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)
Is a winning proposal a good proposal? Some argue that by definition, yes, a win is a good proposal. However, we all know that a proposal can be the winner for reasons unrelated to proposal quality—such as a price shoot out. Therefore, when we look back at our win-loss track record, we miss a lot of important data if wins and losses are the only measures of successful performance. As a result, we may re-use a poor-quality proposal or dismiss a losing proposal that has some successful elements. Are your proposals good? In a Deltek webinar, Bob Lohfeld polled the audience to ask: “Are your proposals compliant, responsive, AND compelling?” Interestingly, only 15 percent of 150-plus respondents believed that their proposals were consistently achieving all three measures of quality. Another 35 percent responded that their proposals sometimes achieved all three. Meanwhile, 35 percent stated that their companies consistently do NOT … Continue reading A winning proposal isn’t always the best
I was asked to review a major best-value bid for a firm that was notified they had lost and wanted to protest. Emotions were running high, and they were making all sorts of allegations about the government not wanting them to win. I asked to see their debriefing file, and what I discovered was surprising—at least to me. Like many companies, they failed to understand why companies lose and what it takes to win. Why do you write proposals? Always remember that proposals are written for one purpose—to convey the information the government evaluators need to select your company over others in the competition. Proposals are not written to show the government how smart you are or to brag about your company history. They are not written to showcase your team members or to boast about your world-class best practices. Proposals are written to score points with the evaluators. When … Continue reading What makes your bid a winner or a loser?