Some companies are learning that the RFP, or request for proposal, designed to make expectations clear to any potential vendors, is actually hurting the process. In fact, many businesses are abandoning the RFP bid process altogether when it comes to web development, design, as well as hosting services. We see this trend as well and wanted to highlight a few reasons why you might consider adding some flexibility to your current RFP process.
The Importance of Adding Flexibility to RFP
Diagnosing the Pain Point
RFPs are based on what the business thinks is going to solve the intended problem. Web companies are required to deliver what has been asked of them within those RFP parameters. The web company, much like a doctor prescribing medicine without examining the patient, would be providing a service that might not be the ideal solution to the pain point. You’re an expert in your industry, so it makes sense that you know what goals are achievable with your idea. However, there are sometimes nuances to web-based design and marketing that you may not know. Ultimately limiting your potential bottom-line results.
Restricting Potential Solutions
There are several working parts for building a dynamic website that generates leads. Issuing an RFP to potential partners may be restricting them only to offer what you’ve outlined within your scope of work. You could be forgoing an opportunity to find a better solution. Imagine you’ve issued an RFP, asking for wireframe and pricing for a complete web redesign. You collect your bids and choose your partner to get started. Once your site is built, and you begin collecting the analytics, you realize you still have an SEO problem. You will have invested a significant amount of your marketing budget for this beautiful new site. But inadvertently didn’t end up solving your original problem.
Flexibility Can Create New Big Ideas
RFPs make sense for many projects and in a lot of industries. However, when it comes to your more creative projects, consider being flexible with your potential web vendors. Allow a marketing specialist to explore the creative side of identifying your true digital objectives. This can then present new ideas that you may not have considered before. Engage the professionals in a discovery or needs assessment process, and teach them about your business. They’ll want to know about your products and services, as well as competitors and past strategies. They can help you design brand personas and a road map that precisely targets your potential customers. Allow vendors to bring their big ideas to the table. This can actually help you select the best partner for the job, too.
Don’t Be Afraid to Meet the People
The request for proposal process is intended to level the playing field and make your vendor selection process fair. However, you can miss a valuable opportunity to meet the people behind the business. When you’re preparing to embark on a digital project, regardless of the scope of work, you’ll want to work with an agreeable team. Engaging in needs analysis conversations with participating vendors can help you experience their communication styles, as well. Selecting a vendor based on an RFP-only process might have you partnering with the most cost-effective company, which is really terrible about responding to questions or answering your calls.
Being flexible with your RFP process, especially when it’s time to look for a new web or digital marketing partners, can ensure you make the best selection for your business. If you’re ready to have a discovery conversation, contact us!
We are experts at helping businesses recognize their pain points. We also help in building the web solutions needed to bring real solutions. Whether it’s a website redesign, a fresh SEO strategy, or even if you’re not sure what you need just yet, we can help.