5 simplified RFP response examples that will help you nail it

You already know every RFP you do not submit, but that does not mean that proposal response is a numbers game. Without quality responses, your team is just spinning their wheels, that is even worse than failing in order to submit at all.

Instead, to win more bids, you need to manage a difficult feat: send a high number of responses plus make sure all of them are good enough to be competitive.

We’ve provided a lot of resources on how to increase your RFP response rates, even if your team is small. But even if you manage to quadruple the number of proposals you submit, you will need a solid RFP win rate for all that work to turn in to real profits.

“Too many opportunities are lost because of ambiguous and excessively complex language, long and dense sentences, and vague, lifeless prose. Clear writing, in contrast, makes its points simply, demonstrating a bidder’s competence and quality. ” – APMP Body of Knowledge

For that, you need your plans to stand out, and directly address all of the customers’ specifications. The kind of persuasive proposals that will win business tend to have a number of main things in common:

Greatest practice #1: Customize answers with specific deliverables

Would it ever feel like you’re working in rote? You have spent so much time talking the company that you can cite its features and metrics along with your eyes and ears closed. That might be fine for a frosty call, but RFP companies want deeper, tailored answers.

That’s not to say that you can’t get some help from previous answers. There’s nothing incorrect with repurposing and reusing old answers on new proposals—it’s a smart way to have more done, especially when using RFPIO’s Answer Library . But for those estimated 20% of questions that require customized answers, reinvest a few of the time saved through automation into really trying to win over reviewers at every level.

Related: Corporate wiki vs inner knowledge base: Which is much better?

To be truly persuasive, you should convince your audience that you simply understand their particular situation well enough to provide the right solution. This means using content you’ve currently created, but making adjustments to bring it in line with the specific use case of this customer.

RFP response example:

RFP response sample question: On average, how long does implementation take?

The simple RFP response sample: On average, implementation takes X months.

The better RFP response example: The average execution takes X months. Intended for organizations of your size which will include setting up integrations along with X, Y, and Unces products; we estimate implementation will take around X a few months, with X weeks meant for training and onboarding.

Exactly why it’s better: Making your solution specific to their particular needs and situation makes it more relevant to them. It also demonstrates you do your homework. Not only do you have the expertise to provide a knowledgeable answer, but you realize enough about their needs to provide one with better accuracy.

Best practice #2: Be succinct and true

Talking about complicated technological tools can get, well, complicated. The greater complex the subject matter you are dealing with, the more important it is to emphasize clarity in your solutions. You may not be able to avoid technical terminology entirely, but you can search for opportunities to simplify your language and sentence structure. The ability to explain a complicated subject in clear, easy to understand terms demonstrates expertise much better than industry jargon or unnecessarily long words ever may.

RFP response example:

Trial question: What is your company’s method of project management?

The wordy RFP response sample: We systematically approach each project. We all follow several phases in which we gather requests, create our strategy, create a WBS, execute on our plan within the estimated project timeline, then deliver on all desired outcomes. We implement each project and validate that it has met the needs from the customer according to their major KPIs.

The better RFP reaction example: Our project management group is agile. We tailor our proven process in order to each client’s unique needs with the main steps staying consistent: build, test, plus deploy to deliver value.

“Every reader, even a specialized expert, appreciates clarity. Utilize the same style of English you use in conversation to make your own proposals more open and accessible to a wide range of viewers. ” – APMP Entire body of Knowledge

Why it’s better: It’s easy to hide at the rear of jargon. Big words such as methodology, execution, strategic, and so forth have their place in business, using RFPs, they feel generic, scripted, and empty.

You must also assume your audience can be busy. The people reading your proposal (and making a decision depending on it) want to get the answers they need quickly and easily, without extra fuss. If you use confusing terms or overlong sentences that make it harder to get through each answer, you’ll lose all of them. Getting straight to the point using a clear response gets your point across better.

