News & Knowledge Center

20 ways to reduce B&P costs and still win

Washington Technology Article

Many companies have experienced flat or declining sales in the prior year and, consequently, are dealing with reduced bid and proposal (B&P) budgets this year. This begs the question, can proposals be written in a less-costly way without reducing win rates? Obviously, we can reduce proposal costs, but many cost-reduction initiatives cause win rates to plummet. To find out why proposals cost too much, I asked our proposal consulting team to share their insights. Since this team works on the front lines of about 400 proposals per year, I was sure they could offer valuable insight into why costs are too high and what companies can do to reduce proposal costs without lowering win rates. Here are some of the reasons we found that proposal costs are higher than they should be. False starts Some companies fail to review the RFP before starting their proposal. In these instances, they kick...

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Q&A Part 3 from The end of the incumbent empire – 10 ways to unseat the incumbent

Lohfeld Business Winning Webinar Q&A

In the past several years, incumbents have lost their advantage in the Federal Government market. Industry studies show that incumbent contractors now have approximately the same win rate on rebids as non-incumbents. Rapid technological change, as well as fiscal constraints, mean that customers are more willing to consider alternatives. Still, winning a bid against an incumbent contractor is a challenge because best informed wins, and the incumbent is still the best informed. In this webinar, Lisa Pafe, CPP APMP and Lohfeld Consulting Group Principal Consultant, provides 10 proven best practices to create a competitive edge over the incumbent in today’s changing environment. Click to watch the webinar replay and download the presentation and research brief. Here is Part 3 of the questions we received during the webinar with answers from Lisa Pafe. Q: One of the hardest steps for large and small businesses who first encounter an opportunity at the...

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The benefits of understanding dissenting perspectives

Build credibility you can wield to resolve conflict, muscle through roadblocks, and challenge teams to higher standards

In the business world, it's easy to rush our decisions and our conversations. How often have you been in meetings when people speak over one other, cutting in as ideas come to them? That level of intensity and quick thinking has benefits, but it can also lead to people only expressing their own thoughts instead of really understanding other perspectives in the room. Seth Godin advises us to identify the generous skeptics in our workplaces—those people offering an opinion who have insight into our field or into our personal performance—and listen to them instead of dismissing them. As we understand these other perspectives more completely, we build a rapport with the generous critic, and we make our own ideas more robust. There really isn't a downside, because as Godin points out, we always have time to ignore them later. The benefits of listening and understanding our colleagues' perspectives aren't limited to those...

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The single biggest communication problem – and how to fix it

You talked. They listened. Soon enough it becomes clear that you talked, and they did not hear you. As George Bernard Shaw said, “The single biggest problem in communication is the illusion that it has taken place." Project and proposal teams are melting pots. With the globalization of business, we face physical distances, clashing time zones, and a variety of cultural differences. Teams are comprised of individuals of different genders, generations, and native languages. Studies have shown that people gravitate towards like-minded teammates, especially those with the same cultural background. The result is often that we fail to understand the words of those who we perceive as different. Today, teams have the ability to communicate in so many ways—in-person, phone, text, email, chat, social media, and Web meetings—yet somehow the message is still garbled. With both verbal and non-verbal cues lost in translation, what can we do to truly connect? Here are 5 ideas....

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