top of page

What to Check Before Submitting an RFP Proposal?

Writing a perfect response to a request for proposal (RFP) is imperative if you are really keen on getting the job. The RFP proposal is there to convince the potential client that you are the one and only who can deliver the best possible service and fulfill the project goals as requested.

However, sometimes due to the increased workload, the potential vendors tend to oversee some small details and send the proposal without those tiny errors being fixed. Although this might not seem like a big deal to someone who is not an SME in this field, the errors are actually a big no-no when it comes to submitting an RFP proposal.

Having errors in the proposal signalizes to the client that you are not very interested in doing business since you didn’t dedicate time to double-check what you have written and sent. Furthermore, errors in the proposal can be a bad signal to the client that errors might slip during project realization as well.

Because of this, here we will explain everything you need to check before you click that send button. Once you have sent the proposal, there is no more going back, and from that point, you can only learn from your mistakes, so you don’t make the same ones in the future.

We will list some of the most common mistakes, and explain how to avoid them. So this article can be taken in a form of an RFP checklist, which you can use to check whether you have done everything properly in the process of writing the RFP proposal.

If you don’t pay attention to these mistakes, you are just making the review process easier for the potential client. An incomplete response will eliminate you from the competitive bidding process, and you will stand no chance, as we will explain in more detail later.

Submitting a bid on time is a must, and we will not discuss it here, because it is obvious that you will not be taken into consideration if you fail to meet the set deadline. Proposal submission on time is important because it will show the potential client that you are taking care of the deadlines, are you are able to meet them.

All qualified vendors need to find a way to avoid the mistakes we will mention, and all the key stakeholders in the process need to be aware of the possible roadblocks that can cost them winning or losing the job. Also, all potential suppliers need to be aware of the evaluation criteria even before they dive into writing the proposal.

Not Following Instructions

Being able to follow instructions the client is providing is one of the most important things. If you are not able to do that at such an early stage as writing a proposal is, then what can be your guarantee that you will do it later on, during the project realization.

As you can see, not following the instructions you were given can make the client create a bad image of your company and the way you are doing business. Even though the instructions, in the beginning, are as simple as the document guidelines, the form you should use, font, etc. Failing to abide by these instructions is considered bad for business.

Usually, the issuer of the RFP has some requirements he’d like to be fulfilled, mostly because it means that it will make the job easier for him if all the preset rules are being followed. This way the selection process or evaluation of the responses is easier for the client.

At the early stage, when there are too many RFP proposals that have been sent, the client might use this requirement as the elimination requirement. SImply if you didn’t follow the requirements from the form, you will be marked as a company that doesn’t listen to the other party, and you will be eliminated from the bidding process.

If there are some technical requirements you need to meet, make sure to state how can you meet them, and what resources you will use in the process.

Incomplete Proposal

Writing an RFP proposal can sometimes be a very complex and time-consuming process, especially when the scope of work is pretty large. That’s when it can happen that you miss sending something crucial to the client, which can result in your proposal being rejected straight away.

Also, if you fail to provide some of the mandatory documents of your RFP proposal, such as a cover letter example, you will also not be considered a good fit for the project, and you will be eliminated from the bidding process.

Common mistake companies make is confusing an RFP cover letter with an executive summary. Sending a cover letter where you have written everything but the things you should have will also mean that you are not familiar with what you are supposed to do.

An RFP cover letter is a mandatory part of each RFP proposal, but writing an executive summary is optional. However, the companies are so used to sending the executive summary with their proposals, that it can be unimaginable to send a proposal without an executive summary writing.

A good tip to check whether you have attached everything is to make a table of content at the beginning of the proposal, and to use it to check whether you have uploaded all the necessary documents for the client.

Grammar Errors

Grammar errors in such a formal document like the RFP proposal can be a huge mistake. Failing to provide a grammar-free RFP proposal will signalize to the potential client that you didn’t dedicate time to proofread the document and fix everything.

Proofreading is considered to be a must once you finish writing the RFP proposal. Any professional document such as this business proposal needs to be completely free of any kind of errors.

Make sure to check grammar and spelling only after you have finished writing the whole document. If possible, give it to some who wasn’t included in the formal process of writing the RFP proposal, because they will be able to find the mistakes more effectively.

Substantial Errors

RFP proposal should provide accurate information from beginning to end because that is the document the potential client will rely on in the future. Based on the information provided, the prospective client will decide whether they want to do business with you or with another company.

That’s why having substantial errors and inconsistency throughout the RFP proposal can really quick kick you out of the game. Inconsistency of the information provided in the RFP proposal can happen especially when there is more than one person included in the writing process.

When you are writing comprehensive responses, naturally you will include many different teams in the writing process. Each team will be in charge of writing a particular part of the proposal.

If those people don’t communicate, and the project manager is not able to coordinate the flow of information effectively, inconsistency in the provided data and information may occur.

To avoid such errors, it is imperative to check the document for any substantial errors, and misleading or wrong data and information, before sending the proposal to the client. Only once you are sure that the proposal you have written is one unified story, you can proceed with sending it to the client.

Bad Presentation

Sometimes the issuer of the requests for proposals requires you to send your proposal in a printed format. Be careful not to try to save money on paper, because bad quality paper can easily be damaged in the transport.

To avoid this, make sure to use a good quality paper (the thicker ones) and at the same time, to take care regarding the overall look and the presentation of the RFP proposal you are sending.

If you have more than one document (and you will surely do), make sure to arrange it in the right order. A messy proposal will only result in the client wasting his time trying to arrange the document in order that is supposed to be read.

Taking care of the visual moment can also have an influence on whether you will be a shortlisted candidate or not. Just make sure to check every single visual detail before you send the proposal. What’s written inside is very important for the business, but the overall presentation is important because it will serve as an attention grabber for the reader.

5 views0 comments
bottom of page