The best winning formula I have seen for winning RFQs and RFPs is about getting in front of the bid process before the customer has even developed the proposal.

If you are tired of losing RFQ’s and RFP’s, there is good news as opportunity awaits you!

Getting invited to bid, may be the easiest part. Pre-qualification to bid doesn’t mean you are in the drivers’ seat – as it really just allows you to bid on it.

Ask yourself, what was it that your company did to deserve to be invited to the proposal party to begin with? And, what is it that your front-line sales teams are doing every day to improve your chances of success?

Many RFQs and RFPs are about price. However, in my experience, most organizations want to discover what is the best possible solution available for their requirements, ie. is there new technology now – and then make a vendor decision based on overall best value.

Now, if you were not awarded an RFP contract, think a little harder about what you could have done differently to give yourself a better chance of being selected.

Did you meet with the customer prior to the bid being released?

If the answer is no, your chances of winning were already drastically reduced before you even received the bid request.

Some of my channel partners used to complain to me because they lost a bid with our solution and I would quickly ask them what they did to position themselves to win?

Most of them just responded to the request without doing anything else and expected to win based on their price.

But unfortunately, that does not cut it as customers today have become more educated and have developed sophisticated bid processes in order to acquire the best solution that fits their needs within their budget.

The key is to build a relationship with the customer throughout the process and understand the customers’ needs, including what worked well in the past and what isn’t working well now with the current provider – and what will they need to be successful in the future?

RFQ, RFP Checklist

1) Have you met with the customer to review their needs prior to receiving the bid?

2) Have you identified the key stakeholders within your customer’s organization and developed a relationship with them?

3) Has your customer been introduced to the product or service solution prior to responding to the customer’s bid?

4) If you haven’t done steps 1 and 2 and the customer has already identified the product and or service they intend to purchase, your chances of winning are not favorable.

Developing an RFQ and RFP sales practice and following the steps above are some of the things you can do to increase your chances of winning these bids.

Remember that winning bids start at the very beginning of the sales cycle.