by Luanne Smulsky
The RFP’s SOW/PWS is 30 pages, and the Government wants your technical solution to address all requirements within 15. You must be compliant, persuasive … and concise.
Easier said than done? Indeed! But with the right outline, time to prepare, and skilled writers, your proposal can comply and be convincing – even within tight page limits.
ClientView helps SMEs prepare concise drafts with annotated outlines. We often recommend addressing each SOW/PWS task as follows:
- 1-2 sentence Task Understanding – without using the words “we understand”
- 3-5 sentences about the Solution – HOW you’ll accomplish the tasks with process, tools, and people, NOT what you’ll do
- Proof – brief (maybe 3 sentences), but replete with quantitative results your solution provided other customers
Focused writing is challenging. If you’re struggling, give us a call. We have plenty of examples and are adept at drawing out scoreable information from SMEs.
Are You Preparing for SDI-NG2?
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has an ongoing requirement for software development and integration professional IT services.
Software Development and Integration – Next Generation 2 (SDI-NG2) is the USPTO’s $1.7B follow-on contract for software development and integration services for Commercial off the Shelf (COTS) products with customized software applications, database applications, and other solutions. Continue reading “SDI-NG2 Draft RFP Coming Soon” »
Part 2 – Planning Your Slides
Last November we blogged about CV’s approach to oral proposal development – how our Plan, Organize, Practice process makes your presentations POP. In this blog, we expand upon the Plan phase.
Typically, your PowerPoint Slides serve as your oral proposal’s official record. So, it’s essential they convey your skills, capabilities, and understanding, and, most importantly –establish that your company is the superior choice for the bid. Continue reading “Oral Proposals: Presentations that POP” »
You’re a good proposal writer. You’ve been trained, understand the process, know how to analyze an RFP and organize your response, and can turn your SMEs’ input into compelling proposal language. So when the VP of Marketing drops an RFP for an oral proposal on your desk, you’re not worried – ‘No big deal – I’ll just write the proposal in PowerPoint slides instead of Word.’ You soon find out it’s a bigger deal than you thought. Continue reading “Oral Proposals: Presentations that POP” »
Helping Government Contractors Solve Top Business Development Challenges
Have you seen Deltek’s recent results from its 2015 Top Business Development Challenges for Government Contractors survey?
Of the top five challenges, two are critical to a firm’s ability to win:
- #1 – Limited Business Development (BD) Resources
- #5 – Not Enough Time to Assemble High Quality Responses to RFPs and RFIs
Continue reading “Helping Government Contractors Solve Top Business Development Challenges” »
The Value of Debriefings – for Winning Teams
So you’ve just won that $500M Single Award Task Order Contract. Your team is celebrating, and rightly so, and you’re preparing for the kick-off meeting.
The furthest thing from your mind is asking for a debriefing. Why bother … you won! Debriefings are for the losers.
Or are they?
In truth – you need a debriefing when you win just as much as when you don’t. Continue reading “The Value of Debriefings – for Winning Teams” »
Features and Benefits – Don’t Just Tell…Sell
Writing a proposal is like telling a story – a story about how your solutions to the Government’s problems are better than your competitors in a way that matters to the Government.
The key phrase in that sentence is “in a way that matters to the Government.” You may be able to tell a good story, and even ghost your competition, but unless your story “matters to the Government” it won’t matter at all.
So how do you that?
Continue reading “Features and Benefits” »
Complying with Proposal Requirements – So Easy a Kindergartener Can Do it, Right?
The famous “Everything I Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten” is a list of simple, common-sense “rules” for leading a successful life … one of which is “Follow Directions.” Seems easy enough, something we all can do and have done (just ask anyone who uses Google Maps).
In the proposal world, “Follow Directions” takes the form of “Be Compliant” – and the majority of companies for whom I’ve consulted always agree, in theory, that organizing the proposal according to RFP Sections L&M is non-negotiable. So I go along my merry way and prepare an annotated outline that does just that. Nine times out of 10, during the course of proposal development, that outline morphs mysteriously – a slight change here, another there – and we’re fixing non-compliance issues discovered by Red Team or Gold Team reviewers at the 11th hour.
Continue reading “Complying with Proposal Requirements” »
Color Blind: Conducting Valuable Proposal Reviews
My 12-year-old son recently overheard a conversation I was having with a Client and asked “Mom, what’s a Red Review?”
Me: “It’s a process in which a bunch of people who didn’t write the document read it and comment on whether the people who did write it, wrote it well.”
My son: “Why is it ‘red’ though?”
Me: “The color indicates the level of the review, how far along the document should be developed. ‘Red’ means all sections should be written and graphics included – kind of near final.”
And then I chuckled to myself … “And this one is NOT ‘Red’ ready.”
Continue reading “Color Blind: Conducting Valuable Proposal Reviews” »
Has anyone noticed that the Government’s Past Performance (PP) citation requirements are becoming more and more stringent – tying the Contractor’s hands by forcing use of templates and in specifying incredibly detailed Section M evaluation factors? Continue reading “Subcontractors – Friends or Foes?” »