What’s Your RFP Strategy?
Your RFP strategy is perfect, right? Well… almost. You could be missing out on some great opportunities by not including an effective Request for Proposal (RFP) strategy alongside your other tried-and-true methods.
RFPs continue to grow in popularity, and are commonly produced by a wide variety of corporations, not just government entities. If your business isn’t taking advantage of these opportunities, you’re missing out on valuable revenue. Here we’ve put together a few simple ways your business can embrace the RFP process and see earnings grow by generating RFP sourced revenue.
Establish Ownership of Your RFP Strategy
First, it’s important to establish ownership of your RFP strategy. Should you dedicate a team or an individual to the task of researching and executing any possible RFPs? If you’re a small to medium-sized business, you may not have those sorts of resources at your disposal. Luckily, there are a number of dedicated agencies who specialize in RFPs, some of which can custom-tailor solutions with a great ROI.
Choosing to proceed in-house means personnel who live and breathe RFP strategy. Don’t make the mistake of assigning the task to someone with other high-demanding responsibilities. They simply won’t be able to locate and thoroughly evaluate the best opportunities available. If your team doesn’t have the bandwidth for proper evaluations and executions, you’re not only wasting the team’s time, but also dampening their morale.
Be Proactive and Discerning
This can’t be stressed enough: Don’t sit around and wait for RFPs to fall into your lap (or inbox). You must be proactive and vigilant to find the RFPs which are the best fit for your organization. You win 0% of the RFPs you don’t bid on so do your research.
If you have sales or account management teams, encourage them to start conversations about your current clients’ needs. See if they can discover whether or not they currently issue RFPs. Offering a solution before they even have their question formulated is a great way to take the lead early in the process.
Be painstakingly meticulous when choosing which RFPs are best to spend your company’s valuable resources. One of the easiest and simplest ways to enhance your RFP strategy is to simply decline to bid on opportunities that are a poor match for your business, or seem unlikely to succeed. Bidding on every RFP that comes your way is neither strategic, nor time efficient.
Know When to Decline an RFP
Sometimes it just makes sense to decline to bid on opportunities that aren’t a good fit for your company’s long-term goals, or that you’re not likely to win. Ask yourself these questions during your initial RFP review:
- Do you know who your competitors are?
- Is the delivery deadline or request realistic?
- Can your business provide the resources needed if the bid is won?
- Will it be profitable, both in the short-term and long-term?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, then you should seriously consider declining to move forward with the bid. Find another RFP that better fits your organization’s strengths.
Make Your Proposal Stand Out
So your team has discovered the perfect RFP for your organization and put your best foot forward by completing the proposal in a responsive and compliant fashion. Now, it’s time to submit your proposal, but how do you make yours stand out from the competition?
- Review everything, twice: Be sure not to overlook any important details in the RFP. Take your time and don’t wait until the last minute to send your submission. Missing important steps or requirements will doom your proposal.
- Ask questions: An RFP provider will take note when a prospective vendor asks the tough questions. Ensure you’re providing the best answer by being as technical as possible when needed.
- Provide alternative solutions: You can get noticed by solving a problem in a unique way — especially if it results in cost savings. Always be sure to provide solid, well-thought-out answers to the RFP’s original questions, but offering additional ways to accomplish the same goal might be a great way to differentiate from your competitors.
To review, once you’ve established ownership of your RFP strategy, you can begin by proactively researching and selecting those RFPs which best fit your company’s long-term goals. Knowing which RFPs to decline, and which to accept, will save your organization valuable time and resources, so choose accordingly.
Once you’ve decided on a specific RFP, make sure it stands out and gets noticed. A well-defined RFP strategy will have you well-positioned to win more bids. Once you’ve streamlined the process, you’ll find more and more RFP sourced revenue making up your bottom line.
If you need help getting your strategy off the ground, The Bid Lab can help! We have experience writing bids for a diverse range of industries, such as government, finance, IT, marketing, and education. We guide you through the process with skill, compassion, and attention to detail that helps your response make it to the top of the pile. To see how we can help you stand out from the competition with a strong, engaging proposal, contact us!