How to make your first proposal or RFP?
Sardar M Imran

You have been in consulting for a few months and you finally have to collaborate on a proposal, but how to make a consulting proposal? And above all, a winning rfp response.

At first, you will have a thousand doubts about how to approach it and you will feel lost in the use of nomenclature that managers make; credentials, the “approach”, the methodology, “quick wins”, “fees”, scope, etc.

Before addressing how to make a proposal, we must be clear about what it is for, and what its usual content is.

Proposals or request for proposal (RFP), are requests made by clients about some “pain point” or problem they currently have. For example:

  • Definition of the commercial strategy
  • Help in the implementation of a tool
  • Advice on the financial model
  • Accounting review

The proposal is usually sent from the client’s purchasing department to the consulting firm’s purchasing department, and it will be this department who will assign it to the corresponding team.

Once the proposal arrives, some complicated, stressful days will begin and where you will undoubtedly learn.

The purpose of the proposal is to offer the client a summary of the solution to their problem. Therefore, to know how to make a proposal, we will address the following sections:

  1. Approach to how we intend to address the problem
  2. Detail of the tasks necessary to solve the problem
  3. Planning and estimating the efforts needed to tackle the tasks set out in the previous point
  4. Team and profiles with which it is intended to undertake the project
  5. Credentials of other applicable projects


  1. Solution approach

In the approach or “approach” of the solution, we will conceptually introduce our solution. We will try to narrate the methodology in which we will leverage, what tools or accelerators we will use so that the execution of the project is more correct and is carried out more easily and quickly for the client.

  1. Tasks to perform

In this section, we will detail at the level that we consider what tasks we will have to execute to solve the proposed problem. Tasks must always be aligned with the scope and objectives of the project. In this section, in addition to the description of the tasks that we intend to tackle, the deliverables that these tasks will generate will be detailed. In other words, what will we deliver to the customer? What will be our final product in each phase?

  1. Planning

For more information on how to make a plan visit the detailed post on Planning. I simply want to clarify that said plan must accommodate the tasks (in bulk) described in the previous section.

  1. Team

The team and its profiles will be the executors of the tasks described. Normally in consulting, projects are not nominative, this means that people with names and surnames are not assigned to projects. Simply offer a set of skills and a rank, 2 analysts and 1 manager, or 1 consultant and 0.5 managers.

In this section, in addition to the proposed team, CVs of the people who will potentially be involved in the project are usually added. This section will be looked at more carefully depending on how specific the project is.

For example, a blockchain pension quote project will require an expert profile in blockchain and knowledge in the public sector. Profiles that do not have this specific knowledge will not work.

  1. Credentials

For more information on how to create credentials and where to find them visit the detailed post on Credentials.

We will try to maintain the previously defined structure to be able to standardize the proposals that you have to address. However, each rfp response must be adapted to the scope, the particular casuistry of the client, and above all the way of “doing things” in your consulting firm.