3 ways to make your RFP response stand out (and win more business)

RFPs take a lot of effort and expense, so you want to make sure you’re a real contender, you’ve planned ahead, and your unique value proposition will stand out.

In fact, your chances of winning those ‘dream’ RFPs you’re hearing about may be much better than you think! Check out our blog Should you respond to RFPs?

1. Focus on developing a sales relationship

RFPs may appear to be open competitions but often they’re not. The marketing department may have a specific vendor in mind but the procurement office needs to satisfy policies so it sends out an RFP to collect more proposals – even though the other vendors don’t stand a chance!

The only way to know where you stand is to develop a sales relationship. Ask if you can get on the phone with someone from the company to ask questions, and seek to learn crucial information about the RFP specifically, but also about the organization and their decision-making in general.

Speaking directly with the client:

  • you can zero in on the priorities within the RFP, but also
  • even if you don’t win the RFP, you’ve started developing a real relationship instead of working ‘blind’ through the RFP process.

2. Assign a project manager

Consider assigning a single point person to oversee the RFP process. That person should be responsible for:

  • interpreting all the RFP requirements,
  • organizing assets and responses,
  • assigning tasks and staying on top of subject matter experts, and
  • managing the entire schedule.

Most of the people involved are working on multiple projects and it will be natural to procrastinate on their RFP responses, which is a recipe for making your win rates suffer.

3. Stand out with rich media (video!)

You can really enhance your RFP with a combination of rich media, such as:

  • creating a simple but well-designed mini-site that answers the key questions and showcases your unique value proposition,
  • incorporating infographics or well-designed process-flow images, or
  • converting your executive summary into an explainer video that clearly demonstrates your value proposition

Branding and design are the most overlooked opportunities for B2B companies. Perception is reality, and you’re judged by how your services look. With a small incremental investment, you can really move the needle on your RFP win rates!

Our clients have found great success with video because it helps their audience ‘get’ it right away. In a recent proposal review meeting, our video received a standing ovation in a room of 60 people!

How it works

We tend to work with companies that submit a lot of RFPs every year so it makes sense for us to invest significant resources in making sure we understand the intricacies of their business and products. That way, when there’s a new RFP deadline, we hit the ground running with minimum oversight from their part.

But more importantly, we use a very streamlined process so that their team doesn’t get burdened:

  • we convert the RFP executive summary into an engaging 2-minute video script,
  • we come up with clear visuals that enhance the message and demonstrate our client’s value,
  • and we produce the video within a week from start to finish because we know how time-sensitive the process is.

We’re a media production company focusing on difficult-to-explain industries and with a special focus on helping our clients’ RFP proposals stand out. It does NOT make sense to use video or other rich media for every RFP but we can help you assess whether it could deliver a compelling ROI for your business.

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