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Request for Proposal Template

A Request for Proposal is a project details document that invites companies or contractors to place bids to complete the project. The RFP describes the project, the goals and the contract terms. 

Whenever you are looking to assign a project to a contractor, you want to choose the best person for the job. A Request for Proposal (RFP) template can help you set the bar by clearly outlining your expectations and the project requirements.

By using Signeasy's customizable RFP template, you can implement the best RFP practices to help you secure vendors with the right capabilities.

We will explore how to create, sign, and send off an RFP document.

How to sign an Request for Proposal template

  • Collect the RFP requirements.
  • Replace the placeholder text with project-specific details.
  • Upload the document .
  • Click on the Sign button.
  • Choose the type of signature you want to add.
  • Sign the document with a single click.

How to fill out an RFP template

If you are in the market for a vendor, this request for proposal template can be used to help you make an informed and confident procurement decision. A detailed and complete RFP will encourage qualified contractors to send in proposals so that it's easier for you to choose the right candidate. 

Be sure to check with all relevant project stakeholders, including  IT, finance, and legal, about project specifics so that no detail is left out. 

Here are a number of common details that are included in most RFPs:

  1. Company background

This section should paint an attractive picture of your company, by briefly outlining your company’s stature, target market, and industry. Ultimately, these 1 to 2 lines should capture the contractors’ attention and make them want to work for your business. 

  1. Project overview

In 1 to 2 paragraphs, introduce the project right at the start of the RFP. This will help contractors decide whether the project is something they can accommodate in terms of bandwidth and expertise. 

  1. Project goals

What are your expectations for the project? How will you measure its success? This section should answer these questions in great detail, and at the very least, it should enumerate the project’s general goals.

Scope of work

To ensure that vendors’ proposals meet your exact needs, you need to outline the project specifics. Here are the critical pieces of information to include in this section:

1. Detailed project description 

This section offers a comprehensive description of the project, including its purpose, scope, and objectives. It provides an in-depth overview of the problem or opportunity the project seeks to address, the desired outcomes, and any specific requirements or limitations. The purpose is to provide potential vendors with a clear understanding of the project's context and needs.

2. Project deliverables

Within this section, clearly outline the specific deliverables expected from the chosen vendor upon successful completion of the project. It specifies the tangible results, outputs, or outcomes that the vendor needs to provide. This may encompass reports, prototypes, software applications, marketing materials, or any other products or services required. By providing a detailed description of each deliverable, you ensure that expectations are well-defined.

3. Proposed pricing 

This section details the pricing structure for the project. It states whether a fixed-price proposal, time and materials pricing, or other pricing models are sought. The budget available for the project and any cost constraints or limitations are clearly communicated. If applicable, instructions on structuring pricing proposals, such as itemizing costs, providing hourly rates, or offering package pricing, are provided. This section allows vendors to understand the financial requirements and submit accurate and competitive pricing proposals.

4. Stakeholders

Identify the key individuals or organizations involved in the project and hold a vested interest in its success. This section lists both internal stakeholders, such as project sponsors or department heads, and external stakeholders, including clients, customers, or regulatory bodies. Their roles and responsibilities are defined, along with any specific requirements or expectations. Understanding the stakeholders enables potential vendors to assess project complexity and the level of collaboration required.

5. Project schedule

Present a detailed timeline for the project, highlighting important milestones, deadlines, and key activities. This enables vendors to understand the project's timeframe and determine their ability to meet the proposed schedule. Any constraints or dependencies that may impact the project schedule, such as regulatory approvals or external events, are included. Sufficient information is provided to allow vendors to assess their availability and capacity to complete the project within the required timeframe.

Will the project be broken down into phases? If yes, what are the deliverables and deadlines for each phase? By including this information, vendors will be able to determine whether they have the resources and bandwidth to finish the project on time.

We recommend using a table like this to detail out the schedule:

request for proposal template project schedule

6. Project due date

Mention the exact date on which you need the vendor to complete the project. 

