TArticles tagged with: proposal strengths

Your proposal is not a story

The typical evaluator is not looking to read every page.

Many proposal practitioners think that a proposal is a story, with a beginning, a middle and an end. They assume that the Government evaluator will read the proposal like a novel, from the Executive Summary through the Appendices. Many proposal professionals think that they should avoid repeating important information because that may create redundancy. In addition, to save page real estate, proposal writers often extensively cross reference other proposal sections instead of writing fully to the requirements. Evaluators Search the Proposal When we write a proposal like a story, we overlook how Government evaluators actually review and score our proposals. Government evaluators use a scoresheet based on the evaluation factors to check the proposal for compliance and to identify Strengths, Weaknesses, Deficiencies and Risks to justify a final score or rating. To achieve a better than “Acceptable” rating, a proposal must be rich in discriminating Strengths that outbalance any Weaknesses … Continue reading Your proposal is not a story

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The Great Proposal: A True Story

Solutioning to strengths when faced with a recompete

The great proposal did not start out great. In the beginning, fifteen months prior to RFP release, there were the usual problems we faced when preparing for a recompete. Red flags included project start-up issues that resulted in mediocre CPARS ratings, difficult client relationships, competing stakeholder demands, customer turnover on the acquisition side, and no dedicated Capture Manager or Capture Plan. Since this recompete represented the company’s largest Federal contract, the CEO knew she had to take action. And that’s when the trajectory, which had been turning towards a possible proposal loss, started to reverse course. Capture Readiness Assessment The Capture Readiness Assessment included interviews and document review based on Lohfeld Consulting Group’s 12 Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). The resulting scorecard revealed an average score of 3.5 out of ten. This score is not unusual more than a year ahead of RFP release, and we assured the team that we … Continue reading The Great Proposal: A True Story

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Highlight your strengths

Features tell, benefits sell…but in the federal space, strengths result in the win

We all know the adage: features tell, but benefits sell. This tired, old adage of how to sell is true, but in the federal space, strengths result in the win. Government evaluators typically review your proposal using a scoresheet. In accordance with Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR,) they must evaluate the bid based solely on the evaluation factors and subfactors as well as their relative importance. To do so, they must document strengths, weaknesses, deficiencies, and risks. Government evaluators search your proposal for information they need to document findings properly. Evaluators treat your proposal like an encyclopedia to search for potential strengths, weaknesses, deficiencies, and risks. Typically, evaluators review and score specific proposal sections rather than the entire bid. They do NOT read the proposal like a novel from page one to the end. Often, they do not bother to read sections that are not scored, such as the transmittal letter … Continue reading Highlight your strengths

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Discriminating your offer: 5 steps to competitive edge

As we look back on 2015 and ahead to the challenges of 2016, it is clear you must find ways to discriminate your bid from the competition. Discriminating your offer is especially difficult for service providers (vs. product providers) as the playing field is fairly level and more bidders are competing for less work. Market competition is a battleground, and your goal should be to win the war…or at least the must-win battles that comprise your target revenues. This edition of the APMP-NCA Executive Summary eZine focuses on discriminating yourself from the competition. In my experience, five steps are key to gaining competitive edge. Understand your industry. First things first! In order to discriminate your bid, you must know who your competitors are. Amazingly, many companies have cut their competitive intelligence capabilities due to budget constraints. Reserve enough B&P dollars to at least research your industry and lines of business … Continue reading Discriminating your offer: 5 steps to competitive edge

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