“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
This article was originally published on February 28, 2020 on APMP-NCA ezine. Dr. Emmett Brown: Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads. – “Back to the Future”, 1985 Dr. Brown was wrong, we still need roads. The cars may have changed, and some of them don’t need human drivers, but roads are still heavily traveled. Similarly, some may predict that our future procurement world will eliminate the need for written proposals. After all, if Presidents can tweet policy directions, why bother writing a full-length proposal? Maybe the future will simply involve videos or video-conferencing, technical challenges, and/or orals. Here we are in 2020, and things have certainly changed quite a bit in the last 20 years or so, but not to the extent we might have predicted. The written proposal is still, for the most part, the road to a win or loss. However, the written proposal will change in the … Continue reading The Proposal of the Future
This article was originally published March 17, 2020 on WashingtonTechnology.com The primary impact is that everyone involved in Federal procurement – acquisition professionals, Federal contractors, and others – is busy rearranging personal affairs. Making sure you, those you love, and everyone in your community is safe is what should be the primary concern. But once the dust settles, the short- and long-term impacts will become apparent. Predictions and Best Guesses While we can’t predict the full extent of the impact at this time, change is happening. Some best guesses: Procurement delays: Upcoming procurements are slipping to the right, whether that means RFP release or due dates. These delays are due to the Government focusing on emergency acquisitions as well as the loss of productivity as employees work and/or recover from illness at home. Travel: Non-essential travel is banned as are large gatherings. The Government cannot host in-person industry days, site … Continue reading COVID-19: What Can Federal Contractors Do?
A compelling solution speaks directly to what the customer values. It details your discriminating value proposition: how your solution exceeds customer expectations for quality, timeliness, cost-effectiveness, compliance, mission success and/or risk mitigation. The emphasis is on the how: in what specific ways your offering will accomplish contract performance objectives resulting in specific proven benefits the customer values. The how is exactly how many of our proposals fail. Here are seven keys to successful solutioning that will improve your win probability. #1: Begin earlier: Once you have qualified an opportunity, immediately begin the process of defining the how (people, processes, technology). Understand that solutioning is an iterative, time-consuming, evolving process. You will not arrive at your solution in one or two sessions. Once your team identifies an initial solution, capture professionals (and the project team on the ground in the case of a re-compete), must vet this solution. What solution elements … Continue reading Seven Keys to Successful Solutioning