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The Top 8 Questions to Include in Your Benefits Broker RFP

SUMMARY

A great RFP is made up of insightful questions that strategically uncover benefits brokers’ values, services, and level of support. Here’s our HR expert-approved list of the top must-have questions to include in your RFP.

There’s nothing more exciting (or intimidating) than a blank page. And that’s especially true when it comes to writing up requests for proposal (RFPs).

An expertly-crafted RFP could be the key to unlock all the information you need to find the perfect benefits partner — but only if you know the right questions to ask. And unfortunately, those questions are still a mystery to far too many people ops pros.

”HR leaders were operating in a silo,” Nava CEO Brandon Weber pointed out in our recent RFP event in partnership with SHRM. “So every HR leader around the country, they're kind of doing this individually and basically having to start from scratch over and over again. And you saw this pattern of frustration where they're like going to the internet and Googling ‘broker RFP’ and copying and pasting questions.”

Well, say goodbye to your RFP Google searches. Between our team of seasoned brokers and the HR experts on our Nava Benefits Advisory Board, we’ve seen our fair share of RFPs — and we know what’s effective, what’s extra, and what will get the answers you need.

So we’ve decided to share the knowledge. Read on for the top eight RFP questions that will get you the intel you need to find the best broker partner for your employers’ unique benefits needs.

1. Describe the proposed team that would work to support [YOUR EMPLOYER] with their background and qualifications and specifically their role on our team.

If you’re going to bring on a new partner, you’re going to want to know who they are, what they bring to the table, and what they’re going to take off your plate.

What to look for in the responses:

  • A list of names that affirms consistency in who you will be working with — no musical chairs here.
  • Team backgrounds that match your company needs, so you can feel good tag-teaming whatever comes next

Watch out for:

  • “Who?” A list of people who you haven’t met yet in the process
  • Too many rookies on the roster, with backgrounds that don’t match the level of experience you’ll need

2. Describe your onboarding process for us as a new client, including proposed timeline and milestones.

If it looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship, you’re going to want to know what that friendship looks like first.

What to look for:

  • Specific timelines with clear stakeholders and deliverables
  • Tailor-made onboarding, customized to your teams’ unique needs

Watch out for:

  • A lack of specificity. A “sign the BOR” answer won’t cut it.
  • A timeline that lacks a proactive approach to keep all parties up to speed. When things are moving fast, you won’t want any games of telephone slowing you down.

3. Describe how you propose to build an understanding of the culture and priorities of [YOUR EMPLOYER] and how you would utilize this information to recommend changes and project future costs.

There’s no company quite like yours. And if they don’t recognize that, then they’re probably not worth your time.

What to look for:

  • A solid plan to help their team get to know your employee base, business goals, and company culture

Watch out for:

  • Wishy-washy answers
  • A lack of personalization to suggest they haven’t been listening and learning

4. Describe how your team will measure itself in terms of its performance in service of our account.

You hold your work to a high standard, and you’d hope your partner does, too. (And we don’t recommend grading on a curve.)

What to look for:

  • Unique, specific answers about how this brokerage will make your job easier and improve the employee experience. After all, if they’re not doing that, then what is this all for?
  • Reference to data tracking and SLAs

Watch out for:

  • Cookie-cutter answers
  • A lack of consideration for the employee experience

5. Discuss what your organization believes are the most compelling issues today in the employee benefits and wellness industry, and how your team is uniquely poised to address them.

These days, the benefits marketplace is changing at the speed of light. Are they on the up-and-up or struggling to keep up?

What to look for:

  • Proactive thought leadership on important topics
  • A track record of active participation in industry publications and associations
  • A data-driven decision-making process

Watch out for:

  • Answers that feel obvious and lack forward-thinking insights
  • A lack of data or a strong point a view

6. Describe your ongoing client support model and how you will create efficiency for me and my department.

Your broker partner should make your life easier. Point blank period.

What to look for:

  • A focus on measurable efficiency: Hours saved, response times, employee adoption rates, etc.

Watch out for:

  • Promises without the data to back it up
  • A lack of SLAs or service commitments

7. There are thousands of benefits vendors available. How will you help us find the right solutions for our employees’ unique needs?

