TArticles tagged with: groupthink

Winning “must win” deals

Understand the customer’s needs, not just their requirements

“Oh, by the way, this is a must win deal for us,” my boss said as we concluded our conversation. The RFP had dropped, and I was to lead the final proposal effort. The company was getting ready to graduate from the small business world. Like many, we were looking to win as many small business IDIQ vehicles as we could to cushion our transition. The opportunity fit within our core competencies—but with an agency and government sector new to us. While there had been some pre-RFP activity and team building, it was focused on smaller companies familiar with the sector, but not with the agency. My work was cut out for me! Carefully considering the situation, I determined we needed to do three things to win: Fully understand the customer’s needs, not just their requirements. Propose a strong solution to meet both the requirements and the needs. Build in … Continue reading Winning “must win” deals

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Beware the dangers of groupthink

Proposal color team reviews don’t work

This article was originally published January 10, 2020 on WashingtonTechnology.com Proposal color team reviews don’t work. Why? In many cases, proposal reviewers make two critical mistakes: They read the proposal as if it was a novel, instead of scoring and rating it according to the evaluation criteria. They get tired of arguing about their comments, so they come to consensus—which really means they succumb to groupthink. These mistakes often result in a proposal that not only fails to offer a value proposition rich in discriminating strengths, in some cases it is non-compliant.  Your proposal is not a novel Internal color team reviewers often derail your win because they don’t fully understand how the government evaluates and scores the proposal. They think the proposal should tell a story, and they comment on the merits of that story. In reality, government evaluators have a scoresheet to complete based solely on evaluation factors … Continue reading Beware the dangers of groupthink

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