What Makes a Perfect RFP Writer?
In order to master the Request for Proposal (RFP) process, you need the perfect RFP writer. To clarify, the RFP process refers to how organizations source, evaluate and respond to requests for proposals to provide goods and services. The process used to be a pretty archaic ordeal. Think binders slowly making their way through the mail, typewriters bleeding ink and warehouses full of questionnaires piled as high as the eye can see.
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Now, thanks to digital trends and exploding opportunities for public, private and nonprofit organizations alike, the RFP process is more streamlined and increasingly lucrative. That said, added value usually invites added competition, which is why it’s more important than ever for issuers and vendors to ensure they’re communicating clearly.
So, how do you ensure you’re communicating correctly with RFP issuers?
Answer: By having the right RFP writer.
What Makes a Perfect RFP Writer?
Know Your Structure
The most effective RFPs follow a broad structure not unlike any story, with a beginning, middle and end.
Beginning: Start your RFP by giving an overview of the current situation that addresses the exact problem — or problems, as is often the case — that this RFP is aiming to solve.
Middle: Next, list out your requirements explicitly within the RFP. At the very least, include business, technical, and cost solutions that your organization wants the winning bid to fulfill.
End: Finally, provide a summary of how your organization plans to grow as a result of the successful implementation of the winning proposal.
RFPs aren’t written alone. Instead, they force the engagement of myriad internal stakeholders to achieve completion. From budgets to 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. It also assists in implementation after the project concludes.
The perfect RFP writer will not shy away from describing exactly what he/she needs to craft a winning proposal. Communication is key to the RFP process. Failure to embrace a communicative and, if necessary, assertive spirit will undoubtedly hamper the results. In fact, RFPs aren’t just about the lowest price. Organizations also consider important factors about a bidder. For example, business structure, employees, company history, financials, demonstrated success, reputation, references and the completeness of the RFP itself. The RFP writer depends on thorough and consistent communication from its stakeholders to translate its less obvious requirements to bidders.
Enjoy the Process
RFPs need not be a dreary ordeal. Take pleasure in the fact that you’re telling your organization’s story and setting your team up for success. The perfect RFP writer views the process not as simply an obstacle to overcome. The perfect RFP writer views the process as a monumental first step in a journey of significant progress.
It may seem trivial, but a positive outlook when it comes to RFPs is absolutely critical if you’re going to stay organized and efficient throughout the many necessary details of creating the perfect solicitation, especially when deadlines are tight and the stakes are high.
Practice Makes Perfect
At The Bid Lab, we believe that any team who is truly committed and dedicated to the RFP process can complete a winning proposal. But, here at The Bid Lab, we also understand that people have day jobs (if you don’t, we’re always looking!) and RFPs aren’t usually high on the ‘can’t-wait-to-do list’. RFPs take time, effort and hard-earned experience to fully execute the advice above. That’s where we come in.
Our team of experts works with clients who don’t have the time, resources or experience to manage, write and build perfect Requests for Proposals. If a perfect RFP is your goal — and honestly, why wouldn’t it be — contact us today for a complimentary consultation.