You’ve identified problems with your RFP response process. You know your organization needs to respond to more Requests for Proposals (RFPs) a year in order to meet revenue goals. You also know exactly how to do that: your organization is going to invest in RFP response automation. It’s the key to transforming your team’s proposal process and managing your sales content.
There’s just one problem. Your proposal team is wary of the new software. They have a process in place already, and they’re used to the tools they’ve been using. Not everybody is happy about an upcoming change.
How can you help your team embrace change?
Whenever new technology or processes are introduced in an organization, there is usually some objection. Team members talk about reinventing the wheel or say “but we’ve always done it this way.” Often they’re nervous about the incoming technology. They may be worried about the learning curve associated with new tools, or have concerns about what a new tool will do for their bid process. Some people may feel their toes are being stepped on if a workflow they’ve owned is being changed.
As a proposal manager, it's your job to manage the change so that they’re comfortable with moving forward and adopting new technology and processes. In some cases this means engaging in some internal sales, illustrating the benefits of the new solution. In others, it’s simply a matter of clear communication with your team members.
This article will outline some best practices for managing change as you transform your RFP response process, taken straight from Ombud users who have been through the adoption process already:
- You can’t overemphasize (or overdo) training: “Train, train, train,” said Michelle Craven, Director of Business Operations at PAREXEL. Her team put together a variety of different training sessions when they were introducing Ombud, including PowerPoint presentations, face to face meetings, and virtual sessions. There was always support available during the implementation so that no one was sitting at home alone trying to figure out the platform on deadline.
- Tell users what’s in it for them: Users are often uncomfortable with change, but Greg Bentham, Vice President of Social Responsibility at Capgemini, made sure his team answered the big question all users have when new technology is introduced: how will it affect them? How will this new automated tool make their work easier, and will it affect their jobs? “It really is about having a structured communication plan that clearly allows the employee to feel comfortable, to buy in, and that buying in needs to happen at all levels,” said Bentham.
- Create assets that users can find later: Denise Mesa, Director of Global Opportunity at Workday, says her team used recordings of live training sessions to create videos that users could access later on, and added other short training videos as well. “Think of it as six to nine minute little snippets that cover everything from creating and navigating an Ombud workspace to making assignments as well as exporting,” she said.
- Listen to feedback: Not every implementation will go smoothly, and some users may experience challenges. Craven’s team at PAREXEL used those challenges to their advantage, creating learning assets around commonly-asked questions. “All of the emails and messages that we get from our teams on an ongoing basis, we'll see a theme, and then we'll create very simple screenshots and presentations and send it to them,” she said.
- Make help easy to access: Sometimes questions come up and users need an answer immediately. Mesa’s team set up an Ombud Slack channel to answer questions about all things Ombud. “If our users have a question or need help with something, they can ask it right in that Slack channel and really get near real-time support,” she said. “We have Ombud admins who monitor that channel and respond to those. One of the other benefits of having that channel is we've started proactively posting information like tips and tricks, and when there's a feature enhancement that's been released.”
Change is uncomfortable, but often change is necessary to help your organization grow. By communicating proactively with your users, you can help them understand how new technology will make their work easier.
Interested in learning more about Ombud’s RFP software? Request a demo here.