It’s Thursday. Time for another proposal color team review. The Proposal Manager is faced with one of these all-too-familiar scenarios. Scenario 1: Reviewers call the baby ugly The color team reviewers conclude that the proposal stinks. They don’t really know why, but they don’t like it. They offer recommendations, some of which are actionable, some of which are compliant, but none of which improve the proposal quality. Some of the reviewers never read the RFP thoroughly, so their comments must be taken with a grain of salt. Scenario 2: Reviewers suggest improving the win themes The review team couldn’t find any win themes. They recommend that the proposal team goes back to the drawing board and come up with features, benefits and proofs. However, since the capture team never briefed reviewers on Voice of the Customer, they provide no counsel on which of these win themes would resonate with reviewers. … Continue reading Are your proposal review teams derailing the win?
Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it. (George Santayana) Over the past 25 years spent managing and submitting thousands of proposals and task order responses, I’ve developed a long list of lessons learned. Of course, I have many proposal section-specific lessons learned that I’ll share in upcoming Lohfeld Insights posts, but here are some of my favorite overall lessons learned: Address solicitation requirements in the required order and substantiate every response. This makes it easier for evaluators to score your proposal. (Include RFP section numbers in your section headings so evaluators can easily cross reference to the RFP.) Evaluators love how compliance matrices save time and demonstrate your thorough response. Always include a compliance matrix – even if it masquerades as the table of contents. Follow solicitation instructions and evaluation criteria to make your response easier to score – help the comic book reviewers/scorers who just … Continue reading Don’t make these mistakes – 12 vital proposal lessons
If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. –Albert Einstein During the Pursuit Phase, your Capture Team should have developed a solution that addresses your client’s needs and provides a clear basis for award. The Capture Team continually refined and tested this solution with the client during the Pre-proposal Preparation Phase all the way up to final RFP release. With significant effort directed at the solution during these phases, it is important to spend time immediately after final RFP release and before conducting the kick-off meeting to review the proposed solution against the final RFP contents, make any necessary adjustments to finalize your solution, and ensure that your team is ready to start final proposal development. Review the requirements in the final RFP to determine if the implementation plan, price strategies, teaming relationships, technical feasibility, and cost competitiveness you developed during the Pre-proposal Preparation Phase address … Continue reading 2-Step process for finalizing your proposal solution
A compliance matrix can serve multiple purposes. It’s an internal document that keeps your entire proposal team on the same page regarding compliance and ensures your proposal meets all requirements. It includes every shall, must, and will requirement in the entire RFP. It’s an organized listing of all requirements in RFP Sections L, M, C, Contract Data Requirements Lists (CDRL), and other sections of the RFP that contain requirements. In these days of boilerplated and recycled RFPs, developing a compliance matrix helps in finding disconnects between RFP sections and documents. Common disconnects include discrepancies between Section L and Section M contents, nonsensical soft- or hard-copy formatting instructions, discrepancies in technical requirements between Section C and technical attachments, and legacy information from a previous procurement, e.g., inaccurate dates or out-of-date requirements. It serves as a navigation and checklist tool for proposal managers, volume leads, proposal developers/writers, and internal proposal reviewers (as … Continue reading 7 Reasons to develop a compliance matrix