We are lucky to have so many bid and proposal management thought leaders publishing excellent content on how to win more. Often though, it can be difficult to separate the wood from the trees and find the best content nuggets.
To help, I’ve delved into the archives and identified 4 great blog posts from proposal management industry leaders.
Here’s a quick run-down:
Bob Lohfeld – What makes your bid a winner or a loser?
Bob Lohfeld has over 30 years experience of winning government contracts. So you’ll know each word he writes carries a lot of weight. He is currently CEO and general manager of Lohfeld Consulting. Prior to creating Lohfeld he was Division President at Lockheed Martin.
In his post ‘What makes your bid a winner or a loser?’ Bob emphasizes the importance of ‘why’ when writing, and the value of considering the reviewers perspective.
Here’s a quick nugget:
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.”
(Source: Lohfeld Consulting)
Claus Thorsgaard – Ensure Winning Bids
Claus Thorsgaard is part of the management team at Deltek. He currently holds the role of Executive VP and General Manager of the Enterprise, International and Channel Sales Team. He is a seasoned proposal management professional.
In his post “Ensure Winning Bids” he focuses on 3 ways to win. They are:
- Demonstrate Experience – Winning bids must put your firm’s expertise on display. Make this quicker by attaching resumes to each resource’s employee record—most savvy practice management systems easily store PDF attachments. If possible, also cull significant information from the employee monitoring software of the company, of your employees and showcase them as a parameter of dedication.
- Define Capacity – Integrate your resource plan so it’s constantly updated against current WIP, and tie in the pipeline so any “soft” bookings are visible. Then make resource views easily available – so your talent capacity is quickly accessible, and proposal developers can confidently reserve the talent they’re proposing.
- Determine Pricing – Avoid the risk of losing business (and the embarrassment of unprofitable work) by looking to your practice management system for effective pricing guidance. Advanced business intelligence found in modern systems makes deep analysis easy even for “novices”—who can quickly establish pricing guidance from actuals vs. estimates, resources involved, or even profitability on similar past work.
(Source: Consulting Magazine)
Mike Summers – 5 Proposal Lessons Relearned
Mike Summers is another 30-year proposal management veteran. He is currently OCI Wins VP of Sales for the South East Region. Previous to this role he was Senior Proposal Manager with SAIC and Lockheed Martin.
In his post ‘5 Proposal Lessons Relearned’ he outlines what proposal managers need to keep front of mind. The point that stood out most to me was “Define Early”. Here it is:
Define the compliance matrix early and ensure all contributors understand and buy in – Start with section L (your proposal structure) and map every related requirement and evaluation criteria from the solicitation documents to the proposal paragraphs. Then map all of your applicable win themes and discriminators to this. It provides a powerful tool to help ensure your authors (and any independent reviewers) cover all the bases.”
(Source: OCI Wins)
Carl Dickson – 10 Ways to Ensure Proposal Success
Carl Dickson is owner of Captureplanning.com. He has over 25 years in proposal management experience and was previously president of the APMP National Capital Area Chapter.
In his post 10 ways to ensure proposal success Carl suggests starting early. He believes starting before the RFP issued is a great way to get ahead of competitors.
Know enough about the bid to start well ahead of RFP release. Some companies consider “advanced opportunity intelligence” to mean knowing about the RFP release two weeks ahead of time. A good metric for whether you know enough about an opportunity is whether you know enough to put pen to paper. And as for how far ahead of release you should be prepared to start, you can never be too far ahead.”
(Source: OCI Wins)
I hope these expert opinions give you as a proposal manager some good insights. Where possible I’ve included links to the experts’ twitter accounts. Got a question or comment? If so, leave a message below.