Lesson 7: How to Respond to an RFP
Part 1: Who?
You’ve read the RFP and taken notes on the most pertinent aspects; now it’s time to craft the response.
As with any project, success is dictated by how well you plan, manage and execute. In this 3-part series, we will explore the who, what and how of planning a proposal response.
Planning ensures that every RFP requirement is compliant and that every client need is fulfilled. Laying out your plan of attack in advance will expedite your process and keep responses organized and focused.
Plans will vary based on the size and scope of the project, specific client demographics (e.g., industry, size, needs), the size of your team and the deadline. But creating a customizable project plan template can help guarantee compliance and efficiency.
Who will lead the charge?
A proposal writer can wear many hats but depending on the opportunity and team, it may be best for a proposal manager, the managing principle or sales manager to lead the charge.
When choosing team members, consider each person’s abilities AND their availability. If you do not have the manpower available within your company, you may need to find a partner or a subcontractor to accomplish certain tasks. You may even need to consult a proposal writer or editor outside of your immediate team.
Also, consider who will lead your meetings and communicate with all team members. Often the pursuit lead will be the one to run the meetings and keep everyone on track.
The frequency of meetings will be determined by deadlines and how much support the team needs in contrast to individual work. Weekly meetings are a good idea for keeping track of progress, especially if the team is consistent with deliverables. If deadlines are tighter or the proposal is more complex, meeting daily or every other day will ensure the process is smooth.