What are you doing to ensure a successful short-list RFP presentation?
Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Archive
Yesterday we looked at the planning that needs to go into the initial phases of Request For Proposal meetings to make them successful. Understanding the format and agenda are key ingredients to structuring the evaluation of the presentations and in helping guide the vendors on what needs to be talked about or shown. Today’s blog will wrap up this two-part series by focusing on the final details and the structure for formally evaluating the presentations in a way that will ensure the comparison criteria are as similar as possible.
Fill in the RFP holes – No matter how much time is spent preparing an RFP there will always be holes of information created either by missed content or by new questions arising from how the vendors initially responded. Many times this will include clarification on pricing models, more depth on service and how it is measured or a deeper dive through a live demonstration of the features of a software tool that is being highlighted in the vendor’s offering. While there will still be time to follow-up with questions after this meeting, it provides a great forum to level each vendor’s solution with the others.
Scoring made easy – The biggest pitfall many companies fall into when organizing their RFP presentations is determining how they will evaluate the presentations of each vendor. Having a high-level agenda is a great start and will go a long way to providing a side-by-side view and sometimes that is all that is needed. Frequently, however, especially with software solutions, giving the vendors a script or use-cases to demonstrate will help build an internal scorecard that can be used to score and evaluate each feature and piece of functionality. Some vendors choose to publish the scorecard in advance to the vendors so that they know what pieces will be evaluated and sometimes this scorecard is kept for internal use only.
Housekeeping details – Once the dates & times, duration, format and content are decided and delivered to the vendors, the final piece will be to ensure that the vendors have the final “housekeeping” details for the presentations. If an online method is chosen, this will mean ensuring a webinar invite has been prepared and sent with a tool all evaluators can use effectively. If an onsite presentation is chosen, making sure that the address and contact details have been provided to the vendors so they know where to go and who to ask for when they get there. Publish or solicit the need for internet and projector requirements and provide the vendors with the list of people who will be attending as well as receive the list of their presenters in case security needs the information in advance for onsite meetings.
A Request For Proposal is a very valuable information gathering process by which companies are able to gather the what is needed to make important decisions. Seeing the process of planning all the way through the end will ensure the best comparisons can be made and turned into decisions that provide the company with the most value. For more information about SafeSourcing or on our “Risk Free” trial program, please contact a SafeSourcing Customer Service Representative. We have an entire customer services team waiting to assist you today.
We look forward to your comments.