Tips for Responding to an RFP

Tips for Responding to an RFP

Do you have a formal process for responding to an RFP? You should.

Keep in mind not all RFP’s are created equal. A thorough proposal is likely to be a time-consuming project and should be viewed as teaching moments that will lead to continuous improvement on your win rate and your proposal quality.

In most cases, proposals begin with an outline, a compliance matrix, and a kick-off meeting. Discussion on the content should be held before any writing takes place. Once the details are put it on paper, a review team should step in to scrutinize and revise as needed. Prior to final production and submission, the final touches should be added and the team will validate the proposal.

It’s never to early to start discussing the proposal review standards and the process to follow long before the RFP is ever released. Be proactive with early discussion on what it takes to win; otherwise, you may find yourself and your team constantly playing catch up to meet submission deadlines.

RFP requirements are likely to appear frequently within the document. However, sometimes RFPs lack detail or are ambiguous about the information they seek. Provide your review team with the same criteria and set of expectations when it comes to the proposal quality. This team should be trained to uncover and gather information before the release of the RFP. The proposal writers need to stay on point with context to substantiate why the customer should select your bid.

As a proactive approach, use a proposal checklist to be sure the key components are covered about your organization. This is one of the most important tips on responding to an RFP! These items can be prepared long before the RFP is released. Your checklist should include the following items: a strategic plan, price and ROI requirements, technical and managerial challenges, experience and skills, location and risk, resources and staff, along with risk factors and the customer decision process.

Responding to an RFP is routine business, but the secret to securing the bid — be prepared!   Improve your bid win rate simply by articulating your value proposition in a way that differentiates you from your competitors. If you want to increase your bid win rate or want more tips on responding to an RFP, contact KDuncan & Company for more information.


KDuncan & Company is dedicated to providing knowledge and support for small government contractors about concerns regarding government contracting. For questions on areas such as as cost proposals, accounting systems, DCAA compliance, and incurred cost audits, reach out to KDuncan & Company.

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