when a new client calls us, it’s for help with writing a proposal that’s almost due.

Last minute proposal writing is a familiar scenario.  A Request for Proposal (RFP) lands on your desk, and it’s up to you to determine whether or not your firm should respond.

Reading into the document, you discover that this Proposal is a perfect fit for your Company’s sweet-spot of services, which is excellent news!

But quickly flipping to the Timing section of the Proposal you determine that the deadline-date for submission is only 2 weeks away.

Yikes, it’s a last minute RFP for your Team!

Now what?


Initial considerations:

1)   Do we have sufficient internal resources that are accessible and available?

2)   Do we need to seek out external resources, eg an RFP writer or help to implement the Proposal?

3)   Is this RFP a real fit for our expertise, or is it a stretch and we should simply walk away?

RFP responses require a huge Team commitment.

If you are the RFP decision-maker in your organization, then you already know that winning an RFP can create a huge opportunity for you to outshine your competition.

You also understand that RFP Responses require a lot of up-front work. And, that’s even before you begin delivering on the actual project proposals’ requirements.

Keep in mind that many organizations we work with tell us gaining buy-in from their own team is frequently a key challenge they need to overcome.

Now that you are ready to commit to moving forward in the RFP response process, the next step is to assess Internal and External Resources available.

Looking Internally, assess:

1)   Do we have information clearly documented and up to date about our company?

2)   Where is this information stored?

3)   Who can access this information – and are they imminently available?

4)   Who will manage this RFP/RFQ/RFI Proposal response including;

  • Communications and accountability to the RFP response team
  • Timelines / Deadlines
  • Point-person
  • Final sign off and delivery of RFP response

5)   Who will ensure all of the mandatory requirements are met?

6)   Who will ensure all Finance component requirements are met?

7)   Who will write the compelling story that highlights all differentiating value-adds?

8)   Who will review, edit and revise the response? This requires 3 sets of discerning eyes.

If your own team can’t deliver on the above list of RFP criteria for success, then it’s time to seek an outside resource.

Looking Externally, assess the following:

  • Is an external resource or professional Proposal Writer available?
  • How do we find this type of experience – is it available on a project basis?
  • Are they experienced at winning RFP/RFQ/RFI Proposals?
  • Is this expertise available right now?
  • Can they collaborate with us to deliver a response in a very short period of time?

What enables professional proposal writers to succeed, even on RFP’s with tight timelines is their knowledge of the proposal writing process. They understand that the client is the subject matter expert, and they are the process expert. By focusing everyone on the content that matters, even short-deadline RFP’s have a strong chance of success.

Boardroom Metrics can help. We understand that RFP deadlines are frequently tight and that our ability to manage the process can be crucial to achieving success. If you have a last minute RFP and need help deciding what to do contact Karen McElroy at 1.416.994.6552 or email [email protected] We will do everything we can to help.