This site uses cookies to provide you with a great user experience. By clicking continue you accept our use of cookies to modify the information we collect please click here.

Continue

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more here.

Contact Us

RFPs: Rarely Asked Questions to Get an Edge

An RFP arrives.  You’ve been proactive.   While you weren’t able to keep the opportunity out of the RFP process, you knew the RFP was coming and even influenced it.  You also expect that the incumbent also has had influence.

Most effective salespeople at this stage immediately begin to dig into the RFP and immediately begin to create a list of questions to ask the customer to fill in any gaps.

Critical Questions to Ask in Response to an RFP

First, calling or emailing the client to say thank you for the opportunity to participate in the process and next to add questions about how the RFP was put together.  Most RFPs today reflect a lot of research and preconceived ideas.

By asking about the process your customer used to create the RFP you get a real edge to help you win.  For example, say:

“Thank you for including us and getting the RFP to me.  I’ve carefully reviewed your RFP.  It’s truly comprehensive.  May I ask how you put it together?”

You will learn if it was one person or a project team from different disciplines across the organization; if the customer used social networking to speak to other customers about similar issues; what research has been done, and how far along in the sales process the customer is.

Once you understand this and have gotten answers to your RFP content questions, don’t forget to ask about the post RFP process to evaluate the responses to find out:

  • Does the customer have a grading tool for evaluating the RFP?
  • If so, what is it like/what is on it?  [Things such as match to needs, value-add, implementation, metrics, price, responsiveness.]
  • What’s most important?
  • How many providers are being considered?
  • How many will be invited in?
  • What will happen to competitive responses once the proposals are submitted?
  • Who will review them?  (Some organizations go so far as to send team members blind responses to eliminate any initial preconceived notions about providers.)

When asked, most customers will share this information if you ask them for it.  Along with your other questions regarding the strategy driving the objectives, learn about the RFP process itself.

Today most customers are really thinking through their RFPs. They are proud of their input.  By asking about the process they used you get the chance to compliment them, create an edge for yourself, and gain insights your competitors won’t have.

Additional Sales Resources

Sales Training Effectiveness

eBook: A Guide to Measuring Sales Training Effectiveness

Measuring sales training effectiveness ensures your team is getting the full return on your investment, drives sustained behavior chan...

Sales Training Effectiveness

Research: Understanding Selling Challenges in 2017

Richardson's 2017 Selling Challenges research presents critical information on the state of the sales environment. Insights provided...

Consultative Selling Skills

Sales Capabilities Required to Compete Today

The buyer journey has changed dramatically, and successful sellers need to be armed with the latest approaches and thinking in order...

Consultative Selling Skills

Resolving Sales Objections

Only by staying connected and understanding more about the client’s specific issues that are driving the objection can you persuasiv...