Top 7 Points to Improve the Proposal
Many engineering firms are guilty of repeating the same errors repeatedly in producing flawed proposals that involves incorrect presentation format and poor writing practices involving a number of other shortcomings. In the author’s experience the top seven points to remember are listed below:
1. Select Opportunities Carefully:
Careful screening frees up internal resources to spend more time on target opportunities, often providing a significantly improved proposal.
2. Review and Understand the Tender Documents:
Careful screening frees up internal resources to spend more time on target opportunities, often providing a significantly improved proposal. The content of most RFP’s breaks down into the following categories:
- General Information
- Project information – Scope of Work
- Evaluation Criteria – Mandatory and rated requirements
- Evaluation Process – Scoring Matrix
- Certificates – proof of insurance, conflict of interest, security
- Form of offer – Signature of Bidder
- RFP Terms and Conditions
- Sample contracts
3. Know Your Competition!
4. Complete a thorough Bid/No-Bid Assessment:
What Are the Chances of Success? Be Realistic.
5. Organize and structure the Proposal to match the RFP Requirements:
The proposal must be easy to navigate and direct readers to key sections such as:
- Executive Summary
- Approach – Methodologies – Work Plans
- Project profiles: Case Studies
- References and testimonials
- Organizational charts and resumes
6. Make no assumptions when completing your proposal:
Make a point to speak in terms of benefits, not features. Readers often draw the wrong conclusions from a list of benefits and features. Control the story by painting a clear picture of your products and services. Differentiate your solutions and highlight your major points at least three times in the documentation.
7. Ensure you present your absolute best proposal:
Ensure over-all quality of the proposal package; provide adequate evidence of meeting all mandatory requirements; use project profiles and data sheets to score top points for rated requirements. Ensure spelling, grammar and formatting are correct to demonstrate your attention to detail.
Tip: Including frequently asked questions (FAQ’s) in your proposal can be of benefit.
Ensure you complete a debriefing on all proposals – learn today for better proposals tomorrow.