Organizing the RFP Presentations – Part I of II

November 2nd, 2017

What are you doing to ensure a successful short-list RFP presentation?

 

Today’s post is from our SafeSourcing Archives

The Request For Proposal process involves many moving pieces.  Determining the questions to ask, the information to garner and the vendors to invite can take weeks to assemble and execute, only to have to spend another week or two sifting through the results in order to put some structure together for comparison.  For many companies their time and energy is focused on these two stages with a sharp decline in resources invested in preparing for the vendor presentations.  Today’s blog will focus on some of the areas which many people fail to properly consider in advance when preparing for their onsite or webinar vendor presentations.

Lock down the initial details – Deciding on the strategy for whether to employ a webinar, on-site meeting or both is an early detail to commit to.  This decision along with the meeting time slots and duration will be key pieces to organize successful presentations.  The advantage of an online meeting format is that it gives vendors great flexibility in meeting proposed dates and times without incurring travel expenses to do so.  In these cases, garnering the presentation file in advance to be printed out and available for notes is an important aspect.  On-site presentations require more preparation but can be critical in seeing vendors who will be supporting the company face-to-face.  Interaction tends to go up in face-to-face meetings and communication that does not include voice delays over digital phone lines can make for a much smoother two-way presentation.

Provide the expectations – Vendors number one question when being invited to an RFP presentation will be to understand the customer’s expectation of their needs.  Developing an agenda, even a high level version, will go a long way to helping the vendors fashion their presentations to exactly what you want to see while providing you the framework by which you can accurately compare each presentation.  The most affective agenda will be the one that details the main points you want covered with a suggested timeframe to be spent on each.  This gives the vendors an accurate picture of how much time they will be allowed, budgets time in for Q&A, and ensures that half of the presentation does not turn into a marketing pitch about how great the vendor’s company is leaving little time to review actual content.

Planning the presentation details and expectations in advance of the meetings is an important key to help companies pin down what they really want to see and to help vendors best prepare to show it.  Tomorrow’s blog will wrap-up preparing for RFP presentations with more focus on the evaluation of the presentations themselves.  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.

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