7. Expected issues

Many times, companies can already identify certain roadblocks that may prevent the completion of the project. These could range from short deadlines and outdated technologies to resource crunches and labor shortages.

Be as clear as possible about these roadblocks upfront so that the vendor knows what they are up against. That way, instead of receiving a huge volume of unfit bid proposals, you will only receive applications from vendors who are confident about working around your constraints. 

8. Target budget 

Declaring your budget is an important part of the RFP, as each vendor will have a different price tag associated with the same deliverables.

This will also act as a guideline to help vendors plan the estimate in their bid proposal.

9. Evaluation metrics

This section covers the minimum features/qualifications that your business expects from its vendors. The information contained here will help you shortlist the best candidate for your project. 

Some of the most common metrics to evaluate are:

  • Previous experience in the project’s sector 
  • Case studies for relevant previous projects
  • Value proposition (eg: usability or most affordable)
  • Average speed of project completion
  • Customer satisfaction levels

10. Project-specific questions

If you were to meet potential vendors face-to-face, you would have certain questions for them. Jot them all down so that they can be answered in the bid proposal. You may want to ask questions like:

  1. Does the vendor offer a trial period?
  2. Do they have a crisis management plan?
  3. Who are their top competitors?
  4. How will they make the product better than the market leader?
  5. How can they create a product that is cost-effective with best-in-class features?

The vendor’s responses in the bid proposal will help you pick the best candidate for the project.

11. Submission requirements

Contractors should be given certain guidelines to follow. Those who wish to submit a bid proposal must:

  1. Meet at least 50% of the metrics in the evaluation section
  2. Share proposals by [Date] to [POC Name] at [Email]
  3. Include samples and customer references
  4. Not include more than [Number] pages in the document 
  5. Include clear responses to the project-specific questions, budget and schedule.

Finally, you should outline how the evaluation process will unfold. Here’s a suggestion: 

  • Conduct first-level evaluations
  • Follow up with shortlisted candidates
  • Conduct pitch sessions
  • Review quotations
  • Final selection and scoring reveal
  • Sign contractor agreement

12. Confidentiality and RFP ownership 

Mention that the RFP is a confidential and proprietary document of your company. 

Also mention that it cannot be duplicated or distributed (in whole or part) without your express written consent. Here are some confidentiality clauses that you can refer to.

13. Contact details

Close your RFP with a call for bid submission. Also leave room for the RFP drafter’s contact details so that vendors can communicate any concerns or queries related to this document.

Why use Signeasy for RFPs

Face-to-face meetings and physical document exchanges have become archaic practices, especially since COVID-19. 

In an age of digital documentation, eSignature solutions are the key to enabling business continuity between dispersed teams or collaborators. 

Here are just some the reasons why Signeasy is the preferred eSignature solution for so many businesses:

  1. Helps you sign and share RFPs with vendors in just a few clicks, from anywhere and on any device 
  2. Allows you to use and save RFP templates so they can be edited and used again for the next project
  3. Offers realistic, natural-looking signature font options
  4. Ensures that documents are compliant with the ESIGN Act, eIDAS, and other globally recognized eSignature legislation
  5. Secures all documents that are signed and shared using Signeasy using biometrics, passcodes, and SSL encryption

So, before you start working on your next procurement cycle, use our template to give your RFP more structure. Then, use Signeasy to sign and send the document out for free with our 14-day trial.

RFP template FAQs

What is an RFP template?

A request for proposal template helps companies list out their project requirements and solicit bid proposals from interested contractors.

How do I create an RFP template?
  1. Project name
  2. Company overview
  3. Project overview
  4. Project goals
  5. Scope of work
  6. Project due date
  7. Project schedule
  8. Expected issues
  9. Target budget
  10. Evaluation metrics
  11. Submission requirements
  12. Project specific questions
  13. Confidentiality
  14. Contact details
Who prepares RFP?

An RFP is usually created by a member of the team that is leading the project. Be sure to seek input from all relevant stakeholders and hold brainstorming sessions to ensure your RFP is detailed and complete.

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Request for Proposal Template
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