This post is part of the Winning RFP series. To start from the beginning, visit the first post.
Here at Weber Associates, we understand the importance of developing a winning RFP response. It can be tricky to know where to start, so we have created a series of articles to guide you through the process.
If your win rate or invitation to finalist meetings is below 15%, then you should probably focus on the core elements of your RFP response, or the lowest level of the RFP response pyramid.
Integrity & Completion: Nothing can get you disqualified from an RFP faster than having an incomplete response. It may seem simple, but too often we see answers that don’t address all elements of an RFP question. Make sure you’ve answered everything completely.
Structure: Cut and paste answers in an RFP response stick out like a sore thumb, especially when the answers don’t follow the flow of the original question.
- If a prospect asks about A, B, and C – then answer A, B, and C.
- Don’t bury your lead. As you read through your response, make sure the most important, differentiated elements are front and center and not lost in paragraphs of response.
- For a longer RFP response, ensure you have a thoughtful introductory paragraph that allows an evaluator to understand what they can expect in the remainder of the response.
One Voice: A detailed RFP response usually requires the help of multiple subject matter experts in your organization, as well as many different voices telling your story. Make sure your response feels cohesive in style, message, win themes, and voice.
- Align similar tone based on your brand guidelines – professional, casual, customer-focused – whatever your company’s style may be.
- Check for common language – specifically shying away from internal speak or industry jargon.
Differentiation: Try the “white label test” on your RFP response. If you were to remove your company’s name, could you just as easily place your competitor’s name in the response, and it would still be accurate? Ensure you have your own clearly defined and truly differentiated win themes throughout your response.
Now that you understand the core elements of an RFP response, ensure the success of your RFP responses by checking out our article on the second level of the RFP response pyramid or how you can Bringing Your RFP Responses to Life.
About Weber Associates
Weber Associates is a Columbus, OH based consulting firm. Since 1985, we have blended the creativity of a marketing agency with the analytical rigor of a consultancy to help our clients significantly grow revenues and customer loyalty. People hire us to solve real sales and marketing challenges. To improve their sales process. To grab someone’s attention and selling something. In short, they hire us to make their marketing make more sales.