While Vanilla Ice pales in comparison to Bob Dylan and other generations’ spokespeople, we’ll always be grateful for his accidental contribution to helping us improve the RFP processes.

Ah, Vanilla Ice. Who could forget him? 1990’s rap pioneer, fashion icon (if you like razor stripes on the side of your head), and … proposal expert?

Okay, not quite, but bear with me for a moment. If we consider the lyrics of his huge hit, “Ice, Ice Baby,” we can imagine that he was talking about improving RFP (Request for Proposal) processes. In particular, the line, “Stop. Collaborate and Listen,” seems to speak directly to one concept today’s RFP teams need to improve upon in order to gain internal efficiencies, create better proposals, and win more deals. Collaboration.

Why the need for collaboration?

Today, the process related to developing great content, responding to RFPs, and creating winning proposals is much more challenging than ever before. For example, RFP teams need to comb through a staggering amount of information, persuade many different subject matter experts to help, and project manage the whole proposal to meet extremely tight deadlines.

At the same time, proposal teams are getting larger, which adds exponential complexity to the process. It now takes 3-10 people to successfully complete an RFP response, and sometimes as many as 20. All of this means RFP managers must have new skills to manage an increasingly challenging process. Collaboration is at the top of the list.

To put it another way, the concepts of teamwork and collaboration can’t be “nice to have” items on a corporate wish list. Instead, they are becoming mandatory skills for RFP teams to produce winning proposals.

How do we initiate collaboration?

Yet knowing what we have to do and knowing how to do it are two different things. If team-building, partnership, and collaboration don’t exist in your organization, what can you do to drive these concepts through the company? When you’re not focused on your “day job” – developing content and creating your next great proposal…

The good news is that we can help. Our new guide, “Stop. Collaborate and Listen: Eight Best Practices for Improving Collaboration in the Proposal Process,” provides eight actionable best practices your organization can implement to improve collaboration. And when you do, your RFP teams will build stronger relationships, improve efficiencies, and produce sales proposals that truly stand apart.

For example, our first best practice is to do all you can to build a team that wants to help each other. One way to do this is to create opportunities to bring everyone together – RFP owners and subject matter experts – in casual, informal settings. It could be a group lunch, a pizza party, or even a team dinner to celebrate a recent win. The goal is to make teams want to help each other and contribute through every step of the process, and it starts with listening to each other and partnering for success.

This is just one of eight best practices for improving collaboration. Stay tuned for more blog articles for more of these ideas, or download our guide now to see them all yourself.

For more ideas on improving collaboration – and how it can improve your proposal processes – please download our new guide, “Stop. Collaborate and Listen: Eight Best Practices for Improving Collaboration in the Proposal Process,” today.