Short for “Request for Information,” the RFI is really a preliminary document used by companies that don’t understand the marketplace they’re about to enter. In the case of a company searching for a CRM, for instance, it would use an RFI if it had no prior experience with CRM and wanted to gain an understanding on the range of options in the CRM space. An RFP, “Request for Proposal,” is a document that asks vendors to propose solutions to a customer’s problems or business requirements and usually follows an RFI. An RFP should contain much more specificity in terms of what a company’s needs are by outlining the business goals for the project and identifying specific requirements that are necessary for the work being requested. The key to this document is that there is sufficient detail to give vendors the context they need in order to propose a valid solution, yet it still needs to allow enough leeway for the vendors to apply creativity and best practices to fulfill those needs. Short for “Request for Quotation,” the RFQ is an even more detailed document that drills down to the exact specifications required by the company. In a situation where an RFQ is used for a b2b software project, the company knows enough about its current system and exactly how it wants to change or improve it in the future.