Click here for winning RFP response examples using story telling

“Your goal is to make readers spend less time untangling your meaning and much more time reviewing your solution. ” – APMP Body of Knowledge



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Greatest practice #3: Make living easier for the issuer

Reviewing a (long) proposal is a tedious enough process, do not also make the issuer perform extra digging to find answers. Rather than directing them to an attachment or a URL to get the answer they’re looking for, answer their question within the suggestion itself. In addition , you can always offer an attachment to expand on your own answer, or to offer supporting evidence for it.

RFP reaction example:

Sample question: Has the tool been subject to any software security testing? (e. gary the gadget guy. Veracode, other). Please connect if yes.

The RFP response sample that creates a lot more work: Yes. Please refer to < file name>.

The better RFP response example: We practice protected application design and code principles. Engineers are required to go through security training for security understanding and secure coding.

All of us use third-party services to execute vulnerability/application security scans annually.

The most recent penetration report is definitely attached to this package: < file name>

Why it’s better:

The issuer gets information that lets all of them know your company meets their particular needs on this point immediately in the proposal, without having to stop their review and proceed look for a separate document. However they also have access to the additional helping documentation to prove that the claims are legitimate.

Check this for sample RFP response cover letter

Best Practice #4: Elaborate when appropriate

You don’t want to be too wordy or provide needless information, but there are situations where a bit of elaboration will be valuable. Sometimes you have to look at between the lines to figure out the actual customer needs. Rather than simply providing the most direct answer to the question, try to understand what the customer is actually trying to learn. If a more detailed response provides a better answer, go for it.

RFP response example:

Sample question: How do you communicate brand new features to your clients?

The simple RFP response sample: Upcoming system enhancements are communicated in order to customers via email. They can also be accessed from the Help Center.

The better RFP response example: Our roadmap is greatly influenced by our clients, through a feedback/enhancement request function within the application. Customers may interact with one another’s demands, as well as with the development group. Their comments, voting, and status reports all influence future enhancements.

We after that communicate enhancements to our customers via email release bulletins. This email will have the major highlights from the release, a document outlining all the launch details, and a link to the discharge details that can be accessed 24/7 in the Help Center.

Why it’s much better: While we believe that clear, concise answers are far better than those packed with unnecessary filler words, this detailed response shows a well-developed and thought-out process for improvements. It solutions the question, but also provides additional reasons for why the company will be worth choosing.

Best Practice #5: Say no with design

When filling out an RFP, a “no” can seem scary. If you don’t offer everything the organization wants in a vendor, won’t that lose you the purchase? It could, but it doesn’t have in order to.

An honest answer is at all times better than a misleading one. And finding the right way to body that answer can make a huge difference. When the honest answer to a good RFP question is “no, ” think about how you can associated with answer more useful plus compelling than those two letters.

RFP response example:

Small sample question: Does your tool integrate along with XYZ tool? Please describe.

The basic “no” RFP reaction sample: No, our solution will not integrate with XYZ tool.

The better RFP response illustration: Presently, the solution does not integrate with XYZ tool. However , any integration is on our 6-12 month product roadmap. We might love the opportunity to partner with you in identifying the best route forward to build an XYZ tool integration.

Why it’s better: It makes clear that you do not intend to stop at “no”—you have a plan for providing what they are looking for in the near future. And it lets them know that you’re actively interested in their input and that means you do things in a way that works for them.

Click here for further RFP examples and a free RFP response template

Modernize your RFP response process and complete more winning bids with artificial intelligence

None of these best practices are worth much if you can’t manage to complete each potentially winnable RFP, or discover time to customize them when you do. To get to the point where you can actively put this advice into exercise, you need software that manages the more tedious and time-consuming parts of an RFP.

Related: Create positive proposals with scale with proposal software software

RFPIO uses automation to do most of the proposal process for you, so your team can stick to customizing specific answers to improve quality. Schedule a demo of RFPIO to get started with a better RFP process.

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