An RFP Story

In my past life we received an RFP from a global top 20 chemicals firm, looking for a new enterprise pricing software solution. It was a surprise – we weren’t expecting it

It came from their procurement organization along with a set of rigid rules and timescales to be followed. We reviewed the document and we responded saying..

Pricing systems are complex and critical – and there’s absolutely no ‘one size fits all’. We would be doing you and ourselves a serious disservice by responding to your RFP without knowing more about your business, expected outcomes and your readiness for technology

We would like to propose a meeting with the executive sponsor before we commit to the RFP. We’re making this request because we are single-minded in our focus on successful customer outcomes – and we need to ensure there is good fit with our capability and your vision

Of course, the immediate answer was ‘No, if we do this for you then we have to do it for all’.

But we stuck to our guns and remained passionate in our belief that we could not make this customer successful unless they were willing to engage on a collaborative, outcomes focused basis. By not allowing us access or proposing an alternative solution we had the verifier we needed to be disciplined

There is a happy ending – but not the one you might have been expecting. Three months later we heard that the chemicals firm had been looking to build an internal pricing solution and wanted to use the RFP process to assess vendor functionality and capability they may or may not want to build into their inhouse development

As a result, we spent our time focused on opportunities where intent to buy was high and the fit even better!