Starting the request for proposal (RFP) process for your company can be daunting. Before you can even begin, you need to identify the services that you require, create an internal scoring system so that your team is evaluating potential brokers appropriately, and, perhaps most intimidating, you must create an RFP document.
Some companies opt to create long, drawn-out documents with too many questions to count in order to try to uncover every detail about their potential broker. However, this often results in repetitive answers or vague responses to avoid duplication.
We suggest a more concise approach. The RFP response is just the first step after all, a way for you to whittle down respondents and decide who you want to learn about in greater detail during a finalist presentation.
First, be sure to include enough information about your company, why you are issuing the RFP, and any formatting guidelines that you would like respondents to adhere to.
Then, when you’re pulling together your RFP, there are some questions you need to ask, and some that you definitely don’t. Here are the ten questions that we recommend including in your RFP.
10 Questions to Include in an RFP
Provide a brief overview of your company.
This question gives you a chance to see how the broker describes themselves. It’s likely that you’ve heard how other organizations within the space talk about them, but how does this specific broker portray themselves in the best light? You’ll also get a sense of the trajectory of the company, and who they hope to be. If your values align with theirs, and you see potential in your partnership, you could be a good fit.
Describe the structure of the team that would be assigned to our program.
You’ll be interacting with the team that handles your account on consistent basis, so you want to know that you can trust your company to them and their experience. Asking this question in an RFP gives the broker a chance to highlight their exceptional team members and years of experience as well as the unique skill sets and qualifications that you can only access through their team.
Why would you be the perfect partner for our company?
This question is designed to prompt respondents to articulate their differentiators, the things about their business that makes them stand out in a sea of competition. You shouldn’t have to be the one digging to find out why they’d be a good fit for you. Ask them this question instead.
How do you ensure customer satisfaction?
You’re relying on your broker to provide you with the best coverages for your company – but what if you have an issue? This question will help you understand the respondent’s plans for keeping you satisfied. They should be able to cite demonstrated strategies and techniques for measuring and maintaining customer satisfaction – not just offer a promise that you’ll enjoy their work.
What are your risk management capabilities?
From a property & casualty perspective, risk management is the cornerstone of your coverage. This question will allow a potential broker to show the breadth and depth of their capabilities, from years of expertise to exclusive software or partnerships that put you in the best position if tragedy were to strike.
What is your strategy for communicating plan changes to employees?
This employee benefits-focused question is integral to a comprehensive RFP. It’s one thing for a broker to promise to refresh your benefits strategy, and another for them to communicate the changes to your employees. Ask brokers this question to determine if they have a tried-and-true communications plan, or if they’re putting the onus on you to get your employees up to speed.
How does wellness factor into your strategy?
The health and wellbeing of your employees should be a top priority for you – not only for employee satisfaction, but also was it pertains to utilization of your insurance coverages. The healthier your employees are, the better rates you’ll be able to attain. Your broker should be able to speak to the wellness programs that they’ve created in the past, and provide a few suggestions for a program that would be a good fit for your company.
How do you use technology to provide us with excellent service?
Insurtech is a hot topic, and the brokers who are responding to your RFP should be able to articulate the ways in which technology is influencing their strategy and execution. Whether they provide specifics about the platforms they’re utilizing, or offering their general technology philosophy, this question will make it clear to you if the broker has their finger on the pulse of technology.
What other offerings might our company be interested in?
As a wrap up to your RFP, give brokers a space to describe other potential offerings that you may not have requested information on like worksite benefits, financial risk management, or alternative funding options available to your organization. You don’t know what you don’t know!
What is the fee that you’re proposing for this service?
Finally, you want to know how much this is all going to cost you. Ask respondents what kind of fee structure they are proposing and if any of the services they mentioned throughout the RFP come with an extra cost.
If and when a formal RFP is required for your organization, the professionals at M3 can help make the process less daunting from the very beginning. Contact your M3 account executive for more information.