Before investing time shaping/writing an RFP


  1. We recommend doing this second analysis when you have completed your opportunity research, regardless of what stage the opportunity is in (pre-RFI/SS, RFI/SS, RFP)
  2. And we think that you should use an ROI framework for this analysis. So:
    1. What is the Value if you win
    2. What are your chances of winning
    3. What value will you get whether you win or lose
    4. How much effort is it to pursue
  3. And the logic goes like this: (The value if you win) X (The chances of winning) + (The value you get if you win or lose) – the effort to apply is the “Score” for this opportunity
  4. Once you have scored the opportunity compare it to the other items you are considering (other items in your pipeline) and decide if this opportunity is worth pursuing given everything else you have to do/could pursue
  5. If in doubt make it a “No-Go”

What you need before qualifying

  1. You just need
    1. The Current Contract’s RFP documents and/or the most recent documents for this opportunity
    2. To have completed as much of the research as you can given the time you have available

Assessing yourself

  1. To simplify qualification at this stage we have turned the standard go/no-go questions into:
    1. Multiple choice questions
    2. Simple calculators
  2. The higher you score yourself on each dimension, the better your chances of winning

Your chances of winning

  • Your connection to the customer:
    1. Just found out they exist
    2. Had meetings but no work
    3. Subbed here a couple time
    4. Repeat prime vendor
    5. We are dominant repeat vendors
  • Your experience doing this kind of work:
    1. None, will have to hire everyone
    2. We’ve done similar work
    3. We’ve done this work a couple times
    4. We are in the top 25% of our field
    5. We are nationally recognized experts
  • Connection to this opportunity:
    1. None, found it on Beta.SAM
    2. Knew about it before publication
    3. Responded to the RFI
    4. Heavily shaped the RFP
    5. Wrote the RFP
  • Incumbent intimacy and position:
    1. Dominant/respected repeat player
    2. Rising star
    3. Middle of the pack vendor
    4. Thin relationship / issues with delivery
    5. New vendor / they screwed up big
  • Competitive landscape:
    1. Very competitive/consolidated
    2. Hot market with lots of interest
    3. Multiple repeat and one-off vendors
    4. Sleepy market w/o clear winners
    5. Low competition/fragmented
  • Customer Openness / interest in change:
    1. No risk appetite/interest in innovation
    2. Preference for the status quo
    3. Open to new ideas if they are compelling
    4. Open to risk/wants new ideas
    5. High risk appetite/desperate for new ideas

The effort to apply

  • Opportunity research
    • Number of hours
    • Cost per hour
  • Customer engagement/ shaping
    • Number of hours
    • Cost per hour
  • Response writing
    • Number of hours
    • Cost per hour

The value if you win

  • The likely financial value of this contract
  • The work share you will get

The value you get if you win or lose

  • The value of any relationships you will build with teammates
  • The value of any relationships you will build with the customer
  • The value of the proposal content you build

How FedScout helps

  1. At the free tier FedScout provides tools that turn each of these analyses into a decision wizard to help you estimate the value for each go/no-go element
  2. At a Growth plan or higher FedScout auto-estimates the values for you

Other resources (Individual contract checks)

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