As a growing, professional York Region IT provider, your business development team has probably won several customer contracts, and lost some. In some cases, you made a conscious decision not to pursue some leads.
There are many reasons why IT and professional service firms choose not to invest time and effort to pursue certain business opportunities:
- They don’t have available resources to staff a project within a client’s timeframe
- The firm doesn’t have a consultant with the right skills to meet a set of defined requirements
- A customer’s contract terms aren’t acceptable, or involve too much risk
- Conflicts of interest would arise from working with a certain client
- Winning the business would force the firm to enter a competitive RFP process. Many growing businesses don’t have time or expertise to write, publish and deliver a proposal on time.
Has your consulting firm, digital agency or professional services team passed on too many business opportunities because they need comprehensive proposals, Request for Qualification submissions or Request for Information responses?
Here are three reasons to consider hiring a contract proposal manager, RFP writer or coordinator.
1. Professional RFP writers know how to communicate value
Accomplished contract proposal writers and managers have honed their craft through formal writing training and experience. They are often mentored by industry veterans and thought-leaders. They have learned “in the trenches” about proven strategies by working on other RFPs.
Even though you likely know the “hot button” requirements which are critical to crafting a winning bid, you might have difficulty putting it into words. A professional proposal manager/writer will communicate your value in these proposal sections:
- Transmittal Letter /Letter of Introduction
- Executive summary
- Proposed Statement of Work (SOW)
- Services agreement terms and conditions
- Financial proposal and projected work plan/schedule
2. The cost of outsourcing proposal management is small compared to full-time resources and lost opportunities
You say your consulting practice isn’t chasing contracts from regulated industries, public sector organizations or crown corporations? A growing number of companies are shifting their procurement processes to RFP competitions. Your business development (BD) team doesn’t have enough time to assemble a bid in time for a one-time proposal. Or your billable consulting practitioners might be wearing many hats, and you don’t have a dedicated BD team. Proposals could be a drain on your team’s utilization. Consider a contract proposal manager as a force multiplier for your BD team.
Hiring a contract proposal writer is less costly than missing out on a business opportunity.
There’s also the cost of diverting billable resources to writing proposals to consider. Many of your practitioners don’t have the writing skill or experience necessary to write a winning proposal. Yes, your practitioners will need to provide input even if you outsource proposal writing.
3. Contract proposal writers know the winning formula
Many businesses avoid RFPs because they assume they can’t or won’t win. They may not have relationships with the sort of public or private sector organizations which issue RFPs. Many professional and managed services firms don’t know how to assemble a winning bid. Or, they don’t want to divert focus from ongoing contracts.
When companies are growing fast, their leaders may feel their business isn’t big enough to deliver the scope of business which need bids. For growing businesses, building a library of quality proposals is valuable to curate a repository of reusable content for future RFPs. A contract RFP manager will know how to create repurpose-worthy, quality content, including:
- Transmittal letter templates
- Baseline content for executive summaries
- Quality bios from resumes
- Approach and Methodology content
- Service descriptions and product marketing overviews
- Success stories, case studies and ROI stories
The key to sustainable growth for any York Region IT firm is a mature business development strategy. It is impossible for any firm to fully scale without developing a competency in RFP writing and response. Outsourcing RFP process and writing skills is a cost-effective, efficient and timely way to leap into the big leagues.