Panel Request Response Title:OMG Your RFP is Killing Me  SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response  #76593.9.toddrossnienk...
Section 1: Intro•   RFPs AMIRITE?!?!         SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response                   OMG Your RFP is K...
Section 1a: Panelists•   Todd Ross Nienkerk: Four Kitchens•   Joe Rinaldi: Happy Cog•   John Stephens: Dell          SXSWi...
Section 2: Horror Stories    SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response              OMG Your RFP is Killing Me    #76593.9...
Section 2: Horror StoriesQ. How many firms were invited to respond toyour RFP?         SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Res...
Section 2: Horror StoriesQ. How many firms were invited to respond toyour RFP?A. 364         SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Reque...
Section 2: Horror StoriesQ. How many firms were invited to respond toyour RFP?A. 364Q. How many weren’t?         SXSWi 2012...
Section 3: Why RFPs?Or, Why do bad RFPs happen to good people?•   Why do clients issue RFPs?•   “Competitive Bid” driving ...
Section 3a: Why RFPs?     Do RFPs make sense to your bottom line?Case study: Four Kitchens•   30-40 hours per RFP response...
Section 3a: Why RFPs?     Do RFPs make sense to your bottom line?On the flip side:•   84% of work resulted from personal   ...
Section 3a: Why RFPs?     Do RFPs make sense to your bottom line?Conclusion:•   RFPs have driven a small, but not insignifi...
Section 3a: Why RFPs?     Do RFPs make sense to your bottom line?Minority report:•   We’re really bad at writing proposals...
Section 3a: Why RFPs?     Do RFPs make sense to your bottom line?Case Study: Happy Cog•   Total Leads•   Quality Wins and ...
Section 3a: Why RFPs?     Do RFPs make sense to your bottom line?•   Travel Expenses•   (Time spent traveling + developing...
Section 3a: Why RFPs?        Do RFPs make sense to your bottom line?Conclusion:•   We wasted time on at least 3 “Sexy Bran...
Section 4: Dell, A Success Story  •   RFP process is a vendor evaluating the client      too.      •   Provide more than j...
Section 4: Dell, A Success Story  •   Clear internal evaluation criteria among      stakeholders.  •   “Office Hours”  •   ...
Section 4: Dell, A Success Story  •   Room to improve?  •   Maybe limit presentations to 4 agencies vs. 6  •   RFP timing,...
Section 5: Clients•   For a creative project, allow for a creative    proposal. If its technical, look for technical. If  ...
Section 5: Clients•   Require speaking to the people who are going    to work on the project.    •   Avoid a sales “layer”...
Section 6: Vendors•   Ask clients how many other vendors theyre    inviting to bid.•   Be open: Ask if its really worth yo...
Section 6: Vendors•   Require a phone, video, or in-person meeting.    The proposal should be about pricing and    approac...
Section 7: Where do we go?•   Where do we go from here?•   John/Dell•   Joe/Happy Cog•   Todd/Four Kitchens          SXSWi...
Appendix A: Resources•   Stop Writing Project Proposals    Jonathan Wold, Smashing Magazine    http://cog.gd/3l2•   RFPs: ...
Appendix A: Resources•   6 Steps to Writing a Better Request for Proposals    Confluent Forms    http://cog.gd/3l3•   Buyin...
Appendix B: Future Scope•   DrupalCon Denver (March 19):    No RFPs! Why requests for proposal are bad for    business (an...
