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EP051: Why the Debrief Is Crucial to RFP Success – with Lisa Rehurek


Once you’ve submitted an RFP, it’s tempting to take a break from the whole process. But if you’re looking to create a winning proposal culture, the debrief is a crucial learning opportunity. So, what does a thorough debrief look like? What kinds of questions should you ask? Who should you include? And how can you use the data you collect to improve your chances of RFP success?

On this episode of the podcast, I’m sharing the three crucial parts of a comprehensive RFP debrief. I explain why it’s important to discuss both strengths and weaknesses at the initial internal meeting with your proposal team and offer insight around the value of having a scribe to document the discussion.

I go on to share what you can learn from debriefing with the prospective client whether you win or lose and describe my approach to asking for the external debrief. Listen in for the best questions to ask your proposal team and the client—and learn how the debrief contributes to a winning RFP culture in your business!

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Key Takeaways

  • How the debrief contributes to a winning RFP culture

  • The 3 areas of a comprehensive debrief

    1.      Internally upon submittal of proposal

    2.      Externally with client (win or lose)

    3.      Brief follow-up internal meeting

  • Why it’s important to discuss strengths AND weaknesses

  • Questions to ask your team at the first internal debrief

    1.      What one thing would you change about the process?

    2.      What did we do well? How are we improving?

  • Why it’s important to document your debrief discussions

  • How to approach clients to ask for feedback on your RFP

  • Why it’s crucial to debrief with clients WIN or LOSE

  • Questions to ask the client when you win a bid

    1.      Why did we win? What stood out to you?

    2.      Was there anything that concerned you?

    3.      Was there anything you didn’t understand?

  • Questions to ask the client when you lose a bid

    1.      What was the key thing the competitor had that we didn’t?

    2.      Did you find our proposal clear and concise?

    3.      Were you able to understand our approach? Qualifications?

    4.      What can we do better the next time?

  • The learning opportunity afforded by the debrief process