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Solving the RFP Response Problem

Matthew Martin
Marketing Manager

This blog is part of a series focused on Sales Enablement, a modern business solution designed to help sales and marketing teams sell more effectively using information, content, and tools. Each blog will focus on a topic in the transformational technology space that can help sales and marketing become more efficient.

If your sales team has ever taken on an RFP, you know what a time suck they can be.

Sales reps spend an inordinate amount of time on the RFP process, which usually includes trying to track down answers from a time-strapped sales engineer, or time wasted on hunting small details. Information is organized inefficiently and then stored in ways specific to the sales rep and not systematized in a content library.

Each RFP likely requires a certain amount of reinventing the wheel in a manual process that lacks efficiency. But new software, powered by artificial intelligence (AI), can empower sales reps to improve the process for responding to RFPs.

The problem with RFPs

RFP doesn’t stand for “ridiculously frustrating process” — but it should. Most of the time, the process companies take for responding to an RFP is highly inefficient. Unless you have the right software, your sales team is virtually guaranteed to run around trying to find subject matter experts (SMEs) to contribute to an RFP that’s likely due tomorrow. Hubspot studied this phenomenon and found that 60% of your sales reps are spending two hours or more just on data entry.

As sales reps pursue SMEs, who have no ownership in the RFP response, the situation becomes highly frustrating. For the reps, it is like herding cats to pull everyone together to respond by the set deadline.

RFP responses are most often inefficient, manual processes that require extensive due diligence. Of course, during this time, sales reps aren’t generating any revenue.

Crafting a better response

While many organizations expect their sales teams to know how to respond to RFPs, very few can actually provide insight into how to improve the unwieldy effort.

Sales enablement software can help sales teams craft a faster and better response. The software can capture the expertise of SMEs, cutting out much of the time spent by sales reps on tracking down and then trying to harness these experts. These tools can make systematic the haphazard and disorganized approach that is typically found in a manual response to an RFP.

Instead of sending out multiple emails pleading for SMEs, the software becomes the single source of truth for corporate knowledge management. Instead of bothering a sales engineer for information, the software houses the answers.

Sales enablement software can also use AI to provide suggestions and coaching to help get the sales team through the RFP process. When AI and sales enablement software guides the sales team through the RFP effort, no critical components are missed.

Improving your RFP workflow with Unika.ai

Unika leverages natural language processing (NLP) for search and query inquiries to provide fast and accurate answers to questions. Unika can learn to coach your sales team through RFP follow-up, ensuring essential points are included in the final document. It can also help your organization avoid reinvention of the content necessary for the RFP document.

Create rich profiles that include the expertise, client engagement history, past pursuits, assets and employee skills necessary to add value to a sales pursuit. Unika populates these profiles with integration to other business systems that already house employee information. To find what you’re looking for, just sort through data with custom filters or search with Unika’s AI assistant.

Typically, the process for finding SMEs is unstructured, involving emails, calls, meetings, and ultimately time to find the right expert for the proposal.

Unika streamlines your RFP process by minimizing the resources necessary to complete these documents. With less time spent chasing information, your sales team will spend more time closing deals. For these reasons, Unika will quickly become a crucial revenue driver as part of your sales engine.

Key Features

Unika was built to help organizations easily create, discover, and use knowledge to enhance employee productivity and increase business outcomes.

Experience Finder

Experience Finder

Leverage your organization's collective experience for better decision making; easily search for internal experts by skill sets, industry expertise, and more.

AI-Enhanced Search

AI-Enhanced Search

Unika’s Intelligent-Knowledge-Assistant searches through your Unika environment and other connected systems to help answer FAQs, find people, find assets, or support complex research scenarios.

Profiles

Profiles

Create easy-to-read profiles that include biography, skills / expertise, employment history, certifications, affiliations and other key information about your employees.

Stacks

Stacks

Organize and populate knowledge into a consolidated page that can be shared internally or externally with clients.

Knowledge Campaigns

Knowledge Campaigns

Deploy knowledge campaigns to inform employees about active pursuits, new clients, or firm news.

Integrations

Integrations

Connect your document management systems, CRM, and other popular applications with ease and confidence.