In the wide world of benefits, there’s a vendor for every employee need, no matter how specific. The hard part is finding that vendor.

What to look for:

  • A proactive, open attitude
  • A data-driven approach
  • An unbiased source of truth

Watch out for:

  • Vague answers that rely on relationships alone

(BTW, if you need some help navigating the benefits vendor marketplace, the Nava Benefits Search Engine may come in handy.)

8. What is your proposed fee structure and contract term for us, and why?

A surprise party is great. A surprise bill isn’t. Don’t let them give you a bad surprise.

What to look for:

  • Transparent fees across the board
  • Removal of shady kickback practices
  • Openness to creative funding solutions
  • Satisfaction guarantees

Watch out for:

  • A lack of a clear policy
  • A fee structure that can create misaligned incentives

How do I build an RFP for my company?

If you’re hoping to craft the perfect RFP, these eight questions are just the tip of the iceberg. Lucky for you, we have all the questions you’ll need — and then some.

Here’s your own plug-and-play RFP template. It’s editable, unbranded, and includes only the best expert-recommended questions, so you can get the answers you’re looking for:

And it doesn’t stop there. Our RFP Roadmap microsite includes all you need to know to make this process smooth and easy: a sample timeline, a scoresheet, and expert insights from our Nava Benefits Advisory Board.

Have a question on the RFP process? Our team can help.

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The Top 8 Questions to Include in Your Benefits Broker RFP

May 20, 2022
WHEN
May 20, 2022
Where
EVENTS

The Top 8 Questions to Include in Your Benefits Broker RFP

There’s nothing more exciting (or intimidating) than a blank page. And that’s especially true when it comes to writing up requests for proposal (RFPs).

An expertly-crafted RFP could be the key to unlock all the information you need to find the perfect benefits partner — but only if you know the right questions to ask. And unfortunately, those questions are still a mystery to far too many people ops pros.

”HR leaders were operating in a silo,” Nava CEO Brandon Weber pointed out in our recent RFP event in partnership with SHRM. “So every HR leader around the country, they're kind of doing this individually and basically having to start from scratch over and over again. And you saw this pattern of frustration where they're like going to the internet and Googling ‘broker RFP’ and copying and pasting questions.”

Well, say goodbye to your RFP Google searches. Between our team of seasoned brokers and the HR experts on our Nava Benefits Advisory Board, we’ve seen our fair share of RFPs — and we know what’s effective, what’s extra, and what will get the answers you need.

So we’ve decided to share the knowledge. Read on for the top eight RFP questions that will get you the intel you need to find the best broker partner for your employers’ unique benefits needs.

1. Describe the proposed team that would work to support [YOUR EMPLOYER] with their background and qualifications and specifically their role on our team.

If you’re going to bring on a new partner, you’re going to want to know who they are, what they bring to the table, and what they’re going to take off your plate.

What to look for in the responses:

  • A list of names that affirms consistency in who you will be working with — no musical chairs here.
  • Team backgrounds that match your company needs, so you can feel good tag-teaming whatever comes next

Watch out for:

  • “Who?” A list of people who you haven’t met yet in the process
  • Too many rookies on the roster, with backgrounds that don’t match the level of experience you’ll need

2. Describe your onboarding process for us as a new client, including proposed timeline and milestones.

If it looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship, you’re going to want to know what that friendship looks like first.

What to look for:

  • Specific timelines with clear stakeholders and deliverables
  • Tailor-made onboarding, customized to your teams’ unique needs

Watch out for:

  • A lack of specificity. A “sign the BOR” answer won’t cut it.
  • A timeline that lacks a proactive approach to keep all parties up to speed. When things are moving fast, you won’t want any games of telephone slowing you down.

3. Describe how you propose to build an understanding of the culture and priorities of [YOUR EMPLOYER] and how you would utilize this information to recommend changes and project future costs.

There’s no company quite like yours. And if they don’t recognize that, then they’re probably not worth your time.

What to look for:

  • A solid plan to help their team get to know your employee base, business goals, and company culture

Watch out for:

  • Wishy-washy answers
  • A lack of personalization to suggest they haven’t been listening and learning

4. Describe how your team will measure itself in terms of its performance in service of our account.

You hold your work to a high standard, and you’d hope your partner does, too. (And we don’t recommend grading on a curve.)

