Being in Business Development, I’ve had my fair share of completing Request For Proposals, or RFP’s. And if we’re being completely honest, RFP’s can sometimes, well…suck. Here are a few reasons why:
- The impersonal nature of them: “DEAR VENDOR, we invite you to bid on this important project.” (This of course is after I reached out to them, personally addressing them by their name, and also included mine in the signature)
- Unwillingness to take a call to discuss the RFP, answer our questions and get to know us outside of “a vendor”.
- Making a decision based on nit-picky items such as the perfect font and size of the font (Your website, understandable… an RFP, really?)
- Making a decision without speaking with any references.
- Too many cooks in the kitchen.
- The impersonal nature (again): “DEAR VENDOR, thank you for the submission, however we are going in a different direction.”
Many times I find myself spending hours on responding, answering the questions and perfecting the format, only to receive a response that provides no clear answer as to what went into their final decision or why they went with another vendor.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I understand the nature of the Business Development game so I’m not saying ALL RFP’s are bad. There are some I come across that some are simple, to the point, clear and concise. Because I know every RFP I come across isn’t going to magically go my way, I’ve learned how to appreciate the not-so-good ones…because those are the ones that taught me whether or not a company is looking for the right agency to work with and build a lifelong relationship with or if they are simply looking for “a vendor”.
So if you’re looking for the right agency to complete a successful redesign project for your website, your RFP must include:
- Project overview, Introduction to your company, company size, the purpose of the RFP and Goals of the project
- Pains with the current website
- Who is your target audience, who are you trying to reach
- What is your project timeline (start of project, milestones to site launch)
- Special functionality (Log Ins)
- Timeline to answer questions and proposal due date
- Timeline for in person meetings or GotoMeeting Presentation
- Vendor Selection Date
- Deliverables and scope of work
- Content needs, content needs to be developed or content just needs to be migrated from existing website
- Examples of other websites you like and why you like them
- Technical requirements
- Web Hosting Requirements
- SEO, current online marketing initiatives and future goals
- Preferred content management system
- Project point of contact/ who will be project manager or managers include name, titles, email addresses and direct phone number
I hope this helps you create a Request For Proposal that will lead you to the right partner that will successfully execute your next website redesign project. And if you’re in need of a new website strategy for your B2B, feel free to contact us today.