When companies and government organizations discover that they have a need for services, they know that they’ll be inundated with responses.
To make sense of those responses, they will use an RFP (request for proposal). An RFP details how a service provider will approach the project, the timeline for completion, and the cost to complete the project.
The RFP is like submitting a resume to get a job. It’s the first step in landing a large client. Read on to learn about the RFP process and how you can win a big contract.
The RFP Process.
There are two sides to the RFP process. There’s the side of the company creating and sending out the RFP and there are the firms that are responding to the RFP.
Each has a different process to approach RFPs.
Companies that create the RFP have to take the time to discover what their needs are. RFPs are usually reserved for large, complex projects. That means that there will be a lot of stakeholders involved in the decision of who to award the contract to.
From there, all of the stakeholders will determine what the needs of the project are, how to prioritize those needs. They’ll start to draft the RFP.
There will be a lot of back and forth during the process and they’ll eventually settle on the questions to include in the RFP. A decision will be made as to how RFP responses will be evaluated.
The RFP will be made public and companies like yours will submit responses. The stakeholders will look over the RFPs and then narrow down their options. They may ask the leading companies to give a presentation or demo before a decision is finalized.
The RFP process can take months to complete. You should be aware that this type of contract is far from a quick sale.
Steps to Draft the RFP Response.
Understanding how organizations go through the RFP process is incredibly helpful because it gives you an idea as to how you should respond.
You have to realize that you’re writing your response to different audiences. There are many departments involved in making the final decision and you need to address those needs.
Most of the information that you need is in the RFP itself. For example, working with the federal government, you’ll know what type of contract is being awarded.
Most public agencies have to make their contracting process transparent. There are usually databases that contain the RFP responses that were awarded. It’s worth the time to go through some of the recent projects to get a feel for how the winning RFPs were written.
Creating a successful RFP response takes a lot of time. Get input from your team and people who have experience with RFPs. This will make your response much stronger and likely to be in the running to win the contract.
Understanding the RFP Process.
In order to draft a successful RFP response, you have to know the RFP process. It is a long process, but if you win the bid, then the reward can be great for your business.
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