Pre-RFP Planning: Think Before You Write SM

When preparation meets a live opportunity, the process is smoother and the product is better.

Everyone follows some sort of process before an RFP is released. It may be abstract and undefined, or it may be more formal. A good consultant will be able to adapt to your process like a chameleon.

A great consultant will bring a “bag of tricks” or collection of proven processes that will improve upon your existing Pre-RFP process.

“How Will We Score?”SM: Aligning Win Themes and Bid Strategy to Evaluation Criteria

You’ve been chasing this opportunity for weeks, months. Maybe even years.

You’ve gathered your competitive intelligence, had your win strategy workshops, and may even have a concrete value proposition.

How will all of that score in the official evaluation of proposals?

The “How Will We Score?” exercise is designed to translate (and sometimes define) the discriminating features of your company’s offer that will beat out the competition when measured against the RFP evaluation criteria.

Win Theme Development

Win themes convey the features and resultant benefits of a company/team’s solution.

  • Features highlight the elements of an approach. They are concise, specific, and quantifiable (e.g., “we designed our system using COTS products”).
  • Benefits are the outcome or result derived from a particular feature of the approach. Benefits convey the advantage to the customer (e.g., “reduced maintenance time and cost by more than 50 percent”).

What makes a good win theme?

It should define what makes the approach unique, desirable, beneficial, and cost-effective. It must be about the customer.

It must align a discriminating feature of your approach with a concrete benefit (tangible or intangible), substantiated by proof that your approach works.

We work with bid teams large and small, technical and executive, to tease out the most effective win themes, while keeping the evaluation criteria in mind.

Never Start with a Blank Page

We firmly belief that no author should start with a blank page. Using our “How Will We Score?” methodology, we build out writing templates for the author, who may or may not be a proposal professional.

This exercise includes blocking out areas for text, graphics, providing lead-in sentences, and detailed instruction for exactly what content should go where.

Then, before we set the writers loose to develop their prose, we engage them in a collaborative session to brainstorm and familiarize them with the template and its structure and intent.

This process increases the writers’ chance for success, and the proposal’s chance for a meaningful first review.

Business owners & Executives: Ready to be well prepared for an RFP?

Bring in processes you may not have implemented before that are proven successful in preparing for an RFP.

Enjoy peace of mind that your strategy for winning is being translated into a scorable proposal.

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