A compelling solution speaks directly to what the customer values. It details your discriminating value proposition: how your solution exceeds customer expectations for quality, timeliness, cost-effectiveness, compliance, mission success and/or risk mitigation. The emphasis is on the how: in what specific ways your offering will accomplish contract performance objectives resulting in specific proven benefits the customer values. The how is exactly how many of our proposals fail. Here are seven keys to successful solutioning that will improve your win probability. #1: Begin earlier: Once you have qualified an opportunity, immediately begin the process of defining the how (people, processes, technology). Understand that solutioning is an iterative, time-consuming, evolving process. You will not arrive at your solution in one or two sessions. Once your team identifies an initial solution, capture professionals (and the project team on the ground in the case of a re-compete), must vet this solution. What solution elements … Continue reading Seven Keys to Successful Solutioning
The Federal Government is encouraging agencies to use Best in Class (BIC) government wide acquisition contracts (GWACs) to better leverage their buying power. In a January 5, 2017 report, Improving Government Operations, Helping Agencies Be More Effective and Efficient, the General Services Administration (GSA) stated, “OMB named several government-wide contracts, including a GSA contract, as best-in-class federal contracting vehicles for procuring laptops and desktops. This initiative has already produced negotiated savings of up 27% on IT Schedule 70 contracts.” On April 12, 2017, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) formalized GSA’s prompting by published a memorandum, Comprehensive Plan for Reforming the Federal Government and Reducing the Federal Civilian Workforce. In the memorandum, OMB Director Mike Mulvaney declared, “Agencies should consider leveraging…External service providers, including those providers on best-in-class contracts as part of the category management effort.” Since 2017, the government has encouraged agencies to use BIC GWACs to … Continue reading Best in Class (BIC) contract vehicles and why you need them
How difficult is it to collect proof points, metrics, resumes, or past performance related to an opportunity you’re trying to pursue? One way to improve access to your organization’s information assets and improve your win rate is by improving your internal Knowledge Management (KM) system(s). What is KM? Davenport defines KM as “the process of capturing, distributing, and effectively using knowledge.” KM is a key element in successful business development (BD). Effective capture, storage, integration, and analysis of information is essential to understand and defeat your competition, create a winning solution, and represent your company as a capable, best choice for the job. Consider all the information you capture and maintain as a company: · Resumes · Past performance · Metrics · Boilerplate · Templates · Checklists · Best practices · Success stories and kudos · Financial data · Certifications and awards · Graphics · Debriefs · Lessons learned · … Continue reading Creating a unified corporate focus on winning new business through knowledge management
Do proposal managers and contracting officers (COs) have anything in common? Most likely, what we have in common is that we are on each other’s list of pet peeves. Or, one could argue, proposal managers think about the CO much more often than the CO thinks about us! As in, “When will the CO answer the questions? Will the CO extend the due date?” In addition, very rarely, if ever, are proposal managers and COs in the same room. Usually, the capture manager, program manager, and/or business development (BD) professional handles one-on-one meetings with the CO, so proposal managers and COs rarely if ever come face to face. If we ever meet, it is usually in a public setting such as an industry day. Last month, I had the opportunity to participate in a National Contract Management Association (NCMA) Government Contract Management Symposium (GCMS) breakout session—Talking to the Other Side: … Continue reading Can proposal managers and contracting officers find common ground?