I wish I could remember specific questions, but the most “ridiculous” ones are the ones that clearly only one vendor in the space could possibly win.

For example, in the early days of EchoSign, we closed a large telecom for $600k TCV. We had a fall-back-to-fax feature which at the time, was unique to the industry. The RFP was just to justify purchasing from us.

Similarly, we lost a similar deal that required us to be built on .NET back in the day.

Should you still compete for RFPs you’ve already lost before they start? You might say No, but the answer probably is Maybe:

First, the chosen winner can sometimes stumble due to overconfidence. This is rare, but it can happen.

Second, you can put pricing pressure on your competitor. If you’ve already lost the RFP before you’ve entered it, you can still make a low-ball pricing proposal to “harm” your competitor. If you want. Procurement will take your bid and immediately use it against your competitor that wins the RFP.

Third, you’ll probably get invited back for the renewal if you come up #2. And you may win it. Go Long. A deal that is put out for RFP when initially won, is often put back out at renewal time. And folks may not have a ringer in mind the second time.

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