The RFP process has changed over the years. Gone are the hours and days of proposal managers poring manually over sentence-level and paragraph-level word choices. Proposal teams no longer must worry about one error or omission leading to noncompliance. Recently, a Director of Business Development at a leading defense contractor provided a great example. He said he and his team spent months working over an RFP, going over every detail to make sure not to miss any of the requirements. After months of hard work, the government kicked back the RFP to them over a minor omission that led to noncompliance. The director lamented that his team could have used an RFP automation software such as the Proposal & Contract Suite to streamline RFP metrics and ensure compliance.
The following RFP metrics can be used to inform bid/no-bid decisions:
Making Sure Your Company Is A Good Fit For The RFP
One of the most important lessons proposal teams can learn is that time is valuable. It shouldn’t be spent on proposals you are not likely to win. How to determine if your company is a good fit for the proposal? Foremost, it is determining what problem the RFP is looking to solve. What are the features and functionalities on the “should have” and “must have” lists? Sometimes, companies issue “wired RFP” where the winner is predetermined based on prior performance. The existence of an incumbent indicates that the RFP is not a good use of time for other bidders.
Do Due Diligence On The RFP Issuer
For a company that is looking to win business, it is important to do the homework before bidding on the RFP issuer. For example, doing a background check can uncover more information such as:
1. Has this company previously issued RFPs?
2. Did your company previously submit an RFP for this project? If yes, did you win?
If your company finds out that they were previously shortlisted for an RFP with the same company it signals an opportunity. Perhaps, the issuer of the RFP wasn’t happy with the other vendor’s solution, and this is a chance for your company to shine. Looking at the previously submitted RFP with a critical eye can be that second chance at a competitive advantage.
Analyzing Past Wins
It has been said that the best predictor of the future is the past. When a company is serious about using RFP metrics and winning business, it does something different to gain a competitive advantage. Using an RFP automation software such as the Proposal & Contract Suite can give new data-driven insight to companies. Using capabilities such as the Compliance Matrix and Bid/No Bid can automate the proposal process. Automation enables companies to bid on and win more RFP. It promotes opportunity and enables bandwidth. The unique feature of the platform’s flexibility and options for customization. Therefore, a company can select its customized RPF metrics and create data outputs and Excel spreadsheets to track those metrics.
RFP automation software is the key to a company unlocking and tracking key RFP metrics to ensure success in the proposal process.