Five Low-Cost Ways to Improve your Proposal Center and Government Proposals

  |  November 29, 2012

  • Consider moving a copier and printer into the proposal center. You’d be surprised how much time and energy this saves when a writer needs one or two copies of a 2-page document. Don’t have an extra copier or printer to share? Look into leasing!
  • Have a convenient, reliable way of posting paper copies on the walls of the proposal center. 3M now has easel paper backed with the same sticky substance used in their Post It Notes. Using this special paper means that you can easily move from the pad to the walls, without damage to the walls. Further, you can quickly and easily shift the paper around on the walls as you develop your ideas. If you use the same space for proposals time and time again, consider a more permanent solution, such as Velcro strips, or magnets-on-metal solutions.
  • Display a chart of the customer’s organization that shows names, titles and relationships in the proposal center. Or if possible, make an estimate of the composition of the source selection team (often the Source Selection Evaluation Board, or some other similar term), either by name or at least by function. This helps the Proposal Team focus the response to meet the customer’s hopes, fears, and biases. It is an important element in answering the two most important marketing questions: “Who will make the procurement decision?” and, “What criteria will be used?”
  • Encourage more face time. Ensure that Top Management shows their face or faces early and often in the proposal center, including at the kick off meeting. These appearances, with the accompanying hands-on participation in the proposal effort, will help break down the “siege mentality” that can develop in a proposal effort. Remember, the number one reason for losing competitions is the lack of Top Management involvement in the process of proposal creation.
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