October 14, 2014
|Relationship||The vendor sales rep had an excellent relationship with the client. That relationship fostered open communication on the client's key focus, pain points and business requirements||Client had the rapport with the vendor to connect, discuss and be open about their business goals, roadmap and pain points.|
|Sponsorship||The sales team had a designated sponsor on the engagement who provided executive level support and authorized necessary resources when and as needed.||Client clearly defined a project sponsor who made the go/no-go decision and allocated budget for the engagement.|
|Solution||The vendor response included an innovative solution that addressed the client's key focus of the RFP. For example, if the pain point was to consolidate data centers and leverage virtualization and converged infrastructure, then the vendor response provided a solution that focused on addressing the client's key concern and providing the cost benefit analysis, as applicable.||The client clearly specified on what was expected as available vs. custom solution in response to their requirements. If the clarity was missing in the issued document, it was highlighted and discussed in the vendor Q&A session.|
|3rd Party Vendor Alliances||If and when 3rd party vendor partners were engaged:|
• The prime and sub were clearly identified
• All parties worked together to provide a "one-throat-to-choke" response through the prime vendor - program manager.
• All parties presented a unified and well integrated view throughout the pre-sales cycle strengthening the collaboration.
• Roles and responsibilities of each vendor function were clearly laid out in form of a RACI matrix
|In some scenarios, depending on the RFP scope, the client recommended certain vendors to collaborate to provide a joint response based on their expertise.|
|Pricing||The vendor followed the pricing guidelines by providing both high level as well as component details, i.e. hardware, software, and professional services. In some cases, term based pricing for 1-yr, 3-yr, and 5-yr was provided with the cost savings. In all winning scenarios, pricing transparency was a very key criteria.||The client provided specific instructions on how the pricing breakdown should be provided, i.e. solution term (fully outsourced solution), hardware, software, services and support.|
|Project Deadline||Vendor ensured to follow the response deadline. The adherence reflected organization and focus to address the solution response in time.||The client provided a firm deadline that reflected a sense of urgency and definitive plan on vendor selection and momentum with the project at hand.|
|Reference Clients / Case Studies||The vendor was able to provide reference clients where similar type of solution was implemented and case studies existed.||The client clearly specified on the type of references needed.|
|Response Format||The vendor responded in the prescribed response format with no exceptions unless discussed in advance with the client's team/vendor manager.||The client clearly highlighted the response format and exceptions. To give an example, in one case study, the client wanted the response to be in power-point format and any additional documentation on product details or marketing material to be kept in an addendum.|
|Executive Summary||The vendor concisely provided a tailored view of their understanding of the scope of the initiative, how their offering will provide value & what could they do to increase the client’s comfort level in the recommended solution proposition (i.e. demo/POC) or referred to a pertinent case study scenario.|
|Project Delivery Team||The vendor had a seasoned team in place who could deliver on the proposed solution and was well versed with the vendor's solution proposition and its nuances. In some win scenarios, the vendor included the bios of the key professional services delivery leaders, i.e. project manager and solutions architect.||The client requested for the bios of the vendor delivery team leads and ensured alignment with the client's internal team.|
Opinions expressed by the author are not necessarily those of WITI.
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