How to get the best results from your CRM RFQs
So your final CRM vendor selections have been made and you are in a position to send a request for quote (RFQ) out to a small number of vendors. Detailed preparation is essential so do not try and rush this. Have in mind what details you require in order to finalize the deal and make the purchase.
How many suppliers are you going to send the RFQ to?
Most of the time, CRM RFQs are sent to between three to seven vendors, but this choice is down to you. Decide on whether the RFQs are going to be open, by invite only or even sealed bids. Generally, inviting suppliers that you have already qualified in the ‘evaluation’ period is the best way to go.
How you prepare your RFQ depends on your company and how you wish to run the process.
What a CRM RFQ document should contain
Your document needs to include the following, with additional items be added at your discretion:
- Detailed description of the project along with background information
- Terms & Conditions
- Template for pricing – ask for quotes to come back to you in the same format so that they will be easy to compare and analyse.
- Keep the process transparent by describing your awarding criteria. These can vary but may be based upon product functionality, price, ability to hit deadlines etc.
Once your document is complete, it can be sent out to all potential CRM vendors with a deadline for completion and return.
You should also give thought on how you will convey the RFQ documents to each vendor; will they go by email with a receipt upon delivery or will you send them via traditional mail using a secure method such as Special Delivery? This is important as you need to have a guarantee that all potential suppliers have received the official documentation so that none will be missed out or accidentally omitted from this final process.
Managing your RFQ
Whilst the CRM RFQs are being dealt with by each supplier, keep everything out in the open so that all are treated in the same way. If a supplier asks a question, share the answer across the board so that all replies are being prepared in accordance with the same brief.
Ethically, you must not discuss prices until all RFQs have been received back. Bids and Proposals should only be assessed after your deadline. In the unlikely event that you do not receive back quotations in alignment with your financial objectives, you can go for a second round of proposals, the only change being that you would then provide price targets.
Return of RFQs
Once your deadline is reached, all completed and returned CRM RFQs should be put to one side and opened together. Any those are received after deadline should be rejected. You now need to sit down and analyze the proposals in order to reach a conclusion on which vendor to purchase your new CRM system from. Management will have to be involved in this process and possibly stakeholders, depending upon the complexity of the information obtained
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