What to look for:

  • Unique, specific answers about how this brokerage will make your job easier and improve the employee experience. After all, if they’re not doing that, then what is this all for?
  • Reference to data tracking and SLAs

Watch out for:

  • Cookie-cutter answers
  • A lack of consideration for the employee experience

5. Discuss what your organization believes are the most compelling issues today in the employee benefits and wellness industry, and how your team is uniquely poised to address them.

These days, the benefits marketplace is changing at the speed of light. Are they on the up-and-up or struggling to keep up?

What to look for:

  • Proactive thought leadership on important topics
  • A track record of active participation in industry publications and associations
  • A data-driven decision-making process

Watch out for:

  • Answers that feel obvious and lack forward-thinking insights
  • A lack of data or a strong point a view

6. Describe your ongoing client support model and how you will create efficiency for me and my department.

Your broker partner should make your life easier. Point blank period.

What to look for:

  • A focus on measurable efficiency: Hours saved, response times, employee adoption rates, etc.

Watch out for:

  • Promises without the data to back it up
  • A lack of SLAs or service commitments

7. There are thousands of benefits vendors available. How will you help us find the right solutions for our employees’ unique needs?

In the wide world of benefits, there’s a vendor for every employee need, no matter how specific. The hard part is finding that vendor.

What to look for:

  • A proactive, open attitude
  • A data-driven approach
  • An unbiased source of truth

Watch out for:

  • Vague answers that rely on relationships alone

(BTW, if you need some help navigating the benefits vendor marketplace, the Nava Benefits Search Engine may come in handy.)

8. What is your proposed fee structure and contract term for us, and why?

A surprise party is great. A surprise bill isn’t. Don’t let them give you a bad surprise.

What to look for:

  • Transparent fees across the board
  • Removal of shady kickback practices
  • Openness to creative funding solutions
  • Satisfaction guarantees

Watch out for:

  • A lack of a clear policy
  • A fee structure that can create misaligned incentives

How do I build an RFP for my company?

If you’re hoping to craft the perfect RFP, these eight questions are just the tip of the iceberg. Lucky for you, we have all the questions you’ll need — and then some.

Here’s your own plug-and-play RFP template. It’s editable, unbranded, and includes only the best expert-recommended questions, so you can get the answers you’re looking for:

And it doesn’t stop there. Our RFP Roadmap microsite includes all you need to know to make this process smooth and easy: a sample timeline, a scoresheet, and expert insights from our Nava Benefits Advisory Board.

Have a question on the RFP process? Our team can help.

Author bio

The Nava Team

Nava is a modern benefits brokerage leveraging technology and benefits innovation to tackle the rising costs of healthcare.

Linkedin
Icon of a chainlink to indicate a hyperlink
Summary
A great RFP is made up of insightful questions that strategically uncover benefits brokers’ values, services, and level of support. Here’s our HR expert-approved list of the top must-have questions to include in your RFP.

There’s nothing more exciting (or intimidating) than a blank page. And that’s especially true when it comes to writing up requests for proposal (RFPs).

An expertly-crafted RFP could be the key to unlock all the information you need to find the perfect benefits partner — but only if you know the right questions to ask. And unfortunately, those questions are still a mystery to far too many people ops pros.

”HR leaders were operating in a silo,” Nava CEO Brandon Weber pointed out in our recent RFP event in partnership with SHRM. “So every HR leader around the country, they're kind of doing this individually and basically having to start from scratch over and over again. And you saw this pattern of frustration where they're like going to the internet and Googling ‘broker RFP’ and copying and pasting questions.”

Well, say goodbye to your RFP Google searches. Between our team of seasoned brokers and the HR experts on our Nava Benefits Advisory Board, we’ve seen our fair share of RFPs — and we know what’s effective, what’s extra, and what will get the answers you need.

So we’ve decided to share the knowledge. Read on for the top eight RFP questions that will get you the intel you need to find the best broker partner for your employers’ unique benefits needs.

1. Describe the proposed team that would work to support [YOUR EMPLOYER] with their background and qualifications and specifically their role on our team.

If you’re going to bring on a new partner, you’re going to want to know who they are, what they bring to the table, and what they’re going to take off your plate.

