3 Best RFP Software with Buyers’ Guide


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RFP Software

RFP (request for proposal) software assists businesses streamline the process by generating, receiving, distributing, and evaluating proposals. These systems permit sales teams for creating, collaborating, and submitting bids and proposals to  internal and external stakeholders.

RFP software allows users to share business needs with suppliers, and evaluation all received proposals and selecting favorable ones.

Advantages of RFP Software

Consolidation of information: Receiving hard copies of proposals can be laborious and messy due to the influx of various documents like specification sheets, product descriptions, terms and conditions, etc. Keeping track of information gets harder with number of sellers increases. RFP software helps in organizing and managing cascade of information digitally in a single location, giving easy accessibility to stakeholders.

Improved selection process with multi-factor evaluation system: Screening proposals for evaluating suitability is a multi-checkpoint process. RFP software allows users quick evaluation of factors like supplier credibility, bid value, location, and delivery time to shortlist bids and identifying the best proposals.

Saves time and effort on review and validation: Businesses do not spend too much time forwarding proposals along and compiling feedback of  stakeholder during the review process. RFP software brings each person evolved into a single platform for reviewing, commenting, accepting/rejecting, or even sending proposals back for revising, shortening procurement timeline.

Features of RFP Software

Progress tracking: Tracking proposal status and generating reports for providing measurable insights.

Workflow management: Creating automated workflows for streamlining proposal creation, assessment, as well as submission.

Templates: Leveraging ready-to-use and customizable templates for RFP requests / responses.

Collaboration: Users work together on proposals for speeding up the submission, to screen, and evaluate process.

Data import/export: Getting data needed for creating proposals from integrated applications and distributing final proposals in different formats.

Price of RFP Software

Most products in the market are priced on a “per user, per month” basis, and can be divided into three pricing tiers based on their starting price. A premium product is priced higher have  additional features like advanced integrations, digital signatures and premium support.

Considerations while Buying RFP Software

Issuing vs. requesting RFP: RFP software is a collective term used on both ends of the supply chain—for issuing RFPs and for responding to RFPs. Both processes may sound similar, but needs various tools, functionalities, templates, and not every RFP software supports RFP process. Ensure to evaluate shortlisted RFP solutions to include the specific features business requirements.

Product testing: RFP documents require to go through a chain of command before  finalizing; the stakeholders along with chain may not have equal IT expertise. Ensure RFP software choose easily used by stakeholders, have users test/demo shortlisted software and collect feedback before making a final buy.

Availability of industry-specific templates: Various industries use various templates while creating, sharing, and requesting proposals. If industry has/uses preferred templates, ensure to shortlist RFP solutions having those template offerings.

RFP Software Trends

Automation will increase RFP software capabilities: RFP software developers have started providing automation capabilities within the software to assist procurement teams in evaluating thousands of proposals through a number of conditions in a smaller timespan with higher accuracy. Through characteristic properties like rule-based scoring, autofill, weighted scoring, and structured decisions, creation and proposal score is becoming easier for RFP solution users.

Integration abilities of RFP tools to grow: Clustered business processes are increasingly becoming dependent on each other. The need as been increased by the tools supporting individual procedures interface between themselves. There are several adjacent functions like billing and invoicing, contract management, and order procurement that required to be sewn cohesively. RFP tools now offer integration with related solutions; as more adjacencies increase, integration capabilities will diversify.