Asking the Right Questions in an RFP

The goal of an RFP is to get the best vendor for your project at the best price. So how do you make sure you’re choosing the best vendor? To start, you need to ask the right questions.

Pre-Qualify with a Shorter Questionnaire. 

Before sending your entire invite list a lengthy RFP, send a shorter, pre-qualifying questionnaire to get introductory information on potential vendors. Pre-qualifying can help you determine who to include in later RFP projects or where you may need to follow-up for more information.

Be clear and specific in your questions.

Rather than asking “Describe your company.” Which tends to garner lengthy and wide-ranging responses that are difficult to compare, ask more specific questions like, “What year was your company founded?” and “Describe your company mission and values.” These questions will get more succinct responses while also allowing you to evaluate each company.


No one wants to write responses to RFPs that ask 400 questions, and you don’t want to spend time reviewing and evaluating those responses either. Ask the questions that will impact your decision-making and leave out the rest.

Speaking of efficient…

Take advantage of different question types to help you when it comes time to compare vendors. Use “yes/no” question types to help responders get straight to the point. Provide tables for vendors to fill out in order to create a more apples-to-apples comparison of responses.

Get the word out! 

Utilize public RFP boards to post your opportunities. This will expand the reach to a larger audience to make sure you’re getting to more prospective vendors.

Streamline your workflow and implement all of the tips above today with Catapult. Schedule a demo and we can show you how to improve your RFP process from writing questionnaires to evaluating vendors.

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