What is the difference between an RFP and a Proposal?

While sometimes used as synonyms by mistake, RFPs and Proposals are distinctly different.


As the name suggests, an RFP is a Request for Proposal. RFPs are issued by buyers and published to vendors for response. Vendors (or suppliers) create Proposals in response to RFPs.


  • Are issued by buyers or procurement organizations
  • Ask questions about vendor/supplier capabilities
  • Allow the issuer to compare the capabilities among potential vendors

You can create RFPs in RFP360. You can also create RFIs, RFQs, and something we call a Vendor Profile etc. For simplicity, we refer to RFPs in a very broad sense. 


Proposals are prepared by new business teams (Sales or Marketing) to respond to new business opportunities. A Proposal may be prepared in response to an RFP you've been invited to via RFP360 or can be unsolicited. Unsolicited means the request didn’t come through a formal RFP (competitive bidding) process. 

There are also Proposals that your client sends to you for a specific need that can be uploaded into RFP360 and worked by your team. We often refer to these as Self-Initiated.  


  • Are prepared by sales and marketing teams
  • Address questions from an RFP and/or contains statements about a company’s capabilities
  • Allow a potential client to learn more about the proposing company

In RFP360, you can create RFPs and respond to them by writing proposals. The first thing you need to identify is what type of user you are. But either way, we have tools to help you in your efforts. 


  1. How do I get started?
  2. What browsers can I use for RFP360?
  3. How do I log in to RFP360?
  4. We've been invited to a Profile or RFP. Where is my invitation email?
  5. Why am I not getting emails from RFP360?
  6. What if I get locked out of my account?
  7. How do I unlock locked out users as an Administrator?
  8. How do I update password rules for users?
  9. How do I reset my password?
  10. What are some basics about the Home page I should know as I get started?
  11. Is there a spell check feature? What about auto-translate?
  12. How do I integrate RFP360 into Salesforce CRM?
  13. How do I initiate a new Proposal using my Salesforce integration?
  14. What is an account hierarchy?
  15. What are tags and why would I use them?
  16. How do I add and remove tags?
  17. How do I manage and cleanup my tags at the account level?
  18. Can I use Boolean search operators in RFP360?
  19. How do I update my credit card number?
  20. How do I change Billing plans?
  21. What is the difference between an RFP and a Proposal?
  22. How and when can I reach RFP360 Support?
  23. How do I update my email address?
  24. What can I do with the text editor?
  25. Adding images, attachments, tables & more with the new text editor
  26. How do I format text with the new text editor?
  27. Can I highlight text with colors?
  28. How do I clean up HTML formatting?
  29. Can I see my recent activity?
  30. How do I add a sub-account?
  31. Issues with saving or duplicating text in the text field?
  32. What is new for Responders in this latest release?
  33. I am a Subject Matter Expert. What do I need to do?
  34. What is my Company ID and where is it located?
  35. What account settings should I check?

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