Professional Proposal Planning
It’s easy to overlook proposal resources, for lots of reasons – sometimes we’re just overwhelmed by our pipeline and the management plan/cost volume/past performance write-up that needed to be done yesterday. Sometimes the RFP dropped months ahead of schedule (it happens) or during everyone’s vacation. Often, it’s cost. Good proposal resources aren’t cheap, and nobody wants to pay for a deeper bench than absolutely necessary.
Whatever the reason, though, it’s a bad idea to delay engaging proposal resources. Proposal professionals can do a lot of up-front work, pre-RFP, to prepare for a smooth proposal effort. Draft RFPs and PWS/SOWs provide plenty of information for proposal professionals to develop outlines and response strategies. Other long poles that can be started during the pre-RFP phase are past performance and resumes. Tailoring these sections can be time-consuming, and they often need multiple reviews. Starting early helps differentiate your personnel and put the best possible face on your past performance – and these are critical components of a winning proposal.
Our advice: engage your proposal resources early. If they’re in-house, they can spend some cycles early to ensure a better proposal later. A good external resource will work with and within your budget to get some pre-RFP work down without breaking the bank. The end result will be a better proposal and, often, a lower cost to complete it.