RFP response best practices for up-to-date and impactful content

An RFP is so much more than a sales pitch—it’s an important opportunity to tell your organization’s story.

A quality RFP response tells that story with accurate, cohesive, engaging detail that demonstrates your competitive differentiators. But if your content is scattered, unorganized, or unpolished, telling this story raises unnecessary complications. The first step to creating this story is quick, easy access to high-quality RFP content.

Where do you turn? You need a well-maintained, dynamic RFP content library.

Follow these RFP response best practices so you know how to keep your content up-to-date and impactful. When the next RFP arrives, you’ll be ready to write a best-seller.

Curate quality narrative RFP responses

Congrats, marketer. You own the RFP content library, also known as the Content Library.

Be proactive and ensure your Content Library is filled with the most captivating RFP content possible. Use content that not only informs but also engages the reader, delivering your organization’s message clearly—and with finesse.

As a marketer, you know your message must resonate with your target audience. Content that reads like a bulleted FAQ list might be useful for technical information. But you’ll need more than that to capture your buyer’s attention and help win business.

Well-executed narrative content resonates with buyers the most. They see themselves in your organization’s story, which forges a connection. An issued RFP seeks that connection. Your prospect wants to know they need your product or service, so show them in your RFP responses.

Collect longer, narrative answers for your content library. As you go through more RFP responses, create a culture of training. Teach your team to recognize and create narrative content, capturing and organizing RFP responses proactively as a best practice.

Moderate and audit your RFP content library

High-impact RFP responses win deals. You must have current, marketing-approved content accessible to all contributors who are responding to RFPs.

You’ve been auditing brand and marketing content for years, so you’re already familiar with the value of content audits. The same value applies to your RFP responses. Regularly moderate your content to ensure accuracy and quality.

When auditing RFP content, ask the following questions:

  • Is this information current and accurate?
  • Does this convey the benefits of our services and/or products well?
  • Do the answers address business challenges others face?
  • How polished is the content?
  • How consistent is the tone?
  • Is the content easy to find?

Impactful RFP content is a team effort, and keeping it fresh and reusable is the name of the game. Schedule audits and delegate content to the relevant subject matter experts, so the most accurate content is always updated in your Content Library.

We know regular content audits can be a big ask. 79% of marketers said they are focused on using automated technology to execute more with less resource strain.

Best-in-class RFP software like RFPIO helps you with scheduling and delegating audits to SMEs. You receive content audit reminders at a cadence of your choosing (monthly, quarterly, etc.) Built-in analytics, such as Content Library reporting, shows you the overall health of your RFP content so you can audit content more effectively by knowing exactly where the opportunities lie.

Use a tagging strategy to organize RFP responses

Once you have a good RFP content library built up, you need a card catalog system…and that’s where tagging comes in. Tagging is complex, and it looks different for every organization. Without a plan, tagging will quickly spiral out of control. The key is to have an RFP content tagging strategy in place.

You might have a problem with people not tagging RFP responses at all—or they might over-tag, tag inconsistently or inaccurately. Get everyone on the same page to utilize this powerful mechanism and keep your content in ship-shape condition.

Reference these RFP response best practices for tagging, then tailor the strategy as needed for your organization:

  • Tag content based on organizational needs.
  • Confirm that tags make sense to everyone, so team members find the right content quickly.
  • Create a tagging guide for methodology and a list of frequently used tags.
  • To keep consistency, onboard new users with your tagging guide and relevant reference materials.
  • Use 2-4 tags per piece of content.
  • Continue training and enforcing the tagging strategy to keep it working long-term.

Avert chaos with an indexed, dynamic content library. Tags make auditing and finding the content a snap. Implement a solid tagging strategy as the nerve center of your RFP content management process.

Your organization is a vital, growing, changing organism…and so is your RFP content. Nurture your RFP Content Library, and empower it to do more. When the next RFP comes along, your responses will be updated and ready to make an impact with your buyer. Discover how RFPIO streamlines content management and make a bigger impact this year.

Andrew Stone

As the Senior Channel and Alliances Manager at Responsive, Andrew Stone is committed to helping Responsive partners achieve their goals. Previously, Andrew worked with several marketing agencies to provide marketing strategy focused on elevating brand value, from non-profits to Fortune 500 Companies.

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