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RFP Response Templates

Reuse and Refit to Create a Winning Proposal Template

Like many businesses, you’re probably looking to impose some order on your Request for Proposal (RFP) response process. A good place to start is by creating a response template, one that allows you to recycle your existing proposal content but with enough room to customize each particular response. But, how can you avoid a cookie-cutter approach or one so individualized it drains all your team’s resources?

To begin, we’ll be the first to say it: AI alone isn’t enough when it comes to creating strategic RFP responses. While there’s definitely a place for response software, human intelligence is also necessary because:

  • Your team may be new to the RFP process, but Bid Managers like the experts at The Bid Lab are not. They have insights gleaned from crafting thousands upon thousands of on-point proposals to drive your company’s success rate
  • Proposal experts have cracked the code on ensuring your response is tailored to each individual offeror while still drawing on reusable content to help save time and budget.
  • When you have questions — and given typical RFP complexities, you inevitably will — Bid Manager experts will have the answers you need to win new business.

Yet, there are efficiencies you can build in so you’re not reinventing the wheel with each response you create. In this way, your RFP response template can offer the best of both worlds.

Expert tip: When starting to brainstorm your template, consider how you can add some of your own “automation” to streamline your response process. For example, start saving and inventorying reusable reference information such as sales sheets, marketing materials, etc. This will help each time you have to answer the “Why Us” question in an RFP.  

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Draw on Already-Available Content

There are plenty of other ways to strike the right balance between recycling and rewriting proposal response content. For example, a time-saver is to have some boilerplate information prepared in your content library that you can also custom-tailor to the bid at hand. A good way to start is by gathering up what you already have, i.e. your mission statement, website content, sales packages, company marketing materials, and even your employee handbook.

Following are several logical content elements you can create ahead of time as part of your RFP response template:

  • Why [Your Company Name]?
  • Key personnel overview
  • Organizational chart
  • References and client testimonials, including project descriptions and contact information for each reference
  • Responses to standard RFP questions, including:
    • What’s your due diligence process?
    • What differentiates your company from the competition?
    • Explain your customer care/support process.

Expert tip: To further sift through competing vendors, we at The Bid Lab see more and more offering entities looking for ways to get a better sense of your company’s philosophy and ethos. With this in mind, it’s also helpful to prepare answers to questions such as:

  • What’s your approach to ongoing training?
  • How does your company give back to your local community and/or charitable organizations?
  • What environmental sustainability initiatives has your company taken?

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Get Familiar With a Typical Response Format

At The Bid Lab, we know that no two (2) RFP responses are ever the same. Yet, there are certain components that the majority of RFPs in both the private and public sectors require. So, as a step to building your own proposal template, it’s helpful to know the typical response format elements below. And, for any response, it’s also smart to checklist the essential components to ensure you’re not eliminated due to a missing requirement.

  • Title page
  • Cover letter/letter of transmittal
  • Organizational information
  • Scope of Work (SOW)/Performance Work Statement/Technical Proposal
  • Pricing information
  • Attachments and/or appendixes

Expert tip: Because each RFP is unique, it’s important to note that while your response will typically include these template components, there may be other stipulations in order to be compliant and competitive. For example, when beginning to assemble your response, it’s worthwhile to first search for the “Evaluation Criteria” within the RFP itself. Within them you may see, for example, that proposing vendors are given an extra 10 points for being a certified Woman-Owned Business Enterprise (WBE). Therefore, before you spend time formulating your response, you can determine whether or not this bid is a strategic play for your organization. 

I Have Questions About Evaluating Potential Bids

Perfect Your Cover Letter (and Your First Impression)

The cover letter or letter of transmittal that opens your RFP response is your first introduction to your potential new client, so it’s essential to put your best foot forward. Again, no two (2) RFPs are alike, so each proposal cover letter should have its own individual flavor. However, our experience shows that there’s still a general recipe you can follow when drafting your cover letter. To that end, a cover letter that follows these guidelines, but that can also be customized by project, is a key component of your response template. 

  • Address your letter directly to the individual listed in the RFP (if available), i.e., “Dear Mr. John Smith”
  • Briefly summarize the project you’re bidding on to show your understanding of its scope
  • Introduce your company with an at-a-glance overview of your history and capabilities
  • Add a sentence or two about the specific advantages your company’s expertise will lend this project

Expert tip: Close out your proposal cover letter with an invitation to “reach out” with questions or for more information. Whether that’s to you or to another individual at your company, this gives you an opportunity to provide more personalized contact information than what’s typically listed for the Project Manager later in the proposal. Offering your potential client direct access to your company’s leadership will help you make a great first impression.

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Ready to Build Your RFP Response Template?

With thousands of hours of combined experience, The Bid Lab’s team of expert Bid Managers can help your team create a proposal response template that can serve as your bid blueprint for future projects. Or, are you looking to respond to a specific bid? Our RFP consultants assist with proposals of all kinds, lengths, scopes and formats. So, contact us to set up a free consultation. You can also call us at 1-844-4BIDLAB or email us at respond@thebidlab.com to discuss how a well-constructed RFP response template can help design your company’s growth!

Why Us

Positivity. Anyone can do the job. Only we do the job with the right attitude, even when deadlines are tight.

Flexibility. Every firm has its own way of doing things. Our RFP writers will work around your people, processes, and schedules.

Reliability. Our team has never missed a deadline, and we don’t plan on starting anytime soon.

Quality. Our 4-eye review process ensures that even the smallest of errors are caught before work is submitted.

Transparency. Have any questions during the process? Call us and we will share the status of your bid at any time.

Our Clients Love Our RFP Responses

We are absolutely committed to our clients, and strive to serve as an extension of their teams. We are more than consultants, we are partners. But, don’t just take our word for it. See what our clients have to say below!

The initial bid — which we won — is the gift that keeps on giving! The content is reusable, and the team knows our account, so our bidding process has become more efficient and effective than we could have imagined. Thank you!
Pension Technology Group, Boston, MA

I have spent many hours working on RFPs with little reward before we approached The Bid Lab. Ever since The Bid Lab has taken over the detail-oriented work that is involved with our RFP responses, I can focus on my clients all while improving our win rate for new business! It is a pleasure and joy working on these bids. We will continue using their services for years to come.
Napoli Shkolnik, New York, NY

Working on RFPs can be stressful, overwhelming and time-consuming but I never felt alone or lost because The Bid Lab was there every step of the way. And, with a 30x return on investment, I will definitely keep expanding my relationship with The Bid Lab!
Jump Ahead Pediatrics, Jersey City, NJ

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