27-STEP WINNER PROPOSAL SYSTEM

Perhaps equally frustrating is the margin of difference between winning and losing…in the private sector…the difference between winning and coming in second is very small, often just two to five points on a hundred-point scale.  The situation in the public sector is similar.  For a recent proposal to manage a $30 million project for a U.S. government agency, the difference between the winner and the second-place also-ran was five points out of one thousand-one-half of 1 percent!

-Professor Richard C. Freed

Iowa State University

 

BASIC SYSTEM AND ADDITIONS

THE 27-STEP WINNER PROPOSAL SYSTEM grew out of our knowledge base of proposal art and science.  The system has been developed over the years from direct experience, collaborations with other proposal professionals, research and studies on the subject, and post-award debriefings with proposal evaluators.  The system below is the same basic model we use in our consulting practice.  However, in our work with Clients, we make two important additions to the system:

  • First, the basic system is customized with specific Client inputs.  For example, in Step 2, we would input the Client’s ‘Sustainable Competitive Advantage’; in Step 14, we would input the Client’s ‘Value Proposition’ for the proposal solution.
  • Second, the system becomes dynamic as it is worked with various individual tools from a comprehensive set that we have developed.  For example, in Step 14, we would seek to identify the Client’s differentiation by using the tool ‘Sweet Spot / Sour Spot Analysis’;  in Step 16 we would employ the tool ‘GIFBP Matrix’ (linking customer’s goals and issues to the features, benefits, and proofs of the proposed solution(s).

If you want or need to increase your firm’s revenue; to win work; to beat the competition, to craft Winner Proposals SM , then you may wish to consider the merits of the following proposal system:

 

QUALIFYING THE CONTENDER

 

  • Step 1:  REFLECT CONTENDER’S SHARED VISION, VALUES, AND CULTURE
  • Step 2:  REFLECT CONTENDER’S STRATEGIC AND BUSINESS PLANNING
  • Step 3:  CHECK STRATEGIC BUSINESS PLAN AGAINST SLOW-GROWTH MACROECONOMIC FORECAST
  • Step 4:  COMMIT TO BEHAVIOR DIFFERENTIATION AS A COMPETITIVE ADVANTAGE

 

QUALIFYING THE MARKET

 

  • Step 5:  PREPARE AND IMPLEMENT A MARKETING PLAN TO GUIDE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT ACTIVITIES
  • Step 6:  BUILD POLITICAL AND COMMUNITY SUPPORT
  • Step 7:  GENERATE AND QUALIFY LEADS

 

MILESTONE:  CUSTOMER CONTACT

 

QUALIFYING THE CUSTOMER

 

  • Step 8:  BUILD CUSTOMER RELATIONSHIPS
  • Step 9:  PURSUE SPECIFIC OPPORTUNITIES

 

MILESTONE:  RFP RECEIVED

 

QUALIFYING THE OFFER

 

  • Step 10:  CONDUCT RFP ANALYSIS
  • Step 11:  CONDUCT CUSTOMER INTELLIGENCE
  • Step 12:  CONDUCT COMPETITOR INTELLIGENCE
  • Step 13:  MAKE BID / NO BID DECISION
  • Step 14:  DEVISE WIN STRATEGY
  • Step 15:  FORMULATE AND FREEZE THE OFFER / SOLUTION

 

MILESTONE:  OFFER / SOLUTION FINALIZED

 

QUALIFYING THE PROPOSAL

 

  • Step 16:  COMMUNICATE OFFER / SOLUTION WITH SHARPENED PROPOSAL MESSAGES
  • Step 17:  DEVISE PROPOSAL LAYOUTS AND STYLE SHEETS
  • Step 18:  WRITE EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • Step 19:  CONDUCT KICKOFF/ORGANIZATIONAL TEAM MEETING
  • Step 20:  WRITE THE DRAFT PROPOSAL
  • Step 21:  REVIEW THE DRAFT PROPOSAL
  • Step 22:  EDIT / REWRITE THE PROPOSAL
  • Step 23:  PRODUCE THE PROPOSAL
  • Step 24:  MILESTONE:  SUBMIT THE PROPOSAL

  • Step 25:  DEFEND THE PROPOSAL IN ORALS PRESENTATION(S)
  • Step 26:  SUPPORT THE PROPOSAL IN QUESTIONS AND NEGOTIATIONS

 

MILESTONE:  PROJECT AWARDED BY PROPOSAL REVIEWERS !

 

QUALIFYING THE NEXT PROPOSAL EFFORT

 

  • Step 27:  CONDUCT AN AFTER-ACTON ANALYSIS

 

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