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How to Write an RFP: High Level Components

While this RFP overview is social media related, it applies at the highest level for any RFP in B2B. I’ve taken the time to extend it some to make it more relevant to B2B buyers in general.

  1. Define the Objective:  What are the core drivers, goals and needs to be addressed by a vendor
  2. Define the Requirements: This should include product requirements for today and those which you may implement in the first 12 months from selection, process requirements, service levels and other supportable elements of the purchase.  For example, in software it might be maintenance and support requirements.
  3. Establish Timeline: Include not just the RFP timing, but also a target implementation date.
  4. Defining the Relationship: This should include communication methods, contract considerations, reporting and account management considerations.
  5. Sharing the Budget: This is something I would probably NOT include, unless you are required to by internal policy, legal constraints or other consideration to set context with the vendor, for example if you don’t have much budget.
  6. Evaluating your Options: Bring vendors in for the dance, get references and seek counsel from trusted experts in the business and outside to ensure the right vendor is selected.
  7. Selection: The sales process over and implementation begins