Your team is working on a response to a Request for Proposals (RFP.) it’s very much like other responses your team has written before. Some of the questions are the same, and you figure writing some of these sections will be easy: you’ll just find the answers you wrote for another bid and tweak them to fit this one.
But there’s a problem: you can’t find the answer anywhere. You check previous documents, old bids, your inbox, your outbox, but you can’t find it. You spend 15 minutes looking, and end up rewriting it anyway.
This is just for one question in an RFP. If this sounds familiar, or if your team has even lost answers or had to ask the same subject matter expert (SME) the same question over and over, your proposal team needs to take a closer look at your content management processes.
What is content management?
Content management is a set of processes, steps, best practices, and tools that help your RFP response team store, sort, and organize your sales content. By managing your content well, your team will be able to find the information they need easily. However, to create a system that works well for your team, you’ll need to put thought into creating a system that works well for you.
Below are several tips that will help you manage and maintain your sales content.
Tips for sales content management
- Know who owns RFP content: Before you can design a content management system, you need clear knowledge of who has access to your sales content. Who is on your team and who regularly interacts with the RFP response process? Your bid team probably includes a combination of writers, managers, sales personnel, and SMEs. By knowing who regularly works with content, you’ll know who is contributing to your sales content database.
- Gather all of your documents in one place: One of the most important parts of content management is knowing where your content is. Rather than storing sales content in inboxes, previous drafts, or documents, bring all of your content into a database where every member of the team can easily find them. Ombud, for example, offers a content library. By having all the content they need at their fingertips, teams are able to quickly and easily pull together a draft.
- Audit your content: It’s not enough to keep all your sales content in one place. You need the best possible content so that your team can build strong proposals. Create a review process so that your team can throw out duplicate content, old information, and stale content.
- Sort, rate and tag: The best database in the world won’t work well if the data hasn’t been labeled. By tagging your data, you can ensure that your content is searchable. This means that project names should always be clear and easy to understand, so you may want to create a universally accepted naming convention for projects, so that everyone always understands what document a piece of content was used in. Rating is another important way to organize content. Sometimes a piece of writing or information is just more effective than other pieces. That’s the one you want to leverage when you’re sending out proposals. Ombud allows team members to vote on content, so the strongest content is always presented first.
- Plan for the future: You know who owns content now, but who will be in charge in the future? Know who will inherit responsibility for the content library when the person who is in charge leaves. The point of content management is to ensure information is not siloed, but if there’s no succession planning, information can end up siloed anyhow. Be sure all ownership of all logins, processes, and audits are written into a job description so that everyone knows who is responsible for it.
Content management and RFP response automation: a recipe for success
While you can build your own database, it’s probably not the most efficient way to manage your sales content. RFP automation software removes the burden of having to put your sales content into file folders, a document, or a spreadsheet by creating a searchable database for your content, and by automating some of the more tedious processes associated with bid-writing.
Interested in learning more about Ombud’s RFP software? Request a demo here.