The procurement process in our industry conditioned me over the years to focus on getting an accurately priced, RFP-responsive proposal out the door as quickly as possible. Like many people reading this, I lived in fast-paced environments pushing out proposals under tight deadlines with constant re-prioritizing of deliverables.
As a result, I developed a strict "answer the RFP- ONLY the RFP" attitude towards building optional items (services, technologies) into service provider budgets, often avoiding them at all costs.
What a mistake.
Options give prospects multiple ways to work with you.
Options highlight valuable, high-margin offerings that can help guarantee the results your prospect seeks to achieve (e.g., enrollment, SDV clearance, retention, etc.).
Options attract less price resistance than services required by RFPs.
Options create bargaining chips to help close deals.
Options differentiate your proposal.
But in a world of 6-10 business day turnarounds on complex, multi-million dollar proposals, how do you feasibly work these into your internal process?
Add "Optional Services and/or Technologies" into your default agendas for proposal kick off meetings and/or midstage review meetings.
Automate pricing of common options into your pricing tool so they're easy to drag and drop into your proposals.
Add a section to your proposal template anticipating these offerings.
Need to discuss further? Get in touch.