RFP Response Tip – Go Video

Web Development RFP Response Tip

In today’s business world you have to know how to differentiate yourself from your competition. If you don’t know your Unique Selling Proposition your dead in the water. When companies issue RFPs the competition is typically very tough. Vendors start to blur together when RFP Responses are all expected to be submitted with the same structure.

One great way to distinguish yourself (beyond a thorough RFP Response) is to include a short video (under 5 minutes) where you present the executive summary, your USP, yourself (and potentially your team to the client) and your work environment. When the client is deciding which vendors to consider for the next interview steps, who do you think they are most likely to remember? You of course.

We’ve successfully used this strategy on multiple occasions and it certainly has improved our success rates. Let me know how this works (unless you are competing against us for a project…haha).

Are you writing a Web Development RFP? Here’s a Checklist to make it MUCH easier!

Writing Web Development RFP

Gathering all the background information so that you can put together an RFP for a web development project is no easy task. It takes a tremendous amount of time, effort and focus. There are so many facets of a project that need to be identified and given attention to. Not to mention the various stakeholders who need to make sure their influence is felt. Wouldn’t it be great if there was a checklist you could follow to make it easier to gather the appropriate information? …

Wahlla!! Here it is! A list of items and questions that can be utilized to ensure you have all the information to draft a thorough and complete RFP, which of course goes hand in hand with attracting the most qualified respondents:

What are the Details of Project?

• Describe your company’s background
• Provide a brief overview of the project
• Do you already have a website or is this a brand new site?
• What problems will the new website solve and what capabilities will it provide to the company?
• What is the approx budget and timeline? Are these numbers/dates flexible or are their critical milestones or hard budgetary limitations.

Who is your Target Audience?

• Who is the main audience and secondary audiences for the site?
• Where are they located geographically?
• How technically sophisticated are they?
• Do they generally use a desktop, mobile, or tablet device to access your site?
• How much monthly traffic are you currently receiving? Do you have access to the Analytics (and are you willing to share this)?

What are the Goals and Objectives of the Website?

• What is the main objectives and goals for your website?
• What do you like and dislike about the current website?

What are the Web Design Requirements?

• Do you have a branding guide or color palette and/or style preferences?
• Do you need a logo?
• Do you want this website to be optimized for mobile and tablet usage?
• Who are your competitors? What do you like and dislike about their sites?
• What are some other websites that you like and dislike. Explain why?
• Do you want to purchase stock photography or do you need professional photography done?

You’re in the thick of things now! Is it easier to respond to an RFP or to gather the RFP background info? Gosh they’re both tough!

What are the Content Requirements?

• Approx how many pages will your website have? What are the main ones? How will they content be organized?
⁃ Landing Page, Product page, Company Info, About Us, Contact Us, Terms and Use, etc.
• Will you be using new content or reusing existing content?
• Will you be creating content or looking for vendor to supply this?
• How will the initial content be setup or moved from old site to new?
• What types of content will this website have? (Video, Audio, Images, Docs, PDFs, etc.)
• Do you want to be able to easily update it yourself?
• What are the main calls to action you would like your visitors to follow?
• What social networks (if any) do you want to be integrated with?

What are the Technical Requirements?

• Do you have a hosting provider in place or do you need assistance and costs for establishing hosting?
• Do you have access to your current web hosting account?
• What browsers and versions will the website need to be compatible with?
• Do you have a preferences as far as development languages and platforms and frameworks utilized?
• Will you need integration with any 3rd party applications or email platforms?
• What functionality are you looking for? Shopping cart (shipping/tax), membership, registration, calendar, forum, blog, email capture, etc.
• What options / capabilities does this functionality provide? As example if you sell shirts you could reply we have 10 different style shirts that each come in 4 different sizes and 5 different colors?
• What are your expectations for Search Engine Optimization?
• How will testing be performed?
• What kind of warranty and ongoing maintenance support are you looking for including service level agreements (including response time) do you expect?

How will Project Management be handled?

• Who are the stakeholders on the project and who will be the main point of contact on your staff?
• What expectations do you have in terms of demonstrating progress, coordinating requirements, designs and meetings with the development team?

