An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Building a Winning RFP Response


The Request for Proposal (RFP) process can be intimidating. However, winning an RFP may catapult your business to new heights.

Assuming your company successfully executes the contract, it will lead to fresh opportunities. There will be a chance to win follow-on contracts or establish a sole source justification.

The United States government awards roughly $550 billion in contracts. Every one of these contracts is issued based on a successful RFP response. This enormous figure does not even consider the impact of the private industry.

Read on for an entrepreneur’s guide to building a winning RFP response. Explore tips for putting together the best RFP package.

Carefully Read the RFP Requirements

It is imperative that you carefully read the requirements laid out in the RFP. Your customer does not want to receive a commercial brochure or product catalog.

Instead, they are looking for an RFP response tailored to their needs and requirements. In order to win a bid, you must provide all the information requested in the RFP instructions.

Meet the Technical Specifications

If the customer is soliciting for a specific product, you will need to provide a technical volume or chapter. Here, you will explain how your product meets the customer’s required technical specifications.

Your company’s RFP response should address each technical requirement individually. If the product does not currently meet a requirement, explain how it will be modified to do so.

Demonstrate Labor Expertise

In order to win an RFP, you will need to demonstrate the expertise of your workforce. This is especially true when it comes to service contracts.

These RFP types are soliciting subject matter experts (SMEs) in complicated professions. Examples include engineers or computer scientists.

The RFP is likely to request resumes of your qualified workforce. You should provide the customer with a detailed labor mix. This shows each labor category that will perform the work and their experience level.

Provide a Cost Volume

There are very few customers that are not interested in price. Therefore, a strong RFP package will include a detailed cost volume.

This chapter of the RFP response explains how your company arrived at the total proposal value. Again, you need to carefully read the RFP instructions. This way, your RFP response provides exactly the cost detail that the customer is looking for.

Most likely, you will need to break out labor costs and any material required. The labor mix discussed in the prior section is broken out by hours and labor rates.

For material, a detailed list of parts will be provided at the component level. This component is called a bill of material. To create a response that is well received, a detailed cost volume is crucial.

A Recap of Building a Winning RFP Response

Every customer wants a warm and fuzzy that you can get the job done. Your RFP response may be the only shot you get to do it.

By demonstrating labor and technical expertise, you can make a great first impression. If you enjoyed this article about building a winning RFP response, check out the rest of our blog for more great content.

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