It’s AOR Season – four tips to help manage your RFP

June 18th, 2015

June 3 blog

As tealbook and our sourcing and procurement consulting team continues to grow, we are receiving more and more requests from clients who need help to find, validate and manage their supplier searches, requests that go beyond using tealbook as their supplier database.

I often get asked about which services are most frequently requested by clients. Over my eight years in the supplier search business, we can rarely predict what our clients will be looking for… except when it comes to the summer.

For us and many agencies, this time of the year gets busy with Agency of Record (AOR) searches. Some clients are looking for a new partner to support a launch, while others are taking advantage of the “slower” season to reassess agency relationships prior to the “back to school” fall season.

I’m (beyond) delighted that Kristin Hamann has recently joined our team, bringing extensive commercial and marketing experience from years spent at Genentech and Johnson & Johnson. She has been through this process many times in her career and is now actively supporting our Matchbook clients that require more support to find the right agencies.

In this busy AOR season, Kristin shares a few tips that can help you better prepare to make the best possible decision for your business:

1. The initial Request for Proposals for AORs is an exciting first stage for your team. It is a rare opportunity for employees, so many will be keen to participate. Determine who is going to support the RFP workstream. Consider developing a RAPID chart(Responsible, Align, Perform Input, Decision Maker), so that you can easily determine when to involve each member.

2. Don’t be limited to who you know. Cast the net wide! There are many agencies to consider for your search. Early on, ask your team to recommend agencies. Ask marketers on other brands to provide agency recommendations. If you have a tealbook account, you can easily pull a list of suitable agencies connected to your colleagues, as well as quickly gather a list of agencies outside of your network that best meet your criteria based on aggregated insight from industry peers in similar roles. Add and cross reference your initial list to include the strongest options.

3. Keep the end goal in mind. Consider and share what success looks like with an agency. Determine any non-negotiable criteria that an agency must meet to be successful with your brand. This is typically a short list of three-to-five specific non-negotiables. Use this list in tealbook to find agencies that meet your criteria. Take the time to VET (Validate Expertise) each agency with a short presentation, before inviting selected ones to present live. This is a great way to benchmark agenciesand find those that best meet your criteria. This best practice will help you quickly narrow down your agency list for the live presentation.

4. Set up your agencies for success. Establish clear expectations up front on the deliverables for each step of the selection process. Include your expectations in the initial brief and give them an opportunity to clarify. Making sure you are on the same page along the way will allow for much more productive presentations and a successful outcome.

Since joining tealbook, Kristin has already connected with a number of new suppliers. She will continue to share her latest findings through our blog. Be sure to subscribe to our posts, so that you can benefit from her insights and stay on top of industry trends and innovation.

If you are a supplier interested in learning more about tealbook and how it can help you generate more visibility for your innovative ideas, please schedule some time with Kristin. She will be happy to learn and share with all of us. Kristin can be reached at

As always, I welcome your feedback.


Steph (

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *