Request for Proposal (RFP) is a good information gathering process. It is also one of the most annoying part in acquiring a new business. For the incumbent, RFP sounds like a formality because they have home advantage. Thus, RFP plays an important role in soliciting information and understanding of the vendors.
RFP is a good way of setting expectations. Sometimes, these expectations can translate to answers that you may not have thought of it. There are also instances where RFP is seeking answers to all available aspects. This will make you ponder the scope of RFP. Thus, you must always make use of this stage to align expectations. An experienced team in RFP will know how to clarify and balance expectations leading to a higher chance of success.
Template your RFP Responses
It is surprising to see many teams scramble to answer RFP at the last minute. RFP is a pretty standard process with minor variations across the board. If your team is constantly dealing with RFP, it is worth investing to template your RFP responses. There should be a cookbook for dealing with RFP. You should not approach each RFP as though it is new. There should also be a set of common clarification to review the RFP.
Creating and responding to RFP will get easier as you build up your templates and knowledge base. Unfortunately, not all teams are well adept to handling RFP. It pays to seek advice if you do not handle RFP often. With practice, RFP will be a breeze to win!