What to look for in the responses:

  • A list of names that affirms consistency in who you will be working with — no musical chairs here.
  • Team backgrounds that match your company needs, so you can feel good tag-teaming whatever comes next

Watch out for:

  • “Who?” A list of people who you haven’t met yet in the process
  • Too many rookies on the roster, with backgrounds that don’t match the level of experience you’ll need

2. Describe your onboarding process for us as a new client, including proposed timeline and milestones.

If it looks like the beginning of a beautiful friendship, you’re going to want to know what that friendship looks like first.

What to look for:

  • Specific timelines with clear stakeholders and deliverables
  • Tailor-made onboarding, customized to your teams’ unique needs

Watch out for:

  • A lack of specificity. A “sign the BOR” answer won’t cut it.
  • A timeline that lacks a proactive approach to keep all parties up to speed. When things are moving fast, you won’t want any games of telephone slowing you down.

3. Describe how you propose to build an understanding of the culture and priorities of [YOUR EMPLOYER] and how you would utilize this information to recommend changes and project future costs.

There’s no company quite like yours. And if they don’t recognize that, then they’re probably not worth your time.

What to look for:

  • A solid plan to help their team get to know your employee base, business goals, and company culture

Watch out for:

  • Wishy-washy answers
  • A lack of personalization to suggest they haven’t been listening and learning

4. Describe how your team will measure itself in terms of its performance in service of our account.

You hold your work to a high standard, and you’d hope your partner does, too. (And we don’t recommend grading on a curve.)

What to look for:

  • Unique, specific answers about how this brokerage will make your job easier and improve the employee experience. After all, if they’re not doing that, then what is this all for?
  • Reference to data tracking and SLAs

Watch out for:

  • Cookie-cutter answers
  • A lack of consideration for the employee experience

5. Discuss what your organization believes are the most compelling issues today in the employee benefits and wellness industry, and how your team is uniquely poised to address them.

These days, the benefits marketplace is changing at the speed of light. Are they on the up-and-up or struggling to keep up?

What to look for:

  • Proactive thought leadership on important topics
  • A track record of active participation in industry publications and associations
  • A data-driven decision-making process

Watch out for:

  • Answers that feel obvious and lack forward-thinking insights
  • A lack of data or a strong point a view

6. Describe your ongoing client support model and how you will create efficiency for me and my department.

Your broker partner should make your life easier. Point blank period.

What to look for:

  • A focus on measurable efficiency: Hours saved, response times, employee adoption rates, etc.

Watch out for:

  • Promises without the data to back it up
  • A lack of SLAs or service commitments

7. There are thousands of benefits vendors available. How will you help us find the right solutions for our employees’ unique needs?

In the wide world of benefits, there’s a vendor for every employee need, no matter how specific. The hard part is finding that vendor.

What to look for:

  • A proactive, open attitude
  • A data-driven approach
  • An unbiased source of truth

Watch out for:

  • Vague answers that rely on relationships alone

(BTW, if you need some help navigating the benefits vendor marketplace, the Nava Benefits Search Engine may come in handy.)

8. What is your proposed fee structure and contract term for us, and why?

A surprise party is great. A surprise bill isn’t. Don’t let them give you a bad surprise.

What to look for:

  • Transparent fees across the board
  • Removal of shady kickback practices
  • Openness to creative funding solutions
  • Satisfaction guarantees

Watch out for:

  • A lack of a clear policy
  • A fee structure that can create misaligned incentives

How do I build an RFP for my company?

If you’re hoping to craft the perfect RFP, these eight questions are just the tip of the iceberg. Lucky for you, we have all the questions you’ll need — and then some.

Here’s your own plug-and-play RFP template. It’s editable, unbranded, and includes only the best expert-recommended questions, so you can get the answers you’re looking for:

And it doesn’t stop there. Our RFP Roadmap microsite includes all you need to know to make this process smooth and easy: a sample timeline, a scoresheet, and expert insights from our Nava Benefits Advisory Board.

Have a question on the RFP process? Our team can help.

Author bio

The Nava Team

Nava is a modern benefits brokerage leveraging technology and benefits innovation to tackle the rising costs of healthcare.

Linkedin
Icon of a chainlink to indicate a hyperlink
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