News & Knowledge Center

Pounded by Pricing

Step up and get engaged

Dear Proposal Doctor, Please help. I am mid-way through a large and important government bid. The two or three people who have all the knowledge we need to document the solution are in pricing meetings that go on for hours, and by the time they start working on the non-price aspects of the proposal, they are exhausted and not productive. I’m worried that we are going to miss interim deadlines and have to rush through our reviews and document production cycles. I don’t know what to do because the pricing activity is like a "black box" to those of us who are not involved. How can I change the priorities of these key people? Pounded by Pricing Dear Pounded, Actually, it might be your priorities that need to change. Although proposal managers have often steered clear of pricing, it is an essential element of the proposal and one that is...

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Stepping on toes

How to get roles and responsibilities on track

Dear Proposal Doctor, Despite a kick off meeting at which we discussed roles and responsibilities, everyone on this proposal seems to be stepping on everyone’s toes. The coordinator keeps trying to do my job; the capture manager is trying to be the solution architect; the contracts representative is getting way too involved in pricing. We have redundancy and re-work in some areas and complete neglect in others. How can I get things back on track? Proposal-Manager-in-Chaos Dear Proposal Manager, I feel your pain and have lived through similar experiences. The root cause is an unwillingness to have a discussion of roles and responsibilities at the level of detail required. To emphasize those last six words: at the level of detail required. It is much easier to define roles in general terms. Here is my favorite: “Responsible for red team.” What exactly does that mean? Does the responsible person find the...

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3 tips to maximize past performance

Take advantage of this predictor of how well you'll perform

Almost every proposal you write has a requirement for information on past performance. The government uses this information to evaluate how well your company has performed on similar programs and expects your past performance to be a predictor of how well you will perform on the program you’re currently bidding. Because past performance can be an important discriminator in the evaluation and selection process, there are some things you should know about how to write your past performance response. Past performance versus past experience Past performance comprises a set of specific contracts that you select to demonstrate how well your company, or your team, has performed on contracts that are similar in size, scope, and complexity to your current bid. Past experience, which is sometimes confused with past performance, is about the broader issue of what experience and expertise the bidding organization has gained from all of its contract work and...

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How to raise your win rate by 20%

Knowing which investments to make and predicting the payoff is the challenge

All executives want to increase their win rate. If you could raise your company’s overall win rate by 20%, the payoff in additional revenue, earnings, and shareholder value could be huge. Company revenues would increase, earnings would increase by the marginal profit rate on the new revenue, and shareholder value would increase proportionally to your increase in earnings. But, knowing which investments to make and predicting the payoff is the challenge. Here’s how to choose your investments and predict the resulting increase in win rates. First, let me make sure everyone understands that we are talking about the investment you make to improve your company’s overall win rate. This is the average win rate on all proposals your company submits, not your win rate on a specific proposal. (We use a different model to predict the outcome for individual bids.) 7-Factor Model To predict increases in overall company win rates, we...

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