What Does it Mean to Have a “Responsive” Bid?

Every solicitation states that in addition to being technically advantageous and/or lowest cost, the winning bid must be responsive. Responsiveness is often the first criteria measured by the government, and if your bid is unresponsive, it doesn’t matter if you have the best price—you’re out.

But, what does it mean to be “responsive?”

Responsiveness is determined by adherence to all required elements of the solicitation. In particular, the government will look for any issues with price, quantity, quality, or timing. If a bidder does not clearly state that they can provide the goods or services requested in the solicitation while meeting all the stipulated conditions, the bid is deemed unresponsive and is rejected. This includes all the items in the solicitation, the narratives, forms, and pricing sheets. Missing even one fill-in line can result in rejection, and bidders do not get a second chance to correct mistakes.

With some solicitations exceeding 200 pages in length, how do you ensure your offer is responsive?

The good news is there are proposal management tools and techniques proven to ensure responsiveness when used correctly. Additionally, there are training and certification programs for your on-staff proposal manager to become familiar with those tools, including compliance check sheets, requirement-driven outlines, and color reviews.

If your business does not have a dedicated proposal manager on staff, our proposal management and bid writing team is trained and certified in government proposal management and writing. We can provide the expertise to guide you throughout the process using proven methods that will produce responsive proposals. Contact our team today for more information!

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