Although “The Proposal Guys” attracts a lot of hits, we’re certainly not the only proposal-related blog out there. Another interesting forum is Jeff’s “Proposals are Chaos“; you may have seen its author commenting here from time-to-time.
Jeff posts an interesting selection of proposal-related comments and ideas. Some time back, he was blod enough to test the very assumption underlying his blog’s title by canvassing views on LinkedIn. Some of the responses were fascinating:
- The winner doesn’t find the RFP chaotic, because they’ve developed enough of a relationship and understanding of the customer’s organization to read between the lines of the RFP.
- When at IBM, we would not answer most RFPs. The effort was huge, the cost staggering and the outcome very unpredictable. Answering RFPs is not a good way to do business.
- Not to be blunt, but if you’re answering RFPs you either enjoy getting whipped as a provider of commodities, or you’re not marketing yourself very well. Your marketing should lead you to a dialog among decision makers that leads to a tailored proposal and a solid Work Plan, rather than a rigid RFP process.
But RFP responses is a way of life for many of us in the proposal world- and it is certainly possible to engineer some radical improvements to quality and win rates. Of course qualification is critical – but don’t despair if this is how your market sector happens to operate.
One reply really depressed me, by the way:
- I’ve tried to streamline the proposal process many times, but getting an office of 300 to follow a set procedure is very difficult, especially when the professionals are much higher up than I. It seems like an unfixable situation.
What do you think? I shared one somewhat quirky perspective earlier in the year – click here to read more!