Perfecting Your Proposal Process
Are you struggling through the proposal process and missing opportunities to win business? The B2G teams have decades of experience, and our certified proposal manager has an 87%-win rate. That win rate has won clients over $4.5 billion in awards.
Let’s look at how to perfect the proposal process to increase your win rate while increasing your efficiency and consistency.
Questions to Ask for Go/No Go Process
How often have you been excited to receive an RFP or RFQ, only to open it and realize it is over 100 pages of information? Where do you start? What does any of this mean? You recognize from the cover page that you only have two or three weeks to respond. It may seem overwhelming to you. Many people just set it aside and never even start.
Here are some questions that can help you determine if you can complete the proposal on time.
- Who needs to be involved?
- Legal – to review the proposal
- The Gatherer(s) – to procure all of the necessary information
- The Creator(s) – to create new content
- The Pricer(s) – to put pricing together
- The Reviewer(s) – to review the document along the way
- The Checker(s) – to check for amendments daily
- Does the timing work with existing schedules?
- Does everyone participating in the process have the capacity for more work?
- Have you reviewed the Scope of Work? Can you do all of the work in-house?
- Small Business Goals
- Are there small business goals?
- What portion of the scope will you be subcontracting out to certified businesses?
- What certification does the entity accept?
- Insurance / Bonding – What levels are required?
It’s a GO
If everyone needing to be involved can take on additional work, it’s time to start! Schedule a kick-off meeting with everyone who will touch the proposal at any given time. Ask all involved to review the RFP (Request for Proposal) or RFQ (Request for Qualifications) before the meeting, noting any questions or concerns they may have. While in the meeting, discuss the concerns that may have arisen during their initial read of the RFP/RFQ and touch on everyone’s role to ensure their schedules allow for the additional work. This is a good time for everyone to pull out their phones and add all the important dates to their calendars. Ensure everyone can block the time necessary to complete the work before their scheduled deadlines.
When dealing with so much information and many different deadlines that must be met along the way, great organizational tools are your best friends! Where are you housing all the pertinent information? How are you best organizing it to meet the needs of the project? If you are not using a proposal management system, it is beneficial to create an Excel spreadsheet where all the information for all the forms can be housed and quickly accessible. We also make a proposal matrix for every proposal that includes critical due dates, all sections necessary for the proposal, the pricing information, etc. This helps ensure we are not only compliant but responsive as well.
At your daily stand-up meetings, update your compliance matrix so everyone has the latest version. Assign one person to check for amendments or addendums daily before the stand-up meeting.
The great benefit of electronic submission is that you can upload documents as you go. When you have completed one of the necessary documents and signatures have been acquired, go ahead and upload it! Update the compliance matrix and move the document to the submitted folder. That way, there is no last-minute confusion about whether a completed document has been submitted.
Reviewing Your Submissions
Once everything has been submitted, it is time to review your process. This can also be called a white team review or internal debrief. There are always lessons learned from every submission. Here are a few questions to consider:
- What could you have done differently?
- How could you better organize the information for your next project?
- Are there things you could have done to speed up the process?
- Is there something we could have done/said differently to help us stand out more than our competitors?
Document the suggestions for the next proposal
Following this process has dramatically increased our win rate and is the backbone of our success. We encourage you to follow this process to increase your win rate on proposals. If you are searching for a team to assist you through this process, contact us today to get started.