Insights Blog

9 Key factors for winning proposals

One Monday morning, I received a frantic email from a friend who’d been interviewing for proposal manager positions. “Beth, what’s your 30-second response to what makes a proposal compelling?” She’d been asked that question during her interview and thought she’d flubbed the answer. She wanted to hear my perspective so she could prepare for her other interviews later that day and the next. I paused for a moment to consider the question and then banged out this response, “A well-developed value proposition and (technical) solution supported by excellent pre-RFP capture development and client intimacy. A cleanly designed proposal with relevant, clear, insightful, professionally developed graphics.” It’s incredible when you think of the tremendous number of labor hours, dedication, money, expertise, education, and opportunity costs that underlie that 28-word response. The lessons we’ve all learned over the years fill thousands of books and PowerPoint presentations designed to share our pains and … Continue reading 9 Key factors for winning proposals

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10 Ways to mitigate competitive analysis risks

At the 2011 APMP International Conference, Lohfeld Consulting Group’s Managing Director Brenda Crist presented an informative session on mitigating proposal risks. Here are Brenda’s identified Competitive Analysis Risks and recommended Mitigation Strategies: You do not know the competitors or their relationships with the customer. Talk with your employees, the customer, stakeholders, users, and vendors to identify potential competitors. Determine if competitors have self-identified on market research databases. You have limited knowledge of competitors’ solutions and capabilities. Use open-source research information, e.g., Internet, news, annual reports, and professional associations, to identify competitors’ capabilities. Hire subject matter consultants who are knowledgeable about the market to describe the competitors’ capabilities. Look for job ads on competitors’ career web pages to determine the type and caliber of personnel they are looking to hire for the job. You have limited knowledge of competitors’ personnel. Use open-source research products or social media to identify competitors’ staff … Continue reading 10 Ways to mitigate competitive analysis risks

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4 Variables to consider while preparing orals presentations

The achievements of an organization are the results of the combined effort of each individual. –Vincent Lombardi Today, many agencies use orals presentations, in addition to written proposals, to gauge the technical knowledge and management experience of team members proposed to support their programs. Orals presentations also help government evaluators visualize the potential working relationship with each contractor and provide an opportunity to ask questions and seek clarification regarding the proposing team’s understanding, approaches, processes, and technical competence. Many aspects of narrative proposals and orals presentations are similar, but the nature of the orals presentation medium also creates significant differences and new variables that you must consider as you prepare the orals presentation. These include: Presenters – this includes the presenters’ speaking styles, familiarity with the material, knowledge of the audience, and knowledge of your team, as well as decisions about how many speakers to use, who to use, and … Continue reading 4 Variables to consider while preparing orals presentations

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10 Ways to mitigate pursuit phase risks

At the 2011 APMP International Conference, Lohfeld Consulting Group’s Managing Director Brenda Crist presented an informative session on mitigating proposal risks. Here are Brenda’s identified Pursuit Phase Risks and recommended Mitigation Strategies: Is the bid a strategic fit for your company? If no, consider not bidding. Do you understand the customer’s requirements? Use the time during the pursuit phase to learn more about the customer’s requirements. Do you know who constitutes your competition? Use this time to learn more about the competition through open-source documents, employees, partners, vendors, and hired consultants. Do you have advocacy with the customer? Use this time to introduce your solution to the customer and demonstrate how it will benefit operations. If you are the incumbent, demonstrate how you add value to the customer’s current and near-term operations. Make recommendations for improving long-term operations during the course of the contract. Does the bid meet your company’s … Continue reading 10 Ways to mitigate pursuit phase risks

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