By: Bradley Wyatt on February 28th, 2022
3 Tips for a Successful RFP Response
Government Business Development | Resources and Insight | 5 Min Read
So, you’ve found yourself awarded with a government contract vehicle, such as a GSA Multiple Award Schedule (MAS), and would like to respond to a government Request for Proposal, otherwise known as an RFP. What happens next?
For those interested in responding to government contract opportunities, you should know that RFPs are often the most common type of opportunity you will come across. However, before responding to an RFP, it’s important to understand a few vital components that go into shaping a successful response package.
Responding to a government solicitation doesn’t necessarily begin when the RFP is released to the public. Companies that want to have a serious competitive advantage in the government marketplace need to ensure they are doing all their homework, responding to any and all Government Question and Answer (Q&A) requests during the Request for Information (RFI) portion of the solicitation process.
Below are 3 important tips and key components to consider while responding to a government RFP.
1. Prepare for the RFP and Do Your Homework
Before the RFP is released by the government agency, you and your team should have a good understanding of where the client stands and what their true pain points are. How can you do this?
Keeping an eye on any activity prior to the release of the RFP, such as a Request for Information (RFI), Sources Sought Notice (SSN), or Q&A section, will allow you to have a true competitive advantage over those responding to the RFP that did not do their homework and provide any early responses. It’s important to remember that the RFP is not the beginning of the process, and you should try to get your foot in the door as early as possible.
Responding to government RFIs, Sources Sought Notices, or Q&As often help shape the requirements listed in the RFP. Having a sense of the following factors will also certainly help your RFP response:
- Current incumbent contractor
- Current incumbent contract end date
- Current incumbent contract value
- Anticipated contract value for the RFP
2. Review and Fully Understand the Stated Requirements in the RFP
When responding to a government RFP, it’s extremely important that all parties involved in providing a response (prime, subcontractor, teaming arrangement, etc.) fully understand the stated requirements. You will need to highlight your organization’s understanding of the client’s problems and real issues they face on a daily basis in the RFP response.
Some important points of emphasis for review that the RFP vendor should consider while drafting their RFP response include:
Scope/Statement of Work
Make sure that you have read and fully understand the Scope/Statement of Work (SOW) provided by the government client. Plan to address how you will meet and exceed their expectations in your formal RFP proposal response to the client. Most importantly, you will need to make sure to respond to ALL components listed in the SOW in your proposal response package. Remaining consistent with the original client’s RFP format is a major key to success in your government RFP response.
Review and provide detailed responses to any and all specific tasks noted in the client’s RFP document or request.
Meeting, Travel, and Report Requirements
Be fully prepared to meet the government client’s expectations for any meeting, travel, or reporting requirements. Government clients will often note in advance what their requirements will be, so it’s important that you review and prepare accordingly.
It’s vital you fully understand what deliverables are being requested by the government client and government client end-users. Once you have reviewed the requested deliverables by the client, this will help you better understand if you are in a position to respond to the client’s request and fully meet all components.
Period of Performance
Generally speaking, government clients will include the anticipated Period of Performance (PoP) in the RFP. This means how long the contract will go on for. Reviewing the PoP to ensure your organization is fully prepared to support the client’s request in the RFP is key.
RFP Response Deadline
Once the government client posts the RFP response deadline publicly, it’s important you review the response deadline and set timelines to ensure you are fully prepared to respond in a timely manner. We suggest that at a minimum, all responses are submitted to the RFP no later than 24 hours prior to the response deadline.
RFP Response Instructions (I.E. Cover Page, Font Size, Page Limits, etc.)
Make sure that you follow ALL instructions related to the cover page, font size, page limits, etc., EXACTLY as provided by the government client.
3. Respond to all Key Requests for Pricing, Technical, and Contract Vehicle Information
Responses to the RFP should be clear, concise, and address all components noted by the client. You should directly respond to the government client’s request for any pricing information (such as a formal price quote), technical information (specifical technical questionnaire for your product offering as applicable), or contract vehicle information (specifically state who the prime contractor will be and, if any, subcontractors/teaming partners that will involved to fulfill the requirement).
To reiterate these important tips for a successful RFP response, be sure to review the below suggestions to include in your pricing, technical, and contract vehicle responses:
Pricing Response to the RFP
All pricing responses in the RFP should include at a minimum the following suggestions below:
- Prepared For (I.E., Government Agency Name, Client Name, Client Title, Client Phone Number, Client Email Address, etc.)
- Prepared By (I.E., Vendor Point of Contact (POC) Name, Vendor POC Title, Vendor POC, Phone Number, Vendor POC Email Address, etc.)
- Quote Details (Such as: Quote Name, Quote Number, Version, Date Quote Created, Quote Expiration Date, Quote Eligibility, etc.)
- Part Name, Part Description, Overview of Services or Labor (as applicable), List Price, Sell Price, Discount, Extended Price, etc.
- Period of Performance (how long the service, part, subscription, etc. will take place under the provided pricing)
Technical Response to the RFP
All technical responses for the RFP should include:
- Cover Letter
- Response to RFP Statement or Scope of Work
- Response to RFP Background
- Response to RFP Purpose/Intent
- Response to RFP Requirements
- Response to RFP Period of Performance
- Response to RFP Place of Performance
Contract Vehicle Information for the RFP
All contract vehicle information responses for the RFP should include:
- Offeror Name
- Offeror Government Contract Vehicle Number
- Offeror POC Name
- Offeror POC Email
- Offeror POC Phone
- Offeror Mailing Address
- Offeror Business Size
- Offeror CAGE Code
- Offeror Tax ID Number
RFP Best Practices and Next Steps
Responding to a government agency’s Request for Proposal (RFP) can be a daunting task, especially for those that do not have background in drafting and responding to these types of requests. It’s vital that you have constant communication with the government, and that your engagement brings to support and value to their mission. Following the three tips and suggested best practices can help your organization stand out from your competition.
As both a leading GSA Schedule consultant and a well-established GSA Schedule holder, Winvale is in a unique position to help you and your organization meet and exceed the governments expectations in an RFP response. If you would like to learn more about Winvale’s GSA Schedule assistance services, please contact our team of experts today.
About Bradley Wyatt
Bradley Wyatt is a Lead Account Manager for Winvale’s Public Sector Partner Program where he currently manages a diverse portfolio of Information Technology, Hardware, Software, and Services Channel Distribution Partner Accounts to accelerate their sales within the Public Sector. Bradley is a native of Fredericksburg, Virginia and a graduate from James Madison University with his Bachelor’s of Science in Public Policy and Administration.