Category Results for Proposal Writing

The Rationale for Eliminating Win Themes in Proposals

The Government is clear how they evaluate best value bids

If you attended a proposal writing class years ago, the instructor taught you to include win themes in every major proposal section. The instructor told you to link win themes to discriminators found in your offer and that the most powerful win themes discriminated your offer from those of your competitors. While it is good to differentiate your solution from competitors, it is only part of the equation needed to win. To win, you must consider the Government’s own instructions describing how they evaluate bids when using Federal Acquisitions Regulations (FAR) Part 15 15.101 Best value continuum, as opposed to FAR Part 15.101-2, where they look for the lowest price technically acceptable bid. In FAR Part 15.305 Proposal Evaluation, the Government is clear how they evaluate best value bids, “Evaluations may be conducted using any rating method or combination of methods, including color or adjectival ratings, numerical weights, and ordinal … Continue reading The Rationale for Eliminating Win Themes in Proposals

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Five tips to help evaluators find key words (and winning content)

Increasingly, government evaluators rely on automation to help them efficiently review proposals

Federal Government source selection officials are very likely to review your bid electronically rather than in hard copy. Telework is here to stay, and federal proposal evaluators working from home are unlikely to print thousands of pages from multiple bids. Even in the office, printing large documents is wasteful and not environmentally friendly. In addition, over-worked government evaluators look for ways to speed the evaluation process. Increasingly, government evaluators rely on automation to help them efficiently review proposals. Whether the Source Selection Evaluation Board (SSEB) members are using acquisition software to check compliance and document findings or simply the search and find features of MS Word or Adobe Acrobat, they must be able to find content quickly and easily. An important part of planning before you write is identifying important key words for automated content searches. Using key words is not the same as parroting back RFP requirements. It is … Continue reading Five tips to help evaluators find key words (and winning content)

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50 Words and Phrases that Support Past Performance Development

Your past performance could be the difference between a win and second place

There is a saying that either your past performance is an “A or an F” because your competition only provides grade A past performance. In a close competition your past performance could be the difference between a win and second place. Help customers recognize your outstanding performance by providing metrics, proof points, and facts that are critical to earning the top grade. Consider using any of the following 50 words or phrases to call attention to your exceptional performance. Words Ability Accomplish Achieve Additional Advance Award Best Capability Capacity Certified Competence Decrease Earn Enhance Exceed Excel Experience Expertise Gain Groundbreaking Improved Increase Innovate Led Measure Metric Modernize More than Qualifications Reach back Realize Reduce Retain Skill Transform Phrases (Before using one of the words listed above, qualify your statement with a proof point from your experience related to a customer requirement, as demonstrated below.) Customer ABC reduced their Cloud costs … Continue reading 50 Words and Phrases that Support Past Performance Development

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When to stop last-minute changes

Consider the type of change you are making and how it affects proposal timeliness and quality

One of a proposal team’s biggest frustrations is last-minute changes, which can introduce errors into written proposals or cause synchronization issues with oral proposal slides and scripts. Before making last-minute changes consider the type of change you are making and how it affects proposal timeliness and quality. Table 1 Column 1 lists welcome changes that can make a proposal more compelling or increase its score. Table 1 Column 2 lists unnecessary changes that may cause significant work, burn out team members, and not increase a proposal’s score. Table 1. Types of last-minute changes to consider If you routinely get a lot of last-minute changes: Provide leadership with a schedule and specify how last-minute changes affect delivery. Ask leadership to describe how unnecessary changes can improve the proposal’s score. Explain how the last-minute changes affect quality, timeliness, and team morale. By negotiating last-minute changes and picking your battles, you can gain … Continue reading When to stop last-minute changes

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