Humans are visual beings; we all know that. Just look at how social media over the years has migrated from text only posts to mostly photos or videos. This is because posts with photos or videos can be 10 times more engaging. In fact, YouTube states that users are twice as likely to purchase something if they see a video of the product.
So how can you take this lesson from the consumer world and apply it to the B2B sales process? Most organizations have equipped their sales teams with tools to help them visually engage with their customers – whether it’s through presentations, videos, or even video chat. What about RFP and preproposal stage? This can be, arguably, one of the most critical tools in presenting your solution to your customers. The RFP response and proposal are meant to sell for your salespeople when they can’t be there or after the sales call is over.
RFPs are commonly used to help companies evaluate a number of vendors offering solutions to a particular problem the RFP issuer needs to solve. In the software world there are typically multiple offerings that claim to solve the same problem and so the RFP becomes an effective tool to compare and then whittle down the pool of potential vendors to two or three.
Communicating your fit, value and differentiation by responding to 100s of questions can be challenging. They say a picture is worth a thousand words but bringing to life complex software is not for the faint of heart, even with screenshots to help. But what if you could give the reader the ability to interact with your app so they could ‘feel’ the user experience and understand what it’s like to interact with. Now you can.
Three steps to make RFP responses more visually appealing:
1. Simplify the response process: Make responding to RFPs simpler with a knowledge repository of your most valuable content. Responding to RFPs can be a repetitive process of hunting down answers to copy and paste into RFP responses. With a centralized answer repository and natural language processing to match the right answers to questions, your team can save half the time preparing responses. This may not sound visually appealing but imagine having succinct responses at the ready of your sales team at any time so as to not tempt sales to respond in long novels that may not be read.
2. Actually show your product: Once you’re ready to create the output of your submission, include product photos and videos to help your prospect visualize your product. Better yet, with companies like Walnut. you can create interactive & fully clickable walkthroughs of your product and the flows you’re describing in the RFP, along with step-by-step guides. This can help the recipients of your RFP on the prospect side envision using your product, and most importantly, it brings your product to life in a differentiated way compared to your competitors who are just filling out text descriptions in a response document.
You can also include multiple flows and RFP answers within a single Walnut walkthrough, consolidating many long texts into a reusable & interactive asset, saving your SEs time on future RFPs!
3. Make it easy to access: There are several ways to deliver your proposal or RFP response to your prospect. Of course, it’s important to adhere to your prospect’s specific RFP response format when applicable. In all situations providing your response in a fully customizable web portal, such as Ombud provides, gives your prospect the convenience of having all supporting content in a centralized location. It also gives you the ability to track your prospects engagement with the proposal, RFP response, or any other collateral included. Also, with a solution like Walnut, you have the ability to track engagement with your mini-demos such as time spent on screens, flows/guides completed etc., which enables you to optimize your demo responses for future RFPs.
We continually advise our clients to stand out from the crowd when responding to RFP’s and with this partnership with Walnut we’re taking that to a whole new level. Expect less follow-ups on your submissions, less effort to respond, and a higher conversion rate.