Using AI RFP Solutions: Dos and Don’ts

AI for RFPs

In the 1994 episode of the Simpsons, “Deep Space Homer,” newscaster Kent Brockman wrongfully reports Earth is being invaded by giant space ants, declaring, “I, for one, welcome our new insect overlords.” The Simpsons’ writers had little idea that their quotation (a satirical nod to a classic science fiction movie directed by H.G. Wells) would make the jump to Jeoporady nearly two decades later. After losing a Jeopardy game to an IBM computer system, Ken Jennings tweaked that sentiment: “I, for one, welcome our new computer overlords.” Let’s face it: AI may be controversial, but it’s here to stay. It’s already making our work more efficient and our lives a little easier. So, why not use an AI RFP solution? 

 As with all new technologies, best practices are still being developed, which is especially important when using AI for RFPs. Knowing what to do and what not to do is crucial when considering implementing AI in your organization’s RFP process. Specifically, let’s discuss using AI to enhance your Request for Proposal (RFP) process. Our goal, as always, is to secure more winning submissions!

Artificial Intelligence: An AI Primer defines AI as “a branch of computer science that uses computational models to perform tasks that previously required human intelligence.” Today, when people say AI, they think of ChatGPT or Google’s Gemini AI tool that can answer almost any question in a matter of seconds. Others see AI as the dawn of a dystopian world where Arnold Schwarzenegger’s T-800 Terminator robot is bent on taking over humanity.

In short, generative AI technology (“GenAI”) uses machine learning algorithms and vast amounts of accessible data to process, analyze and learn from data, much like we do as humans. AI then uses predictive modeling to generate responses based on user prompts. When preparing responses, using AI to write the RFP is tempting. After all, more companies are embracing GenAI for their RFP process than ever. Before taking the AI leap into your next proposal, let’s dive into the Dos and Don’ts of using AI for RFPs.

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Using AI RFP Solutions: Dos and Don’ts

Artificial Intelligence (AI) has become a buzzword in many industries, promising increased efficiency and accuracy. However, when it comes to the complex and nuanced process of responding to Requests for Proposals (RFPs), there are many reasons to proceed with caution. For all the benefits AI RFP solutions can provide, when not utilized properly, the results can be underwhelming. Often, AI only returns commonly known or even unrelated information. Try implementing the following best practices in your next AI-assisted RFP to reduce and improve results when sourcing and submitting RFPs. 

Searching RFP Opportunities

  • Do use AI-powered searches for RFP opportunities. The ability to set up automated searches and notifications about new RFPs, saving time on rabbit-hole searches that yield few results. 
  • Don’t stick to the same search terms or parameters you might use with a search engine. AI relies on prompts and detailed input from the user to determine the scope of the search and provide results. Garbage in—garbage out will result in poor responses and wasted time. Understand that many AI tools are not sourcing the most recent data, and hiring staff with advanced machine language skills can be costly. 

To ensure access to the most relevant and timely RFPS, The Bid Lab developed Bid Banana. Bid Banana is a user-friendly RFP search engine with access to over 4,000 entities from 35,000 local, state and federal RFPs. It uses an intuitive design to source quality RFPs with comprehensive results at an affordable monthly rate. So, what are you waiting for? Check out Bid Banana today!

Leverage AI RFP Solutions for Data Analysis

  • Do have AI analyze past RFP responses and outcomes to assist in uncovering aspects of past RFPs that worked and what didn’t. Imagine having the superpower of instant memory recall on every word in every RFP written by your company as you prepare for the next RFP submission. Here is where AI dramatically separates itself from humans. 
  • Don’t overlook that AI can misinterpret nuanced requirements for or the overall context of the RFP. AI has yet to understand the subtle compliance requirements in an RFP that humans can. The last thing you want is to have your RFP rejected because AI misinterpreted a critical requirement.

AI for Narratives and Editing 

  • Do use AI to draft sections of your RFP response. AI can assist with clarity and professionalism. Moreover, AI can speedily generate massive amounts of narratives on any topic. That means more time for your staff to work on more complex projects. AI is a subject matter expert and an accomplished author when properly prompted.  
  • Don’t rely solely on AI-generated content! AI cannot replace human oversight. Generative AI narratives can have errors and inaccurate information if you are not careful. While AI can help draft content with few grammatical errors, it cannot offer customization or could misuse industry-specific language in the RFP as it relates to your company and services. AI operates within the parameters of its programming and data inputs, which can limit creativity and innovative thinking. RFPs often require human creativity, out-of-the-box solutions and strategic thinking beyond what AI can generate.

As AI is still learning, most services are based on years-old patterns and historical data sets. So, AI often overlooks innovative approaches to complex problems (such as a unique project management strategy or an unexpected partnership). A lot can change in two years. Just look at how fast AI has progressed in less than two years!

AI Insights to Enhance an RFP 

  • Do use AI to enhance your proposal with insights and specific industry needs to make your RFP more compelling and relevant. Investing in training on machine language and AI prompts can lead to better GenAI results and accuracy. Finding a key statistic or view on delivering a service could be the difference needed to win the bid! Where AI lacks in human innovation, it makes up for via algorithm-driven modeling. Moreover, AI RFP solutions can sort data faster and more accurately than humans. 
  • Don’t ignore data privacy and security when using GenAI tools. RFPs require sensitive and confidential data, posing a security risk when misused. Do not input confidential or sensitive data into an AI to reduce security risks, data breaches, or information misuse. Artificial Intelligence tools could expose proprietary information in the RFP response, leading to legal and reputational damages or competitive disadvantages. To avoid these pitfalls, consider implementing an AI policy as a guide for your company’s best use. 

The Power of Relationships

Don’t forget about the power of relationships. AI RFP solutions can streamline many processes while simultaneously providing volumes of information. Yet, without human interaction, critical thinking, compliance issues, errors, and gaps can cost you that next big contract. Good luck explaining to the boss that you didn’t lose the RFP; the AI robot lost it! 

While we welcome our new AI overlords, now is not the time to embrace GenAI tools solely on your next RFP submission. AI and AI-centric companies are still limited by the advancements made in machine learning and computing capacity.

At The Bid Lab, we understand that humans have boundless creativity and innovation unmatched by AI. Humans still issue RFPs, best write RFPs, and humans are ultimately served by the products or services issued from an RFP. There is peace of mind when you contact The Bid Lab or request a free consultation through Bid Banana, knowing you will interact with a team of humans who draft, review, edit and produce winning RFPs. From our Sales team and Project Managers to our writers and support staff, we offer a focused approach to ensure your RFP is professional, compliant, and submitted on time by “Your RFP Experts” at The Bid Lab. 

I, for one, will wait for our AI overlords regarding full-on RFP submissions until the T-800s Terminator robots can prep, package, and hand deliver old-school RFPs.  

At The Bid Lab, we understand humans have boundless creativity and innovation unmatched by AI RFP solutions. Humans still issue RFPs and write RFPs. Ultimately, humans benefit from the products or services issued through an RFP. There is peace of mind when you contact The Bid Lab or request a free consultation through Bid Banana, knowing you will interact with a team of humans who draft, review, edit and produce winning RFPs. From our sales team and project managers to our writers and support staff, we offer a focused approach to ensure your RFP is professional, compliant, and submitted on time. So, if you’re ready to contact our RFP experts at The Bid Lab, reach out! Schedule a free consultation with us today by calling 1-844-4BIDLAB or emailing

Ready for more? Check out our Learning Center for more tips on finding the top RFPs for your business.