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Thursday, January 8, 2015

Help! I've got an RFP

Help! I've got an RFP

Step 1: Read the RFP

Read the RFP and understand what is required, if you have a solution and if you can win it.

Step 2: Engage The Technical Resources

Engage your Systems Engineer , Design Engineering resources and product specialists. Provide them with a brief overview and your thoughts on the bid response.

Step 3: Complete the Mandatory Bid Review Form

If your bid response requires to go through a formal process then start right now and schedule a conversation with the bid review team. Ensure you complete the document fully and provide a better response than “we need to win this and must win this”. If that is the actual case then provide facts to back up your requests.

Step 4: Request Additional Support if Needed

If you have access to a bid response team then engage them right now. It is easier to cancel their need after the bid review decision than ask them to help later based on scheduling.

Step 5: Engage Your Support Organizations For...

Determine what additional resources are required to complete your response, such as:
  • References
  • Professional Services
  • Special Bids
  • Maintenance / Services
  • Account Manager
  • Contracts
  • Unique deliverables

Step 6: Proposal Manager

If a Proposal Manager is assigned, that person will read through the RFP but is concerned about deliverables and time frames as they will not be providing content or pricing. Their task is to ensure the different participants are delivering their inputs on time.

You should be prepared to help the Proposal Manager complete the Bid Assessment by analyzing factors such as:

  • the bid timeframe
  • the scope of the proposed solution
  • the potential revenue
  • the positioning and probability of win
  • your strategy for winning strategic
  • our value of the customer
  • our competition
  • the incumbent vendor

Step 7: Kickoff Call and Task Assignment

If the decision is to proceed with Bid response, then a Kickoff Call will be arranged. The resources that you have engaged to support the opportunity should be present or represented on the kickoff call if possible. You should be prepared to discuss the customer opportunity, the strategy for winning, and your proposed design. The project timeline will be established and agreed upon and the Proposal Manager will analyze the bid and make task assignments during this call.

Step 8: Answer the Bid

The Proposal Team typically does not provide responses to all of the questions. It is the Sales Team's responsibility to secure the resources to answer the RFP. This is not where a sales executive tosses the RFP off to a team of people and walks away. Sales owns the response.

Step 9: Final Production and Delivery

The Sales Account Team  will be responsible for delivery of the final hard copy (and/or electronic if requested) document to the customer including printing, assembly and binding of the required number of copies, burning CDs, emailing, hand delivering, and/or final shipping.

You must allow time for the production process, which can be extensive depending upon the size and complexity of the RFP response, number of copies, etc.

Good Luck and Good Selling!

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