Within seconds on the first business day of the New Year, I made an update to our RFP database that in the past consumed hours!
With one simple update, I changed the copyright year from 2015 to 2016 across all automated sales, marketing and customer support documents that use this information. With this update, the entire team will produce documents, including RFP response documents, with the correct year!
No one knew, but I was doing the happy dance. I celebrated that I did not have to undertake the arduous task of updating multiple documents and presentation slides in our RFP database, a Qvidian Proposal Automation content library. I celebrated knowing that the team will deliver the right information.
Essential Content Management
For the start of a new year, new quarter, or new fiscal period, here is our checklist of Content Management tasks. Performing these tasks may require more than the seconds that it took to update the copyright year, but the resulting proposal-ready RFP database is, as they say, priceless.
- Review and Update Default Value Merge Codes. In our Qvidian content library, Default Value Merge Code fields are used to globally apply information, including the copyright year, number of years in business, number of customers, and financial information, to content records throughout the RFP database. We define the value of the merge code once and apply the code to all the appropriate content records. When we update the value of the merge code, all content records immediately provide the correct information. The task of updating content takes minutes, rather than hours or days.
- Identify Content with Expired Review Dates. We assign Expiration Dates to content records that require routine review and update. Qvidian automatically notifies us of expiring and expired content. Our first priority is to address outdated information and coordinate with subject matter experts to review and update the content.
- Identify Content Not Recently Updated. Qvidian automatically tracks the date when content records were last updated. For content without Expiration Dates, we use the Advanced Filters in Qvidian’s Search to identify content that has not been updated recently and is in need of content review.
- Identify Frequently Used Content. We search for the favorites, or the frequently used content, by searching on the “number of times used” for a selected time frame. This list identifies the most visible content that perhaps warrants a special review just to confirm that the content is accurate and is “on message.”
- Identify Infrequently Used Content. We want to accelerate the RFP response process by eliminating from search results the less frequently used content. We identify content that is never, or is infrequently, used – and consider moving the answer records to a less visible archived folder.
- Assess User Activity. Finally, we use Qvidian’s Event Auditing tools to identify who is actively using content – and who is not. Both groups may have valuable feedback on how we can improve our database. From the active users, we seek feedback on how to improve our content and services. The list of those who are not using the database identifies opportunities for training or possibly reassignment of database privileges.
We encourage you to perform an audit of your RFP answer content periodically – at the start of the year or business period, or when your business schedule permits. And please note that the above list of Content Management tasks does not define all your options. Your Content Management processes should be tailored to your specific business requirements.
Please connect with SalesEdge when you need to define a Content Management strategy that keeps your RFP database accurate and up to date – and ready for the next round of RFPs and other questionnaires.