Responding to requests for proposals (RFPs) is frequently seen as an undesirable task. Sales reps, subject matter experts (SMEs) and others may not understand the thrill of the challenge. The RFP response pursuit is to create the best response that helps the client select your offering—or at least takes your team to the next qualifying level.
Approach the RFP as a competitive game with tactical maneuvers to craft the most persuasive answers, and the event becomes much more fun. Here is a quick list of rules to coach and inspire your players—formerly known as responders and writers!
Rules for Coaching Your Proposal Team
1. Identify critical questions.
Invest the most time crafting your best responses to the critical questions. Your team can save time on the less critical questions by using preapproved answers from your RFP response database. Then later, if resources permit, you can invest more time developing answers to the less critical questions.
2. Answer the question.
If the answer to a proposal question could include a yes, a no, or a yes with a caveat, then always lead the response with this qualifying information. In other words, follow the immediate yes or no answer then give relevant and compelling evidence to further convince or educate.
Here is an example response to the question: Is the RFP database searchable?
Yes, using the RFP response software solution, you maintain a searchable database of proposal-ready answers, which gives you a 44% time savings related to the RFP response process.
3. Make it easy to read your answer.
Many reviewers only scan headings, bullets and pictures, which is why it’s important to make it easy to see your strengths at a glance. Use headings, multiple paragraphs, images, graphs, bolded, bulleted or numbered text to help your client read and understand your response.
4. Be customer-focused in your response
Let the reader know that you understand their environment, that you’ve listened and that you’re presenting them with a solution rather than just trying to sell them your product. Customize your response. Use their language and include internal references to employees, teams, projects and desired solutions.
It’s Proposal Response Game On!
Once you’ve written winning RFP answers, save them in a searchable RFP response database—ready for the next RFP response game.
For more strategies on how to write persuasive RFP answers and examples of what to do and what not to do, contact us. We’ve helped hundreds of organizations build content libraries with sales-ready information for the delivery of sales presentations, proposals and other documents, as well as responses to questionnaires including RFPs.