RFP Teams Struggle to Meet Turnaround Times as Volumes Skyrocket and Complexity Increases

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RFP Teams Struggle to Meet Turnaround Times as Volumes Skyrocket and Complexity Increases


Additional resources will be required for teams to continue meeting current turnaround times


August 2019, BOSTON - Request for proposal (RFP) teams are being tasked with handling an increasing number of RFPs, requests for information (RFIs), and due diligence questionnaires (DDQs) with increasing complexity, which is taxing on teams that are often already pressed for time. In a new report from Cerulli Associates, a global research and consulting firm, RFP teams indicate that meeting turnaround time goals is one of the most challenging aspects related to completing an RFP.


“The volume and complexity of requests received have increased over time due mostly to an increase in due diligence efforts by investment consultants and other institutions, as well as a shift in asset allocation decisions,” says Laura Levesque, senior analyst at Cerulli. Volumes from 2017 to 2018 for all request types have increased approximately 2% for RFIs. RFPs and DDQs have seen a more significant increase in volume, jumping approximately 13% and 20%, respectively.


As a result, RFP and database teams are challenged to meet turnaround times necessary to complete documents, with about 91% of respondents to a Cerulli survey saying it is at least a moderate challenge. “There are several reasons that turnaround time can be challenging, but many RFP teams tell Cerulli that the nature of questions being asked is becoming more customized, making it difficult to use their standardized responses stored in databases,” Levesque explains. “In these cases, they may need to seek additional feedback from other teams on a newly created response. Depending on how others in the firm prioritize the response, there may be a lag in response time, which can often lead to missed deadlines.”


Cerulli expects the realized turnaround times for requests will increase in the absence of additional headcount or technological support, but there is an opportunity to improve these metrics going forward. “One option is to lengthen the expected turnaround on the requests to the extent that it does not interfere with the asset manager’s ability to meet deadlines for submitting proposals,” adds Levesque. However, given current and expected volumes for RFP requests, teams will need to focus on a combination of adding headcount, further leveraging existing or new technology, or creating other operational efficiencies. “Reviews of RFP volumes and request types should be conducted on a regular basis in order to adjust target times, processes, and headcount.”


Cerulli’s newly released report, Institutional Marketing and Sales Organizations 2019: Deploying Resources and Analytics for the Acquisition and Retention of Client Assets, examines trends in direct sales, relationship management, marketing, consultant relations, client service, and RFP/database groups in the asset management industry.


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NOTES TO EDITORS:
These findings and more are from The Cerulli Report—Institutional Marketing and Sales Organizations 2019: Deploying Resources and Analytics for the Acquisition and Retention of Client Assets.

 

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