Our approach to proposal development starts to the left of the Draft RFP. It is optimized for large, complex programs. However, it can be easily adapted to smaller, quick-turn operations where the duration devoted to those topics is simply lessened. By retaining many of the steps, our clients avoid both unnecessary risks and the appearance of an incomplete understanding of key customer issues.
Winning proposals are more than just compliant; to be competitive they must also be compelling by differentiating themselves as a unique offering. We are advocates of a strategy based approach and believe that many of the key issues that lead to compelling proposal products take their origins in the proposal win strategy process. Therefore, our proposal process starts with a documented strategy, which initially populates our Proposal Requirements Document (PRD). This document is progressively refined as the strategy is refined and as industry day presentations, Requests for Information (RFI) and RFP documentation become available. We recognize that B&P is in short supply; however, we believe that the true cost savings associated with proposal development is in not having to essentially rewrite the proposal numerous times. We believe our approach focuses client behaviors and expenditures to create maximum competitive advantage.
The next step in our proposal process is to create an 8.5” x 11” page layout that allocates real estate between text and graphics and places a strong emphasis on collecting tabular data and displaying complex concepts through the use of illustrations. This assures ease of evaluation by the customer community and aids client technical personnel in developing substantive prose worthy of evaluation.
The third step is creating a Detailed Story Board which refines the proposal product. This incremental methodology is particularly valuable because it allows the Just-in-Time training to be applied to the proposal team by the Proposal Managers and Volume Leads and allows mid-course corrections to occur prior to draft or final text.
This fundamental approach to creating a proposal aids the training process as well, enabling a hands-on approach which is very similar to the “build a little, test a lot” programmatic methodology. Syndetics provides style guides and templates to drive all the steps in the proposal process. The final steps address the draft and final text creation. Here, assistance can be tailored to individual authors to address their writing styles. By using the approach described in prior steps, the fusion of both strategy and RFP compliance is complete.