Just a few ideas:
We want to start this blog with a few thoughts about proposal development; somewhat random, but all part of the story. Here goes:
- The proposal is the ultimate sales document. Therefore presentation (compliant presentation) triumphs content every time.
- You need to put together a "style book" early in the game and keep it up to date. It becomes the ultimate guide to what everything needs to look like. Font sizes, page sizes, margins, page count, look and feel. Important.
- Past performance is a combination of performance and relevance. Evaluators will get the performance metric from your customer. You have to sell relevance. "They did a great job" on a program that has nothing to do with the proposed work is a low score. We'll write a lot more on past performance in the future.
- Graphics are always an issue. Yes, it's good to break up the text with them, but make sure they're saying something. Will the customer know what it is you're trying to say? Will the customer care?
- Always make it easy for your reviewers to find things. A smartly done compliance matrix with references and relevancy saves time and hassle.
Proposal Strategy - what to write
Always always always keep it simple. Page limits are limits. If you can tell the story in less pages, do it. Say what you need to, give them the minimum to tell the complete story and stop.
Tell them "How" not "What". They already told you "What"... they want you to tell them "How".
Everything you say, you do, you describe needs to be from the perspective of the customer. You can bet that's what your competitors are doing.