feedback is a continuous loop and starts immediately you decide they are a target customer. The feedback needs to be focused on what’s happening within your customers business, not selling a product/service.

Understanding how your customer’s business runs on a daily basis, helps give you a clearer picture of where you can possibly make a difference:
• What are they doing well?
• Where are their challenges/issues?
• What are their aspirations for the business?
• Do they like innovation or prefer to run with the pack?

By developing a regular routine of capturing information you are better positioned when an RFI or RFP drops. Focusing on the customer’s business rather than on selling a product allows you to gain insights into the business, including uncovering challenges your customer isn’t aware of. This is where you start to develop trust between you and your customer.