Businesses win new contracts, customers or deals through various channels. Most of the popular selling channels are direct leads, specialized market places and contract bidding. No matter what sales methodology is implemented at your business, an RFP response has certain criteria to meet in order to be great. Especially for those in procurement, either privately or locally, a proper RFP response can make all the difference.
Get The RFP Response Right
This is critical for new companies who want become long time vendors and industry suppliers that do not need to rely on business from clients who found them in the yellow pages for business. To win new business contracts, the sales team has to get the RFP response right. Without the initial stage correct, there is not much follow up to do, products to sell or services to provide. So, how can your company improve its current sales process, increase the sales forecast and close more business than ever before?
Get The Team Together
To start, get your sales team together and take note of all the recent RFP submissions, both won and lost along with any upcoming proposals to be made. Next, with your team still in the office, conduct an in-depth analysis on why you are losing business. Unlike conducting big data analysis to save money, this process will not take an expert. It will only take a team of inspired employees working together to identify a problem and find a solution.Most business owners and sales leaders believe they already know that answer, like some of these excuses:
- The competition has better offerings
- We were undercut in price and costs
- The customer wanted highly technical specifications
- There was a general lack of response or interest
However, often times these excuses are just that — excuses.
Categorize Your Losses
Whatever the reason, try to start categorizing your lost contracts. Many times, there might be an existing relationship in place, and its going well. Why should the company take a chance on the new guy? Well, as a sales professional or business owner, the RFP proposal is your chance to communicate who you are, which is not an opportunity you get in ecommerce business. Odds are, after you have conducted your analysis, the bottom line is that the customer does not know your company well enough to want to do business with you. However, to win more business, we need more time beyond just the RFP process to communicate more about our company.
Get More Time To Win Customers
One strategy is to actually raise your prices. Sometimes, large companies who are requesting quotes actually weed out vendors who have significantly lower pricing. Although, you may see it as an advantage, the company might not believe in your ability to provide quality goods or services. To get over this hump, raising prices can help. After all, if the company wants know why you charge so much, you can explain to them why you are worth it, offer them a deal or a discount for being a new customer or something similar. You may even choose to make these incentives equal to the ones you have for the elite customers of your business. But, either way, at least you have got them talking. At the most basic level, your RFP response should get the potential customer interested in you. This is a chance for your company to start a real conversation and inform them about why you are the best solution. After doing your own analysis, it just might be profitable to raise your prices for that next big contract.
Prepare Your RFP Responses
If you really want to succeed, you are going to have to be prepared. Just as there are a million types of proposal templates, such as those for a branding proposal or marketing proposal sample, you can create a response template. You will, of course, have to customize each and every RFP response you send out. However, if you include these sections in your response to all the business proposals you receive, you will be in good shape. If you want to response to a commercial proposal, interior design proposal or any proposal examples, make sure to include the following sections.
- General information about your business or company
- Specific characteristics that differentiate you from corporate competition
- Personal thoughts on the proposal document project and how you will complete it
- Answers to any questions put forward in the company proposal for services
- Prices for any and all services that will come into play
Be competitive when crafting your RFP responses. Potential clients want to know that you want the job. It will help you stand out. It will also help you demonstrate how much you care about the project and doing a good job. Showing a little bit of your competitive nature in your RFP responses is a good idea. It proves to potential clients that you will dedicate 100% of yourself and your business efforts to producing a high quality finished product for them in a timely manner. Clients enjoy this type of behavior when it benefits them and their industrial buying business’s bottom line. Keep that in mind when writing an RFP response. Your competitive nature is sure to give you a competitive edge.
If you want to create the perfect response to any example of business proposal, just use what you have learned from this post and you will be sure to land many more clients and jobs.