The art of the data call: 4 data calls you can issue today

In today’s blog post, Lisa Pafe follows up on her previous data call-related advice with insights on how to develop data calls during the capture phase of your business development activities…

My previous blogs discussed what you can do pre-RFP to tie your data call to the win strategy and how to get proof points that POP. But, what are the elements of the data call and who should complete it? Below are specific examples of data elements that will help you create and issue data calls during the capture stage.

Staffing data call (Points of contact (POCs): HR and Recruiting)

  • Personnel details (clearances, education, certifications, domain areas)
  • Recruiting statistics (average time to fill positions, number of recruiters, size of recruiting database, recruiting sources)
  • Retention rate (company-wide and project-specific)
  • Meatball charts (experience versus functional or technical requirements)
  • Representative resumes

Past performance data call (POCs: Project Managers, SMEs, Proposals, and Contracts)

  • Customer information
  • Project information (period of performance, size in FTEs/$$/users, scope, complexity, relevancy)
  • Award fees and incentives earned
  • Past Performance Information Retrieval System (PPIRS)/Contractor Performance Assessment Reporting System (CPARS) ratings
  • Achievements and innovations (performed testing with zero rollbacks; brought in web redesign under budget; identified efficiencies and/or new technology that saved the customer money)
  • Meatball charts (past performance examples versus functional or technical requirements)

Corporate experience data call (POCs: Contracts, OCFO, Marketing, Proposals, SMEs)

  • Logos
  • Corporate history
  • Corporate revenues, personnel, customers, and locations
  • Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) ratings
  • Certifications and appraisals
  • Industry awards and rankings
  • R&D efforts
  • Centers of Excellence
  • Recognized experts
  • Publications and white papers

Customer Kudos (POCs: Contracts, Project Managers coordinate with customers for approval, if needed)

  • Congratulatory emails
  • Awards and certificates of appreciation
  • Quotes
  • Success stories

Pricing/business volume data call (POCs: Finance and Contracts)

  • Rates
  • Other direct costs (ODC)
  • Accounting system
  • Uncompensated overtime policy
  • Compensation plan
  • Reps and certs
  • Lines of credit
  • Banking information

You can issue these data calls internally as well as externally to teaming partners with signed non-disclosure agreements (NDA) and teaming agreements. Once the RFP is released, refine the data calls further to request information required for compliance purposes.

Since you will have gathered most of the necessary information early, writers will have the ammunition they need for a tailored response full of proof points that POP.

What advice do you have for developing effective data calls pre-RFP? Send an email to me at, and I’ll share your thoughts in upcoming posts!

Be sure to attend Lisa’s “Getting the most from your proposal budget while increasing your productivity” presentation with Brenda Crist, May 29, 2013 at 3:50 pm at APMP Bid & Proposal Con 2013 in Atlanta, GA.

Check out our two new Lohfeld team books available on (Insights Capture & Proposal Tips, Best Informed Wins).