At least when you have all the RFP Info gathered, writing it will be a breeze!

What should Vendors submit in RFP Response?

• Outline the following information that interested vendors should submit as part of their RFP Response:
⁃ background, history, staff, size of company, clients, portfolio of comparable sites, references, project management methodology, support process, capabilities and qualifications
• How should RFP responses be organized and structured?
• What is the criteria for awarding the project?
• Will you consider vendors from a different country? Are local vendors strongly preferred? Will you consider freelancers? Do you prefer small or large companies?

Who is the contact person and what dates are important when submitting the RFP Response?

• When is the response to the RFP due?
• Who should receive the response and how should it be sent in (typically email)?
• Are you willing to answer questions by phone/email prior to vendors submitting proposals?
• What are the important dates in the selection and development process?

Now that you’ve gathered all the details all that you need to do is actually write the RFP! That’s beyond the scope of this article, but I do want to wish you good luck!

RFP Response Tip – Go Visual

Web Development RFP Response Tip

When responding to an RFP, it’s obviously pertinent to explain in detail why you are the right candidate for the project, but everybody does this and prospects are numb to hearing this chest pounding after awhile. We have found that it is considerably more powerful to give visual examples and proof of our capabilities and relevancy to the client’s need.

For a web development RFP show a few screenshots of websites you’ve built that are similar to the requirements of the RFP and explain in a succinct matter what the similarities are. Don’t just include a link; actually embed the screenshots right into your proposal so it grabs the readers attention. As another example, if on a prior project you increased web traffic by 63%, don’t just put this number in the proposal so it could get skimmed over. You should also include a visual bar chart to clearly illustrate and bring attention to this point.

They say a picture is worth a thousand words and writing an RFP response is no exception to this rule.

Website Development RFP – Example

Here is a example of a short and simple website development RFP (Request for Proposal).  Feel free to use it as a template when writing an RFP for your own IT Project.

Request for Proposal Example

Company X is accepting proposals to design and develop the organization’s website.  The current site was last updated in 2010, and is outdated in appearance, structure, and presentation of the content.

We require a site that is user-friendly that is easy to change information and maintain by our personnel.  The site should also be visually-appealing and helpful which visually depicts the capabilities of the organization.  It should also be optimized for mobile and tablet visitors.

Selection Criterion for RFP

Vendor will be selected based on the following criterion:

  • Suitability of the Proposal – the proposed website meets the needs and criteria set forth in this RFP
  • Expertise in recommending and communicating appropriate technical and aesthetic solutions as evidenced by the proposal and references.
  • Aesthetic Capabilities – Prior work demonstrates artistic and innovative, user friendly web interfaces that engage communities and viewers.
  • Candidate Experience – Web Developer has successfully completed similar projects and has the qualifications necessary to undertake this project.
  • Value/Pricing Structure and Price Levels – The price is commensurate with the value offered by the proposer.

Here are a few sample of website’s we like:

– removed –

Please submit proposals by January 5, 2015 with an estimated completion date of April 2015.

Please provide several cost proposals to accomplish the scope outlined below. The budget must encompass all design, production, and software acquisitions necessary for development and maintenance of the web site.  We have allocated approx $10,000 for this project.

Hosting will be addressed separately, with your input and advice. Costs for hosting are not included in the budget for this project.

Website Audience

Primary audience will be personnel and board members of affiliates.

Secondary audience will be community members looking for local resources, including local organizations.

Website Detailed Requirements

  • Rotating banner on home page
  • Branch and Affiliate locater feature (by zip code search) and Map.
  • Integration with Constant Contact email database and sign up
  • Secure, online donations accepted with no login required and easy to share socially
  • Online tracking
  • Social media links
  • Calendar item submission form
  • Search engine friendly and optimized
  • Page links and other content should have titles, text and URLs that are friendly to social
  • Affiliate login with Message board access with restricted access or web forum

Please submit three websites (with URLs) your firm has produces that best reflect your work and relevancy to this project.

Provide three current references.

All questions related to this RFP should be directed to X.  Please submit proposal to X email address by January 15, 2015.

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