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    1. 1. Panel Request Response Title:OMG Your RFP is Killing Me SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens #SXOMGRFP @toddross @joerinaldi @fourkitchens @happycog #DellSXSW
    2. 2. Section 1: Intro• RFPs AMIRITE?!?! SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    3. 3. Section 1a: Panelists• Todd Ross Nienkerk: Four Kitchens• Joe Rinaldi: Happy Cog• John Stephens: Dell SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    4. 4. Section 2: Horror Stories SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    5. 5. Section 2: Horror StoriesQ. How many firms were invited to respond toyour RFP? SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    6. 6. Section 2: Horror StoriesQ. How many firms were invited to respond toyour RFP?A. 364 SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    7. 7. Section 2: Horror StoriesQ. How many firms were invited to respond toyour RFP?A. 364Q. How many weren’t? SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    8. 8. Section 3: Why RFPs?Or, Why do bad RFPs happen to good people?• Why do clients issue RFPs?• “Competitive Bid” driving the marketplace• State, federal, and bureaucratic requirements• Often RFP templates are the first/best option found in a search• “That’s just how we’ve always done it” SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    9. 9. Section 3a: Why RFPs? Do RFPs make sense to your bottom line?Case study: Four Kitchens• 30-40 hours per RFP response• $5,000-7,000 opportunity cost• Only 16% of work resulted from RFPs• Won only 22% of the RFP-driven proposals we submitted SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    10. 10. Section 3a: Why RFPs? Do RFPs make sense to your bottom line?On the flip side:• 84% of work resulted from personal connections and word-of-mouth• $2,000-3,000 cost to send a team of three to an in-person meeting SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    11. 11. Section 3a: Why RFPs? Do RFPs make sense to your bottom line?Conclusion:• RFPs have driven a small, but not insignificant, amount of business• It costs less for us to send three people to meet a potential client than responding to an RFP SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    12. 12. Section 3a: Why RFPs? Do RFPs make sense to your bottom line?Minority report:• We’re really bad at writing proposals! (But I don’t think so.) SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    13. 13. Section 3a: Why RFPs? Do RFPs make sense to your bottom line?Case Study: Happy Cog• Total Leads• Quality Wins and Losses• % RFP Wins and Losses SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    14. 14. Section 3a: Why RFPs? Do RFPs make sense to your bottom line?• Travel Expenses• (Time spent traveling + developing proposal and pitch + pitch meetings) * blended rate= Opportunity Cost• Revenue from RFP wins vs. Opportunity Cost and Expense SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    15. 15. Section 3a: Why RFPs? Do RFPs make sense to your bottom line?Conclusion:• We wasted time on at least 3 “Sexy Brand” RFPs this past year, but we won two amazing projects via RFP: Harvard.edu, Club Nintendo • My kids think it is cool that I “work for” Nintendo, want a Yoshi. *Yoshis are not real.• We have also passed on RFPs from both organizations, authored by other departments. SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    16. 16. Section 4: Dell, A Success Story • RFP process is a vendor evaluating the client too. • Provide more than just project requirements, cultural snapshot. • Internal stakeholders engaged appropriately, open dialog. SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    17. 17. Section 4: Dell, A Success Story • Clear internal evaluation criteria among stakeholders. • “Office Hours” • Successful partnership with procurement. SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    18. 18. Section 4: Dell, A Success Story • Room to improve? • Maybe limit presentations to 4 agencies vs. 6 • RFP timing, summer RFPs are difficult to project manage. • Take steps to ensure the project launch is synchronous to the evaluation process. SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    19. 19. Section 5: Clients• For a creative project, allow for a creative proposal. If its technical, look for technical. If both, look for both. BUT NO SPEC WORK!!! • Dont "level the playing field" forcing people to use a common font, type size, format, etc. Let vendors be creative in their own way. SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    20. 20. Section 5: Clients• Require speaking to the people who are going to work on the project. • Avoid a sales “layer”. Sales should be a facilitator.• Beware of low bids. Often they are too good to be true.• Pre-select, research and vet vendors. No open bids. Youll get a bunch of garbage. SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    21. 21. Section 6: Vendors• Ask clients how many other vendors theyre inviting to bid.• Be open: Ask if its really worth your time to respond. Are vendors with existing relationships under consideration? • If theyre cagey about it, ask how they found out about you. SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    22. 22. Section 6: Vendors• Require a phone, video, or in-person meeting. The proposal should be about pricing and approach; then do a face-to-face. If budget is a concern, float the estimate first to get buy-in. • Evaluate client consensus around requirements, goals.• Offer alternatives. As part of any sales or negotiation process, the evaluation system itself is often negotiable. SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    23. 23. Section 7: Where do we go?• Where do we go from here?• John/Dell• Joe/Happy Cog• Todd/Four Kitchens SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    24. 24. Appendix A: Resources• Stop Writing Project Proposals Jonathan Wold, Smashing Magazine http://cog.gd/3l2• RFPs: The Least Creative Way to Hire People Greg Hoy, A List Apart http://cog.gd/28b SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    25. 25. Appendix A: Resources• 6 Steps to Writing a Better Request for Proposals Confluent Forms http://cog.gd/3l3• Buying Wins Joe Rinaldi, Cognition http://cog.gd/30p SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens
    26. 26. Appendix B: Future Scope• DrupalCon Denver (March 19): No RFPs! Why requests for proposal are bad for business (and how we can stop them) http://cog.gd/3jq SXSWi 2012 Panel Speaker Request Response OMG Your RFP is Killing Me #76593.9.toddrossnienkerk.joerinaldi.johnstephens

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