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TIPS TO SECURE THE WINNING PROPOSAL FOR SOFTWARE DEVELOPERS

Updated: Mar 26, 2021

HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY RESPOND TO A REQUEST FOR PROPOSAL

The bread and butter of your business depends on your ability to secure clients by offering them value through your product or service. As a software development company your clients will often consist of other businesses . In most cases, larger organizations and government agencies procure solutions to solve their operational problems or provide value through request for proposals.


The bread and butter of your business depends on your ability to secure clients by offering them value through your product or service

WHAT IS A PROPOSAL?


A #proposal can be defined as a document that outlines how your product or service can bring value to a business or solve a #business problem. The whole point of a proposal is to persuade your future client to hire you for the the job. As a IT company, using the B2B model, chances are (at one one point or the other) you will have to submit proposal, especially if your future client is a government agency. As a IT Business Analyst and evaluator of project proposals, I have identified key areas that make a winning proposal. In this blog, I will share my top 3 tips on how to successfully respond to a request for proposal.


TOP 3 PROPOSAL TIPS


TIP #1: READ THE DOCUMENT THOROUGHLY


Obvious right? As a supplier you can loose an opportunity to secure the job simply because you did not properly read the details in the document. There are key information in the document that can make or break your chances, this includes (but not limited to) misidentifying the type of request made.


There are generally four types of request agencies publish: #Request for Proposal (#RFP), Request for quotation (#RFQ), Request for Information (#RFI) and Expression of Interest (EOI). In some instances organizations ask for a Terms of Reference, used to source consultancy services. Each procurement document require a different kind of response and process for selection of a supplier. Therefore, the first item to look for when reading the document is to identify the type of request being made. Once you have determined the type of request ( in this case Request of Proposal) then you move onto the other items.


The RFP consist of several components that suppliers should to pay special attention to during the bidding process. The most pivotal are contract terms and guides, how the proposal should be formatted, the evaluation criteria, requirements and lastly the business /project background and objective. These areas serve as a guideline for your proposal, this lead to my second tip.


Tip #2 Address the Business Need


Paying attention to and addressing the customer’s business needs is vital to submitting a #winning proposal. To convince the client, you need to establish that you are familiar with their organization. Ensure that your proposal demonstrates that you understand the client, their business, their customers, industry, and the challenges they’re facing. Some of this information, can be found in the background, project scope and requirements. Additionally, it does not hurt to do a little research. Speak to those areas in your proposal, this does not only show that you paid attention to their pain points but also how your product can solve their problems. Being persuasive is the key to successful proposal. It’s about inspiring evaluators to select you because you care about the needs of the organization and you have the answer to their problems.


You can address their pain points and highlight how your solution meet their needs in your executive summary and deliverable section.


#Tip 3 Have a structured template.


RFPs guide bidders on how to prepare proposals. They may outline instructions on what information the bidder must include and the desired format. Generally speaking this format does not drastically change. Therefore, it would be wise to have a basic template with these items. Your proposal template should answer six key questions:


Who you are.

What problems are you solving.

How you are going to solve the problem.

How long will it take.

Why should they choose you over the other bidders.

What are the expected outcomes and associated cost.

This is not only beneficial to reduce time but also provide you with the opportunity to submit multiple proposals. It is believed that software developers, do not like to go through the trouble of writing or preparing these proposals. If so, there are technical writers who can prepare these documents for you. This is one of the service that we offer at TG Consulting Services.


To help you I have created a high level Proposal Template to help serve a guide so that you can secure the winning bid and make it to the demo round.


RFP-PROPOSAL-TEMPLATE
.pdf
Download PDF • 27KB

In the very near future I will offer a mini course on proposal writing. Let me know if that is something that you will be interested in, so you can start securing contracts .


P.S. BONUS TIP – Create an appealing proposal that follows the items in the evaluation criteria. Make your proposal easy to read and easy to follow, remember these are human beings and chances are if your 50 page proposal is hard to read, it won’t make the cut.


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