We’re excited to introduce our latest book to you—10 steps to creating high-scoring proposals: A modern perspective on proposal development and what really matters—now available on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Here’s an overview of our new book. (You can find out more about our other five books here.)
Beth Wingate, President
Bob Lohfeld developed the 10 steps to creating high-scoring proposals presentation that he and I expanded into this book to share our modern perspective on proposal management and what matters within the proposal process with our customers.
We’re using these 10 steps to help our customers concentrate on what’s really important in proposal development and on best practices that may have fallen to the wayside because of different priorities within their organizations.
In this book, Bob will walk you through the source selection decision-making process and what the government evaluators and the final decision maker look for as they review your proposals.
He’ll cover our strength-based solutioning process and the difference between features and benefits—and how to really make your proposal stand out.
Finally, Bob will walk you through 10 actions your organization can take that will positively affect your proposal outputs.
The concepts and actions Bob presents have been transformational for quite a few organizations. We hope the same will be true for yours.
Bob Lohfeld, Chairman of the Board
When companies engage us to develop their proposal process, to manage their proposal activities, and to write proposals for them, they expect us to do more than just come in and create a proposal that’s finished on time and is delivered to the customer. (We work on about 400 proposals each year.)
What we promise them—and what they expect from us—is that we’ll come in and help them create a high-scoring proposal, and they will continue to use us if they win. If we merely help them to submit compliant proposals and they don’t win, then those companies will soon become disenchanted with spending money on an outside proposal team to come in and help support them.
Because we must drive proposals to be high scoring, we put together this presentation—and now this book. We’ve been educating our customers about our modern approach to proposals, and they come back to our consulting practice and say, “We want you to give us somebody who understands and embraces this approach and will lead us in a way to create high-scoring proposals.”
What I want to do now is share with you what I tell the clients when I have an opportunity to talk with them.
We’ve divided this book into two parts. Part 1 is a bit of a tutorial about how the Federal Government evaluates proposals—what happens to your proposal when it leaves your office. As I tell our clients, don’t zone out while I share this tutorial piece because I guarantee you will learn things in it that you didn’t know before.
Understanding how the government evaluates your proposals and reviewing our list of takeaways from the evaluation process lays the foundation for understanding Part 2 of the book. I share 10 steps from our modern approach to proposal development that I believe are uniquely us and that raise the competitiveness of our clients’ proposals and result consistently in high-scoring proposals.
We limited the book to cover just 10 steps for creating high-scoring proposals, although there are certainly more steps a company can take to raise its proposal score. By limiting the book to 10 steps, we hoped it would be short enough that it could be read easily on a 2-hour airplane flight versus an exhaustive list of steps that not many people would be willing to plow through.
In practice, there are more than 10 steps we take to raise proposal scores, but that is a discussion for another day. If you devote the next 2 hours to understanding how the government is going to evaluate your proposal and how you’ll implement the 10 steps explained in this book, then you will be well on your way to consistently creating high-scoring proposals.
If you want to learn more about creating high-scoring proposals, then please visit our website at www.LohfeldConsulting.com where you can retain us to manage and write your proposals or enroll in one of our many training programs.
Part 1 – How the Federal Government evaluates proposals
- Objectives of a high-scoring proposal
- How the government evaluates proposals
- Factors and subfactors are key
- Rating methods are important…strengths are critical
- DoD color and adjectival rating method
- Typical evaluation terminology
- Defining strengths
- Briefing to SSA
- Source selection decisions
- Takeaways from the evaluation process
Part 2 – Rethinking the way we do proposals
- Changing the state of the practice
- Action #1 Design the proposal to be scored, not read
- Action #2 Use our “strength-based solutioning” approach to create high-scoring proposals
- Action #3 Draft your briefing to the SSA
- Action #4 Think of proposals like artwork – built in three layers
- Action #5 Put your proposal effort where it matters
- Action #6 Review proposals the way your customer does
- Action #7 Make proposals easy to evaluate
- Action #8 Communicate your message visually
- Action #9 Establish a standard of excellence for your proposals
- Action #10 Improve your lessons-learned exercise
- Final thoughts – can your change?
Part 3 – Q&A
Part 4 – Related articles
- 7 questions to answer when making bid/no-bid decisions
- Take your proposal from good to great in 30 minutes
- What makes your bid a winner or a loser?
- How bad are your proposals?
- 3 keys to creating winning proposals – a defined and efficient process is essential to success
- What the government won’t tell you about your proposal
- 3 steps to improving your proposals – break the cycle of relearning key lessons each time around
- 5 steps to winning proposals
|About the author
Bob Lohfeld has more than 30 years’ experience winning contracts in the government market and is recognized consistently for his leadership in business development, capture management, and winning proposals development.
In 2003, he founded Lohfeld Consulting Group to provide capture and proposal services to companies doing business with government organizations worldwide. Today, Lohfeld Consulting Group is one of the leading companies in this market having helped over 350 companies write winning proposals and win billions in new contracts.
Bob teaches Capture Management, and he writes the Capture Management column in Washington Technology. In 2012, he was inducted as a Fellow in the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP).
Prior to forming Lohfeld Consulting Group, Bob served as Division President at Lockheed Martin, Vice President of Lockheed Martin Information Technology, Senior Vice President at OAO Corp., Systems Engineering Manager at Computer Sciences Corp. (CSC), and Program Manager at Fairchild Industries. He also taught at the graduate level at George Washington University School of Engineering Administration.
Bob has served on the Board of Directors for APMP and its National Capital Area Chapter (APMP-NCA) and as Chairman of the American Council on Technology Industry Advisory Council (ACT/IAC), Vice Chairman of the Technology Council of Maryland (TCM), and Board Member of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA), Government Electronics and Information Association (GEIA), and Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF Capital Region). He is a three-time winner of Federal Computer Week’s Federal 100.
|About the editor
Beth Wingate has more than 25 years’ proposal development, management, training, and communications/social media experience. She helps clients develop proposals, improve their proposal operations, and train their teams in proposal management best practices. Beth has spent her career finding ways to use technology to enhance teams’ business processes and customer deliverables. An excellent, experienced proposal manager, Beth specializes in managing responses to large federal government procurements as well as task order proposals.
Prior to joining Lohfeld Consulting, she served as proposal center director for Lockheed Martin and before that for 12 years as proposal center director for Management Systems Designers, Inc. (MSD) (acquired by Lockheed Martin).
Beth was inducted as an APMP Fellow in 2010. She is APMP’s 2014 Past CEO, 2013 CEO, 2012 COO, 2010–2011 Director of Education, and 2008 and 2009 President of the APMP-NCA Chapter. She served as the Chapter’s Executive Summary Newsletter Chairperson, publisher, and editor from 2005 to 2007.
In 2008, Beth received the Steven S. Myers Award for APMP Chapter Chair of the Year. She regularly presents at APMP International and Regional conferences and writes for APMP publications. She has been an active APMP member since 1996.