Responding to RFPs

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Responding to RFPs. Tips to increase probability of winning. REIBC & AIC-BC Conference September 27, 2013. Agenda. What is an RFP? What is the process for submitting bids? What does a successful proposal look like ? Q&A. What is an RFP?. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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Responding to RFPsTips to increase probability of winningREIBC & AIC-BC ConferenceSeptember 27, 2013Tekara Organizational Effectiveness1AgendaWhat is an RFP?What is the process for submitting bids?What does a successful proposal look like?Q&AWhat is an RFP?A tool to create a competitive environment for the procurement of goods and servicesUsed by both Private & Public SectorEnables the buyer to get the best possible product at the best possible price from the most qualified suppliers. RFP can also provide for safeguards against fraud, collusion, nepotism, and cronyism. 3The Evolution of the RFPHistorically only used in the public sectorVirtually every sector of business both private and public now use the RFP to:

Create a competitive situationEncourage Out Of The Box thinkingRange of potential solutions/prices4Types of Requests 3 types Data gathering - may or may not contractRequest for Expressions of Interest (RFEI)Request for Information (RFI)Request for Qualifications (RFQL)Request for Technical Specifications (RFTS)

Approved Vendor List5Types of Requests 3 types Will probably contract, but no vendor selectedRequest for Quotation (RFQT)Request for Proposal (RFP)

6Types of Requests 3 types Will contract and a vendor has been selectedNotice of Intent (NOI)Letters of Objection7 Elements of the RFPRFPs all have unique requirements

Proposals need to adapt to meet the requirementsRange from short letter type to full binder size 8Elements of the RFP - SampleProject Overview & Administrative InformationTechnical RequirementsManagement RequirementsVendor SectionPricing SectionContracts & LicensesAppendices

9The Process of Submitting BidsBid / No Bid DecisionOutline BidSelect Your TeamSecure ResourcesWork AssignmentsSolutionsProposal ReviewProposal SubmissionTo Bid or not To Bid?Ask your self Can I winWhich opportunities should you pursue?Time/resources/capital/ROIBudgetBusiness alignmentsFits with business growth plans11To Bid or not To Bid?Create vital evaluation criteriaFeasibility Technical or professional expertise, does it exist? AvailabilityDoes your company have the technology or expertise?FundingTime/resources/capital to fund the projectWhat is the buyers financial capacity?12SAMPLE - Opportunity FunnelInitial Evaluation

Core Business

Cost Benefit Analysis Filter

Feasibility/Availability/Funding

Q & A period

Teams Input

The Process Of Submitting BidsOutline Bid step 2

Get all the facts understand what the buyer really wantsSelect possible solutions to meet the RFP requirementsDetermine what resources, time, and capital will be required to submit a bid14How can the vendor get the information they need to write a winning bid

The Official Question and Answer PeriodThe Vendors ConferenceNo report can completely identify the atmosphere and unspoken clues you can get by attendingFact Finding Techniques15Limited communication during official RFP process Not always possible to ask questions in confidenceQuestions can result in amendments to the RFPQuestions & Answers are distributed to all biddersProtect proprietary or confidential information

Fact Finding Techniques 16Fact Finding Techniques Strategies For Developing Effective RFP QuestionsQuestions that identify statements or requirements that may be incorrect and require clarification - technical feasibility, professional expertise, terminologyQuestions that clarify your interpretation of the RFPQuestions that will lead to a revision of the RFPFact Finding Techniques Understand the buyers evaluation processBegins before RFP is even releasedRFP often sent to a select list of potential vendorsUnderstanding the process from the buyers point of view is critical to positioning your product or service for a successful proposal18Fact Finding Techniques The Most Important Information

What does the buyer really need?

What is their CORE NEED?19Fact Finding Techniques Questions To Uncover The Buyers Core Need

What is the result the buyer is hoping to achieve? Reduce costs / New business / Market Penetration Market Share / Counter Competitors ActivitiesHow does this RFP fit the buyers business vision?What is the most prevalent problem or pain? What are the most common problems experienced by similar organizations?

20Fact Finding Techniques Tips & TricksBuild and leverage relationships

Be comfortable with all conversations

Ask the Columbo questions21Select Your Team step 3

Creative Thinkers - for finding possible solutions and creatively solve potential problemsDetail Thinkers - for planning the implementationBig Picture Thinkers - for project management The Process Of Submitting Bids22The Process Of Submitting BidsSecure Resources step 4Work Assignments step 5Solutions step 6Standard Solutions (Off The Rack)Custom Solutions (Tailored) Proposal Review step 7Proposal Submission step 823Strategies for Successful Proposal WritingWinning Strategy Is Not An Accident!

The ancient Chinese tactician Sun Tzu in The Art Of War tells us:

A good general has won the battle before it ever begins, positioning himself for victory before ever engaging the enemy.24What Do Buyers Really Look For When Choosing A Vendor?TRUSTCan they trust your firm to deliver on your promises?CREDIBILITYAre your claims believable?RELATIONSHIPHow easy is your firm to work with?Will there be problems?25What all Proposals RequireComplete understanding of buyers need(s)Appropriate / unique solutionCost structure that provides valueProves you are trustworthy, credible and an expert.

26The Proposal DocumentProcess Design and Automation

Keep it simple

Create templates to eliminate repetitive work

Ensure a consistent style

The Proposal DocumentFormat A clear, easy to read, well defined format is vital to communicate your message and win the contract

Executive Summary:One to two pages maximumSummarize and communicate key pointsIntrigue the reader to read furtherThe Proposal DocumentFormat

Table of ContentsHelp the reader find the key information quicklyFew proposals will be read from beginning to endBe sure to include specific reference to any mandatory information requested in the RFP

The Proposal DocumentFormat

IntroductionKeep it short and relevantOutline goals and objectives clearlyReference key benefits and success factors

The Proposal DocumentFormat

Sections and subsectionsInclude all information requested in the RFPDO NOT ASSUMEBe consistent with the RFP in naming the sectionsExpand on information considered critical to the success of the projectThe Proposal DocumentFormat

Consistent ThemesNot everyone will read the proposal from front to backCapture key points in different sections to reinforceKeep the message consistentConsistent Themes - examplesTechnicalAdvanced TechnologyEase of InstallationManagementOn-time On budgetExclusive ExpertisePricingCompetitive PriceLongest Life Cycle

33The Proposal DocumentConclusion

Keep it shortRepeat key points and sign off

Following Directions

Read and follow directions carefullyFailing to follow directions could cost you the contract

&Post Submission Now WhatWe won Congratulations Now how do you deliver?

We lost Debrief with the issuer

Continue to build the relationship for future contractsBe gracious and make your enthusiasm knownThis is THE key learning opportunity

35Thank YouAny questions?

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