Business Proposals

Proposal team strategy setting

Procurement issued RFX is detailed and specific, often involves multiple documents and addendums, and follows a strict process and timeline. They outline complex projects with higher values, extended durations and detailed terms and conditions. Responding to an RFX is a project in itself, involving sales, operations, legal, marketing and sometimes external partners. 

From the Client Requirements comes Strategy

Having a big sale, on-site celebrity, or other event? Be sure to announce it so everybody knows and gets excited about it.  

The analysis of the client issued RFX documents is critical; no part of it can be overlooked or assumed. 

  • Assess as the respondent: submission instructions and dates, terms and conditions, assessing scope of work, deliverables, schedule, etc., and formulating questions
  • Assess from the client: beyond what’s been said, what aren’t they saying; issues/challenges/goals beyond the identified deliverables; understand tone and desired relationship 

This process holds true for addenda and Q&A as well.  

Once you understand the need and the ask, you can develop the strategy. Create an outline for the response template, identify differentiators that will make you stand out from your competitors and crafting win themes that will resonate with the client. (Blue) 

Response development

RFX responses are typically evaluated with sections being weighted and overall application of specific criteria. It is important to understand what will garner the most ‘points’ to know where to put your development effort. 

Response development coordination requires consistent follow up and an appreciation for the timelines and process. A proposal development schedule helps everyone understand what needs to be done, by when and by who.

The base proposal narrative: 

  • Introduction (corporate and partners)
  • We understand the situation (client’s challenge) 
  • This is how we would address the problem (solution)
  • This is the team that will deliver the solution (qualified staff, roles and their experience)
  • The team has done this work before successfully (similar projects/challenges – references)
  • What’s included in the solution, what isn’t, and what is needed (assumptions and exclusions)
  • This is how much it’s going to cost and how it will be invoiced (budget and presentation) 

It is extremely helpful to edit at the point of consolidation for singular voice, context clarification and use of client language. 

Evaluation Pre-submssion

It takes many eyes to submit a quality proposal: 

  • A review for missing elements, such as mandatory documents, and overall proofread (Pink)
  • A review of costs to ensure all items have been included in the budget, appropriate margins and contingency have been applied, is the presentation per the RFX requirements, and does it fit the ‘sweet spot’ (Green)
  • Stepping into the client’s shoes, does the narrative respond appropriately to the RFP and overall review/critique from senior management and client champion (Red)

Some will even add quality assurance (Gold) and quality control (White) reviews of the packaged submission for nomenclature, file size and separation of pricing (sometimes required if a certain score must be attained before the pricing envelope is opened). 

How we can help

Overall Proposal Management

Overall Proposal Management

Overall Proposal Management

  • From RFX assessment, supplier registration through to submission
  • Developing a response strategy
  • Coordination of inputs: content/ team/budget/schedule/pricing 
  • Content development
  • Bid review and quality control 

Quality Reviews

Overall Proposal Management

Overall Proposal Management

  • Assess/recommendations on drafts to identify gaps/areas that require improvement (colour reviews) 
  • Compliance/mandatory requirement review
  • Post-mortem review

Writing

Overall Proposal Management

Processes and Policies

  • RFX content specific development
  • Refinement for adherence to word and character limits
  • Editing for context, voice and client’s language
  • Generic response library content development 

Processes and Policies

Training and Supporting Materials

Processes and Policies

  • Process: Go-No Go, team delegation and timelines, quality control checklist, debriefing
  • Policies: RFX reviews, Approvals and Signatures

Templates

Training and Supporting Materials

Training and Supporting Materials

  • Audit of past/potential RFXs for template development 
  • CV template 
  • Relevant experience templates and presentation

Training and Supporting Materials

Training and Supporting Materials

Training and Supporting Materials

  • Individual and group training
  • Response templates structure and ‘how to’ adapt/modify   
  • Marketing Materials
  • CVs