In manufacturing sales, the Request-for-Quote (RFQ) process is often the first step towards closing deals. With traditional methods, however, this process can take days, if not weeks to complete. During this period, market volatility and misalignment with backend systems can render the generated quote obsolete before it's sent. Or worse, after it has been sent.
But the fact is, managing complex RFQ processes is a common challenge across all manufacturing verticals. For engineering businesses, the time and resources invested into proposals are a significant cost factor that eats into your profitability. Besides, the need to maintain a high win rate is an important factor in a competitive business environment.
The complexities of the RFQ & Tender process
The RFQ by a prospect or customer is the starting point for an often lengthy and complicated sales process. It can stretch across various stages and involves multiple stakeholders from sales or tender managers to engineering, purchasing, or finance. Under a strict timeline, a multitude of data and documents need to be prepared and collated by a virtual team. Flawless execution and process monitoring are vital to winning the deal.
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Difficulties in RFQ and tender processes
RFQ coordinators need to track and align results across different engagements, while contributors need to understand task dependencies and statuses to plan and execute their part carefully. If tasks are blocked or not executed on time the quality of the offer may suffer, lowering your win rates. Managers need to maintain oversight across many tenders at the same time. and contributors need to know when to deliver their input and when dependent tasks are scheduled and completed.
RFQ & Tender Process Management via a Digital Sales Platform:
RFQ Management features for planning RFQ timelines include:
Gantt charts for managing RFQ-related tasks
Milestone and deadline visualization
Task maintenance and assignment
Status updates on progress/completion for higher transparency
Task completion and overdue task alerts
What are your benefits?
As an RFQ coordinator, you can easily plan the RFQ preparation in detail and execute it on one collaborative platform that is tightly integrated with your backend. This integration ensures that execution is done with only the most accurate data extracted in real-time from your ERP.
As an RFQ contributor, you have direct access to all required information. You will be informed when contributions are due, receive feedback on what is missing or if dependent tasks are not on track. It can help you identify--and ultimately address--the bottlenecks in any long and arduous sales process.
As a manager, you are empowered to keep a complete overview. What is the status for each and every single RFQ? Which tasks are currently ongoing? Where are deviations and risks that require your intervention to guarantee a successful proposal submission? With maximum transparency and a powerful collaboration platform, you can manage all RFQs and tenders with ease.
RFQs and tender processes are often lengthy with a high cost-of-sales because it involves multiple stakeholders and complex information. They require a comprehensive project management approach to increase the probability of winning deals through optimized use of resources.
A specialized end-to-end sales platform empowers you to execute RFQ and tender processes more efficiently. It can help you deliver flawless proposals quickly. This helps you increase your win rate and lower your cost of sales almost immediately after implementation--allowing you to see a high return on investment in a much shorter time frame compared to traditional sales solutions.
Do you understand your manufacturing business's sales cycle enough to transform it with next-generation digital sales solutions? Download our Manufacturing Sales Handbook and master your manufacturing sales process.