Automating your RFP response or sales proposal processes will be exciting for some team members. The thought of going home on time, because they can get their work done faster using RFP software or proposal software technology, provides fabulous incentive to improve existing processes!
However, not every team member embraces change. Let’s face it, some people simply don’t like change. Some team members easily adapt to new technology, while others move more cautiously.
Furthermore, proposal deadlines may be tight. It seems that there is always a proposal project that demands our attention and threatens process improvement.
These challenges are real. With a good rollout plan for your RFP response or proposal process improvement, you can address the challenges. This is to share 5 simple tips that have helped others successfully implement technology with excellent results.
Tips to Implement Process Improvement using RFP Software
1. Stage the rollout
Instead of implementing all new processes or software capabilities simultaneously, introduce the process changes and technology in stages. For example, make RFP response content available in the new centralized database or library. Let team members get used to searching and finding content in the new location. Once everyone is engaged and comfortable finding content in the new location, move to the next stage of the rollout plan which might change the way in which RFP responses and proposals are assembled.
2. Evaluate as you go
The rollout might look great on paper, but there may be obstacles along the way. Stop to evaluate issues and modify the plan when needed. Proactively collect feedback from team members and effected stakeholders. For example, if the structure of the new database is confusing to some team members, get their input and make library structure improvements.
3. Set a deadline
You’ll have some early adopters on your team who transition to new technology and processes immediately. Other team members may make excuses as to why they have not transitioned. Set an end date to turn off the old system. This may mean removing the content from the SharePoint drive, or removing their access to folder. Some team members will hold out as long as they can, and may need to be kicked off!
4. Train, train, train
Training is not a one-time event. People learn differently and very few will be proficient with a new system after seeing it once. Provide team members with exercises to practice the lessons learned in training. Practice will make them proficient.
Schedule lunch-and-learns or online review sessions. Get team members involved—have them share interesting features and techniques they discovered.
Record training sessions so members can watch again as needed. Write quick reference guides for your internal processes. Ongoing training will keep the new system and process in the forefront of team member’s daily activities.
5. It's never done
Your software solution will be updated with new capabilities. There will be new team members who need to learn your processes and technology used. Be proactive in planning for these changes to ensure smooth transition when there is an upgrade, or a new team member brought on board.
Editor's Note: For new clients, and clients with new initiatives, the SalesEdge Professional Services team always incorporates project kickoff meetings to scope out the client’s project goals and requirements. As needed, we assess the plan with the client’s project lead. All projects conclude with a follow-up meeting to assess the achievements and identify opportunities to ensure the client’s continued success.