RFP Go / No-Go Tool

You just received an unexpected RFP.  Will you respond or take a pass?
Use this tool help decide.

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To respond or not to respond. That is the question.

Responding to this RFP may be the path to your next customer.  Then again, you may just be column fodder for their Purchasing Process.  Like it or not, many companies have decided on their vendor/partner before sending you their RFP.  In fact, it's not unusual for a preferred vendor/partner to actually help with the development of an RFP.

So, should you invest the time and resources to participate?  It can be hard to tell.  If the buying decision truly has not yet been made, then you probably should.  But if you are the underdog in this deal, and if the RFP will take more resources than you can spare, perhaps you should decline to respond.  If you are just number 4 of the required 6 responses, then opt out. The twist is that you probably don't know for sure which is the case.  So, do you respond or not?

Whether or not you respond could depend on factors such as your prior awareness of the RFP, your relationship with the prospect, the time/resources required to respond, and the strategic value of having this new prospect as a client.  RFPs are valuable, but not every one is productive.  So use this Go / No Go checklist to help decide.

How to use the Go / No Go Checklist Tool

This Go-NoGo Checklist contains 8 configurable criteria.  To use it, first decide whether to keep the criteria and scoring rules that we have already defined, or to tailor them to your specific needs.   They are defined on the Criteria Table tab within the spreadsheet, and include text for the criteria name, as well as text associated with negative, neutral, and positive responses for each.

Your second set-up task is to look at the tab labeled Config Table, and decide how many points to assign for each type of response.nbsp; 0, 10, & 20 makes sense.   So does 10, 20, & 30.   Or -10, 0, & 10.  In these scenarios we've spread the values fairly evenly, but you are free to experiment.

Next, look at a couple of values called the NO GO Ceiling %, and the GO Floor % (both also on the Config Table tab).   They are used to set the scores below which, and above which, your decision is to respond or not is clear.    The range in between is called Inconclusive.   If your score is Inconclusive, you'll have to reevaluate your criteria, or make a decision based on intuition.   If this happens too often, then consider changing your NO GO Ceiling % and/or your GO Floor % to make the Inconclusive range smaller.

Now that you have done your set up.   Open the Score Sheet tab and consider each of your 8 criteria.    For each one, click the radio button next to the most appropriate response.   As you go, the total score and the final decision will be updated.  The criteria we have defined for you are:

  •    1. Effort - How much time/resources are required to respond?
  •    2. RFP - RFP involvement/influence.
  •    3. Prestige Value - Strategic value / name recognition of the prospect.
  •    4. Relationship - Prospect history/rapport.
  •    5. Money - Deal size/profitability.
  •    6. Future Growth - Can this deal grow or expand within their organization?
  •    7. Fit - Technical and/or functional alignment.
  •    8. Buying Style - Is our selling process compatible with their purchasing process?

True Story

In the late 1990's while working in a software company in Atlanta, we received an unanticipated RFP from a prospect we were not particularly familiar with.  We were very busy with active sales cycles for other well-established opportunities, and this one looked like it would take considerable effort.  To focus on the other opportunities, the Sales Exec decided that we would not participate in this RFP.  Upon communicating this to the prospect who had sent us the RFP, their purchasing department admin replied "You have to. We've already picked you!"

RFPMonkey.com RFP Go / No Go Checklist Tool

Submit the form above to download your copy. Configurable Go No Go Checklist