captureplanning.com Tutorials and resources for proposal writing and business development





Unsolvable Problem: You're not ready at RFP release

This article is the second in a series offering solutions to the "unsolvable" problems of proposal development.

Does this sound familiar? You feel like you never have the information you need when an RFP is released, even if it’s your company’s own recomplete. Even if your company knows about a bid ahead of the RFP release, it seems like the time somehow disappears without much to show for it. When the RFP is finally released, you find that you don’t have the staff you need to bid on the project let alone work on the proposal. People say that you have win strategies, but you can’t find them written down anywhere. In fact, you typically find yourself starting the proposal without anything in writing…

Our Solution: Perform Readiness Reviews during the period of time before the RFP is released. Each Readiness Review needs to have specific goals that lead to being ready to win at RFP release. While somewhat similar in concept, most “gate reviews” that we have seen somehow don’t actually get the team ready to write a winning proposal.

We recommend having four Readiness Reviews. For each review, prepare a list of questions and action items. More than anything else, this list will determine the success or failure of your reviews. Ours has 10-20 items on it for each review. At each review, the questions become more detailed. By the final review, you should be moving from collecting raw intelligence to staging information in a format ready to use in the proposal. We do not expect people to be able to answer all of the questions we ask. Instead, we look for them to answer as many as are humanly possible, and to provide help, guidance, and alternative approaches for the questions that they have been unable to answer.

At each review, assess whether the answers provided and actions taken are sufficient to prepare you for RFP release. We use a Red/Yellow/Green scale to grade the answers to each question. You should see answers that score a “Yellow” or “Red” in an early review move to “Green” by later review. While movement in the other direction is bad, it’s good to have an objective way to identify it when you are slipping.

We schedule the Readiness Reviews proportionally. This way if you find out about the opportunity one month before RFP release, you have a week to prepare for each review. If you are tracking a year in advance you have three months to prepare for each review. And if you find out about it at (or even after) RFP, it tells you what you need to find out in order to get caught up.

Our approach works because it provides guidance during the critical period before the RFP is released. It tells your business developers what intelligence you need collected and how your company should be positioned in order to win the proposal. It also provides a means to transfer knowledge and streamline the transition from business development to the proposal.

Readiness Reviews also enable you to measure your progress towards being ready for RFP release. This feedback is important. It shows you how much more you need to do in order to be prepared. It can also be used to show trends or areas of weakness across multiple pursuits.

 


Members get access to the following related articles:

How to Ensure You Are Ready To Bid
22 Things You Must Have to Win Your Next Proposal
Unsolvable Problem: Your proposal team argues over proposal quality
Measuring Business Development
47 Things to Know Before The RFP is Released
24 Ways to Influence an RFP
101 Things Your Business Development Process Should Address

In addition to all of our tutorials, online training, and process documentation, 263 articles like this are available to our paid members.



PropLIBRARY is our professional tool for people who want to win RFPs like their business depends on it.


Get our apps for Android devices:

Gig Pipeline: For business development and proposal consultants

Get Help Winning: Helps companies find consultants and resources for winning


Browse hundreds of free articles on all these topics:

Advice for Better Proposal Writing
How to Write a Business Proposal
Proposal Management
Red Teams & Proposal Quality Validation
How to Create a Compliance Matrix
Process and Procedures
Win Strategies and Themes
How to Write an Executive Summary
Professional Services Marketing
Proposal Templates and Reuse
Miscellaneous Proposal Tips
Storyboards and Content Planning
Government Contracting
Request for Proposals (RFP)
Bid/No-Bid Decisions
Business Development and Marketing
Relationship Marketing and Customer Contacts
Sales Letters & Copy Writing




About Us | Privacy Policy | Contact Us

Copyright © 2015. Please view the Terms of Use prior to copying or distributing. This site is part of the CapturePlanning.com Network.