Learn about the wonderful world of RFPs with the RFPs 101 series. In each blog we break down one step, element, or role in the proposal management process.
Lesson 01: What is an RFP?
RFP is the acronym for Request for Proposal. You might also see the acronyms RFI, RFQ, or RFB. The “I” stands for Information and is frequently a predecessor to an RFP. The “Q” stands for quote and the “B” stands for bid. Some organizations use the acronym ITB, or Invitation to Bid.
Lesson 02: What are RFPs for?
Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are a method of engaging multiple suppliers in a competitive bidding process to purchase products or services.
Lesson 03: Finding Public Sector RFPs
Because of transparency and non-collusion regulations, organizations in the public sector generally post opportunities online.
Lesson 04: Connecting to Serve
Most Corporate Sector work comes from marketing, networking, and building relationships. Generally, companies will invite a select group of companies, typically those with which they’ve already worked.
Lesson 05: How to Read an RFP
RFPs can be long, uninteresting, and less than user-friendly documents. It is so easy just to skim the RFP, only looking at the deadline and RFP title and falling into a state of complete overwhelm.
Lesson 06: Bid or No Bid? Part 1 – Either Way, Confidence is Key
At any given time, there are thousands of both public and private sector RFPs available for your business to pursue. But how do you choose the best opportunity out of so many good opportunities?
Lesson 06: Bid or No Bid? Part 2 – The First Step is Always the Hardest
You can achieve confidence and confirm alignment surrounding a bid/no-bid decision by asking yourself why you’re responding to the RFP and whether you have the time and resources needed to respond.
Lesson 06: Bid or No Bid? Part 3 – Let’s Get Technical
Okay, so the bid aligns with your business goals, mission and core capabilities, and you’re confident you have the resources needed. What’s next?
Lesson 07: 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.
Lesson 07: How to Respond to an RFP Part 2- What?
The winning recipe for a solid RFP response is equal parts compliance and responsiveness. Your “what” includes client needs (both explicit and implicit), your solution and resources.
Lesson 07: How to Respond to an RFP Part 3- How?
How do I get a proposal across the finish line? The answers to “what” and “who” cover most of the project overview and process. The “how” involves proposal delivery.
Lesson 08: Writing a Proposal from Scratch
A blank document can be such a scary thing. But the first step to writing your proposal isn’t actually writing—it’s preparing to write.
Lesson 09: RFP Response Project Management
The proposal manager is the quarterback of the proposal effort. It is up to them to call the shots and lead the bid effort.
Lesson 10: What to Include in Your Proposal Project Plan
A proposal project plan is your one-stop-shop for all of the information needed to manage a proposal from start to finish.
Lesson 11: Who Should be Involved in an RFP Response?
Deciding who in your organization should be involved in an RFP response can be tricky. A proposal professional can wear many hats, but it is best to have distinct roles for each team member on more extensive efforts.
Lesson 12: What Tools Do You Need to Respond to an RFP?
Once your team establishes each person’s roles and responsibilities, you need to decide what tools the team will need to collaborate on the proposal.
Lesson 13: What Do Proposal Consultants Do?
Are you a small business owner struggling to grow your business? Or perhaps you work for a larger company drowning in RFPs and other solicitations. For either of these cases, proposal consultants can be your saving grace in helping you achieve 100% compliance and create a responsive, winning proposal.
Lesson 14: When to Seek Professional Proposal Help?
Hiring proposal industry professionals can eliminate chaos and fuel growth. But how do you know when to seek professional proposal help?
Lesson 15: The Proposal Grilled Cheese Part 1- Compliance
What does a grilled cheese have to do with proposals? Learn about the importance of compliance in proposal writing through a Request for Grilled Cheese (RFGC).
Lesson 15: The Proposal Grilled Cheese Part 2 – Responsiveness
If compliance isn’t enough to generate a winning proposal by itself, how do we take our proposal to the next level? Pairing compliance with responsiveness creates a killer combination that will make your submission a true winner.
Lesson 16: What Do Proposal Reviewers Look For in a Response?
When working on a new RFP response, it can be challenging to determine what to prioritize and when. Luckily, we have heard from contracting officers and proposal reviewers to learn what we should focus on when writing a proposal.
Lesson 17: Executive Summaries Part 1 – The Basics
Your executive summary can make or break your proposal effort. Therefore, it is vital to craft a knockout, client-focused executive summary.
Lesson 17: Executive Summaries Part 2 – Where Do I Start?
Proposals based on bid documents will often have an outlined set of requirements for the executive summary. However, some bid opportunities will not have explicit instructions. In these cases, you must craft a compelling executive summary from scratch.
Lesson 18: Differentiators and Discriminators
Differentiators and discriminators are vital components of a compelling proposal document. However, it’s easy to get them mixed up. Though they sound alike and serve similar functions, their impact is vastly different.
Lesson 19: Proposal Development Part 1 – Structure
Many of our clients are small businesses seeking to build relationships with new clients but do not have in-house proposal development support.