When companies and organizations seek additional revenue streams they are increasingly turning to the Request for Proposal (RFP) process. If you’re an expert in your field, or you know your organization is ready to provide an expert-level product, RFPs are a lucrative ecosystem you can’t afford to ignore.
But in this bustling, competitive world of bids and proposals, you need to put your best foot forward to stand apart from the competition. At The Bid Lab, we work with winning organizations every day to create competitive responses to RFPs. We know what it takes to bring a bid response from good to great, and have listed a few of our favorite tactics below to share with The Bid Lab community!
Find Your Enthusiasm, and Harness It.
The RFP process can be an exhaustive one, and guiding a successful RFP proposal from concept to contract requires dedication and diligence. To navigate an RFP with the proper level of consistency and attention to detail, find what excites you about the opportunity and keep it close in mind as you craft your response.
Whether it is the passion you get from your work or the thrill of competing for a potentially transformative opportunity, leverage your enthusiasm to help your team meet deadlines, catch tiny mistakes, and provide a positive representation of the excellence with which you work.
Differentiate Your Bid With Design Software.
You absolutely need to know your audience when it comes to designing the perfect RFP response. Some bids might require very strict responses with predefined style guides. But at The Bid Lab, we find that RFP reviewers often crave proposals that stand out from the pack.
Design software tools offer valuable opportunities to help you convey complex information concisely while demonstrating your firm’s impressive creativity at the same time. Design tool options like Adobe’s Creative Suite, or a free alternative, can also help your RFP show rather than tell.
They offer helpful shortcuts and beautiful templates to incorporate charts, graphs, images, videos, and more to help an RFP get its message across effectively. Evaluators value a well-designed proposal because it speaks to an organization’s dexterity, prowess, and out-of-the-box thinking.
Utilize RFP Artificial Intelligence Tools Intelligently.
Automated RFP tools leveraging artificial intelligence can sometimes help organizations complete their RFP proposals quickly and effectively. We haven’t yet found a bid software tool that can drive an RFP response fully, but there are some that may help your organization save time, or create certain efficiencies. This typically requires you complete a large number of RFP responses to be worth the investment, so hold off on this until your volumes are really high.
Bid database software options can be helpful in auto-filling responses, facilitating team communication, and providing possible search optimizations. However, these tools remain quite limited in their effectiveness without a dedicated human element. Prices can range dramatically among different options as well, making it hard for operations to scale up their RFP operations enough to fully leverage the AI-enabled benefits.
Collaborate With Technology.
Whether you use an open platform like Google Shared Drive, more secure options like Dropbox, Skype, or something entirely different – using technology to collaborate is vital. The best RFPs aren’t written alone. Instead, they benefit from the engagement of myriad internal stakeholders to achieve completion.
From budgets and technical functions to legal reviews, RFPs mandate all relevant inputs are correct and approved. This not only helps to confirm buy-in when it comes to budget allocation, but it also assists in implementation after the project concludes. With such high stakes, you need a collaboration tool that helps you provide feedback quickly, track and manage schedules, communicate effectively, and share voluminous data efficiently. A tool that also allows you to audit multiple versions of your proposal is your best bet.
Put the Tools to Work.
Now that your RFP toolbox is metaphorically stuffed to the brim, it is time to get out there and start winning bids. No tool can make an impact gathering dust, and winning the perfect RFP opportunity requires time, effort, and practice. Luckily these tools offer some of the best support and efficiencies we’ve seen, and can help your proposal team start winning bids today.
If you or your business do need additional support and expertise to help you achieve your RFP goals, reach out to The Bid Lab today. We not only assist our clients in finding RFPs that strategically align with their business needs, but we also help manage their responses to ensure a win-worthy proposal.
If you’re interested in learning more about what we do, or have questions about how we do it, contact us today for a complimentary consultation.