What Groundhog Day & RFP Responding Have in Common

2/2/16 3:43 PM Anna Duin RFP Responding



Happy Groundhog Day to you all! Word has it the chosen Groundhog - Phil, did not see his shadow today, which supposedly means spring is on its way.

But more than the strange tradition itself, this time of year always makes me think of one of my least-favorite-movies (sorry Dad), Groundhog Day. 

The 1993 cult classic begins with arrogant weatherman Phil Connors (Bill Murray) covering the annual Groundhog Day event in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The main theme of the film is about Connors finding himself trapped into reliving Groundhog Day, every day, until he finally sees the errors of his ways.

I dislike the movie because it's redundant. The same scenes, same conversations, over, and over, and over again. 

Maybe it's just because it reminds me of responding to RFPs... 

What do they have in common? 

Anyone who has done proposal writing will understand my sentiment. As a SME (Subject Matter Expert) you're asked the same questions over and over again. You give a detailed (and time-consuming) response only to be asked again next week. Too often, teams aren't working from an RFP database, so proposal formats and versions are scattered, and no one is sure which is most up-to-date. 

All this culminates in reinventing the wheel with each RFP response, stuck in an endless time loop, much like Connors:

RFP Response vs. Ground Hog Day.png

Sound familiar? If you’re chuckling on the outside, you're probably crying on the inside, but don't panic. The right RFP tools can help. 


Easier RFP responding

Whatever your RFX challenge is, chances are there is a technology or tool that can help make it easier. Below are some resources for some of the most common Proposal Writing questions we see. 


1. Where can I get a free RFP template? 

Check out our Back to Basics: Proposal Formats & Templates blog covering several sites which offer free proposal templates (including one specifically for federal opportunities), and gives strategy for each part of the proposal format. 



2. What is Proposal Management Software? 

Basically, it's a platform specifically designed for RFP responding that should empower you to do 3 things more efficiently: 

  • Manage knowledge: centralize your core knowledge and make it accessible to the team.
  • Version control: everyone works from one version and can collaborate online.
  • Track tasks: maintain accountability of tasks, deadlines, and quality.

In other words, it's an internal database of past responses combined with workflow management. Where you can find your work, your colleagues' latest contributions, tweak & reuse relevant answers, and assign questions and tasks as needed. 

Ours looks like this: 


Learn more about our RFP software. 

Intrigued? Check out our free eBook explaining the nitty gritty details of what any Proposal Management Software should do, and how it makes your job easier. 

(Click on the image) 

What is Proposal Management Software Ebook



3. How do I write an effective proposal? 

You could be the most qualified vendor in the world and still not be selected. The reality is, you could actually lose to someone less competent simply because they present better. Make sure that doesn't happen with these 3 tips on How to Write a Winning Proposal. 


Whatever your specific RFP process challenge may be, the bottom line is you're not Bill Murray; you shouldn't have to keep reliving the same conversations over and over again. It can be easier, it can be simpler.