Why Automating RFP Responses & Proposals is Critical for Financial Services

RFP professionals know it, and we’ll keep repeating it. Work isn’t getting any easier. The demand for current, concise content – and the amount of data required for proposals – continues to grow. For those sales and proposals teams who are consistently scrambling to find the right content, that means that their to-do lists are longer and more complex than ever before. That’s where automation comes in – from automating due diligence questionnaires to RFP responses and proposals – and many organizations are already on the bandwagon, achieving more through technology.

Yet when it comes to the financial services industry, how can Qvidian’s automation solutions specifically address the needs of the market?

Flexibility That Accommodates Complexity    

I often receive similar remarks from proposal managers to the tune of “We’re so unique in how we respond there’s no way we could automate.” Yes, of course, automation has its limits. And we get it – often the concept of seeking out and adopting new processes can be stressful, not to mention the process of transitioning to a new standard. But if the implementation of the new system was simple, and adoption of the new processes was seamless – just think of how much stress could be reduced if the burden of tedious work was taken off the table. Imagine if you could automate all those due diligence questionnaires you’re responding to every quarter.

Content Management Supports Compliance Requirements

Scrutiny on financial services organizations continues to get more rigorous, with no sign of relief. Strict compliance regulations about language, disclaimers, and information requiring regular updates means that many RFP teams are trying to create workflows that provide audit trails to help demonstrate compliance. It makes sense: tracking who wrote, edited, and reviewed content—and when they made changes—can offer critical documentation for an SEC compliance audit.

So why not implement a solution that takes care of the documentation for you? Our financial services clients appreciate the ability to ensure content compliance through detailed audit trails and workflows that reflect their businesses’ unique review and approval chains.

Achieving More with Online RFPs

Rather than sending out files for RFPs, many organizations now choose to provide vendors with a link and password to access questions through systems like Ariba. While Qvidian users can simply copy questions from online RFPs to their content library to quickly track down relevant answers, it’s no surprise that clients who typically create automated responses might balk at having to revert to more manual processes to complete online RFPs.

This increasing volume of both online and Excel-based RFPs reflects the growing trend of buyers taking a more analytical approach to their evaluation and decision-making processes. That also means that to be considered as a top choice, there is mounting pressure on the seller’s organization to be ready to respond quickly and concisely.

Automating Due Diligence Questionnaires, Client Reports and Fund Fact Sheets

While at Qvidian we talk mainly about proposal automation, most financial services firms produce many other documents that could easily be automated. Remember those due diligence questionnaires I mentioned earlier? How about those monthly client reports and fund fact sheets? In those cases, organizations answer the same questions or send the same information repeatedly; and for DDQs, the answers go through the same content review process as much of the information used to create proposals.

Yet it’s often the case that outside of sales team, staff from other departments may not even know their organization already has a solution in place to help them manage their work (like automating due diligence questionnaires) – and make their lives easier. So, to all those RFP professionals, don’t hold out! Time to break out of the silo and share solutions with your colleagues in marketing (and on other teams).

Work continues to become more complex, and there are countless opportunities for financial services firms to boost efficiency and improve quality and accuracy. By automating processes and implementing modern solutions across teams and departments, your organization will undoubtedly achieve more success.

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