5 Ways to Win More Proposals — This Summer / Fall

  |  August 23, 2017

With the RFP releases so fluky this year, it behooves us all to be as efficient as possible in our proposal prep. Following below are five ways we can do better in developing winners.

1. Make Good Use of Price-to-Win (PTW) Techniques
Anyone who pursues Federal Business can’t fail to see the continuing emphasis on price. This means it is necessary for bidders to learn how to better use price-to-win (PTW) techniques.

Our experience suggests that most bidders are not very good at using PTW. Large businesses use it at least on the important proposals. Middle size businesses like to use it when possible. And small businesses often try to do without it.

Bidders who expect to win on this market must find a way to successfully employ PTW. This may include a robust PTW workup on the important programs and as little as a conference session between players on the smaller engagements.

2. Improve your Task Order Proposal Capabilities
We have seen that many companies still don’t have an efficient capability for responding to the task order (TO) solicitations that are so prevalent now. At minimum, companies need an efficient process for rapidly staffing, planning, solutioning, writing, and pricing the response.

3. Start Earlier
One of the easiest ways most companies can win more proposals is to start earlier. For every company that starts early, 10 don’t. One of the worse cases is the company that has a policy of not starting until after the final RFP is released. This approach is cheaper, but it greatly increases the risk they will not be able to complete long lead items.

4. Use a Good Proposal Preparation Process
Many small businesses do not have a proposal process. And many large businesses have a process that is no longer aligned with their business requirements due to the changes that have come with time. The single most important factor in being able to develop winning proposals at an acceptable cost is having a good process.

5. Use the Right Amount of Consultant Help
Nearly every company needs to work out a plan to utilize the amount of consultant help that promotes maximum bottom-line revenue. This may include once a year for a small business. And some large divisions will invest $MM per year. Making a wise selection ends with a vendor that has the desired talent, a compatible corporate personality, and an acceptable price. Those companies that use consultant talent tend to grow faster than those that do not.

A proposal sage once said, “Skimp in other areas.”

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