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Whether you’re responding to RFPs, RFIs, security questionnaires, or even just questions a prospect sends you over email, the success of your response strategy comes down to one thing—your content. Admittedly, finding and managing that content can be a struggle. That’s why having an RFP content management strategy is so important. Here are a few tips to building a rock-solid content management process.
Curate Your Best Content
Curating your content should be an ongoing part of your process, rather than a one-time stint. Imagine you are building a library that contains all of the content from past projects and proposals. Inevitably, you’ll end up with overlapping and outdated content. Your answer library is not meant to be a data dump of all your previous responses—it’s meant to be a curated, accurate, and approved repository of your best responses. The goal of your library is to make your content easy to find and use when you need it. Future you will have more time and be happier as a result.
Organization Is Crucial
Once you’ve determined which content to include in your library, you need to decide how to organize it in a way that makes sense for your business. Without proper organization at a library, you’d be sifting through a pile of books without any idea how to find what you’re looking for. Think about categorizing your content as if you are organizing books on a shelf. The easier it is to navigate your content, the easier it is to find. Keep it simple.
A general rule of thumb is to organize your content in a hierarchical structure—from high-level at the start and getting more specific as you continue. Consider organizing your content by themes rather than specifics. For example, having a category for “Competitors” might make more sense than having a category for each individual competitor. Work with your team and subject matter experts to determine the best way to segment your content.
Think about categorizing your content as if you are organizing books on a shelf. The easier it is to navigate your content, the easier it is to find.
Put a Review Cycle in Place
Content management is not a set-it-and-forget-it process. Libraries are continually reviewing the state of their books and replacing ones that are worn out or outdated. To ensure you use the most relevant and up-to-date content, you’ll want to have regular review cycles in place. Review cycles can be monthly, quarterly, or whatever makes sense based on how quickly your content evolves (consider pricing, product details, etc.).
Your Processes Should Stick Even When People Don’t
Ownership is at the heart of good content management practices. Be sure to allocate key roles and responsibilities for different parts of the content management process. Have different members of your team handle reviewing content, removing duplicates, and maintaining its shelf life. Sharing the workload as content grows and evolves will take the pressure off of a single team member and make everyone feel invested in the content.
Have a clear line of succession for these roles to avoid lost opportunities when someone is out of the office or leaves the company.
Prioritize Training and Onboarding
Training and onboarding are crucial to the success of your content management strategy. Dedicate time to sit with your team and review how content management works in your business. Make sure to document the process so it can easily be referenced during training and onboarding. Walk through your content management strategy with new members when they join the team.
This may seem like a lot of upfront work, but instilling a consistent process is key to shipping tailored responses out faster and closing more business.