Federal Government evaluators do not read your proposal; they score it. Observed features with proven benefits that have merit beyond mere acceptability are scored as strengths. The bidder with the best and possibly the most strengths wins in a best value trade-off.
Yet, when we conduct internal color team reviews, we tend to gather comments (many comments!) rather than scoring and rating the proposal. We try to resolve conflicts on comments rather than trying to improve Strengths and mitigate Weaknesses, Deficiencies and Risks from the customer perspective.
I have written extensively on how to improve color team reviews using Lohfeld Consulting Group’s seven quality measures and Mock Source Selection Evaluation Board reviews using Government scoresheets. These are excellent ways to use our Subject Matter Experts to cost effectively score the proposal and give you honest feedback in the manner of a Government debrief.
Another cost-effective strategy is training. Our Strength-Based Proposal Reviews class is completely tailored to your business. We use one of your proposals and the corresponding RFP and Government debrief to create a day-long class that will transform your color team reviews. Once your employees take this training, they will approach your color team reviews from entirely new perspective.
In this hands-on training, your employees learn how Government evaluators think and how the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) dictates proposal evaluation. They discover why and how to apply seven proven quality measures as well as create and use evaluation scoresheets. The students form a Mock Source Selection Evaluation Board to review the proposal and identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Deficiencies and Risks. Together, we discuss results and compare findings to what the Government observed in the debrief.
According to a recent attendee, key takeaways include: “Learning about and getting more inspiration for how to comprehensively evaluate these documents. Focusing more on the viewpoint of the customer and how the proposal addresses their specific needs. Learning to remember that making our offering unique to competing companies will result in a stronger and more compelling proposal.”
This class prepares your employees to be effective evaluators. Rather than offering subjective comments, they will go forward using Government scoresheets and proven quality measures to evaluate your bids. They will also learn how to avoid personality-driven conflicts that derail color team reviews by focusing on the wrong things. As one attendee said: “Great one-day training! Gave me a new perspective on producing a winning proposal.”
Escape the endless cycle of ineffective reviews that focus on the wrong things. Invest in training your employees to evaluate proposals constructively and see your win rates soar!
By Lisa Pafe, Vice President at Lohfeld Consulting Group, CPP APMP Fellow and PMI PMP
Lohfeld Consulting Group has proven results specializing in helping companies create winning captures and proposals.
As the premier capture and proposal services consulting firm focused exclusively on government markets, we provide expert assistance to government contractors in Go-to-Market Strategy, Capture Planning and Strategy, Proposal Management and Writing, Capture and Proposal Process and Infrastructure, and Training. In the last 3 years, we’ve supported over 550 proposals winning more than $135B for our clients—including the Top 10 government contractors. Lohfeld Consulting Group is your “go-to” capture and proposal source! Start winning by contacting us at www.lohfeldconsulting.com and join us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.