Proposal writing can be the hardest part of breaking into the world of public procurement. Every agency has a unique need and details are of the utmost importance. Often times you the supplier are not staffed with a full-time proposal writer leaving you to struggle with the chore. To make your life easier BidSync has teamed up with ProposalHelper a full-service proposal writing firm. They offer their clients turnkey proposal writing solutions that let you focus on running and growing your business at the same time without compromise.
We recently hosted a great webinar with ProposalHelper that you can watch here. During the webinar, Reena Bhatia, CEO for ProposalHelper gave helpful tips and explained the benefits to using a service like ProposalHelper. After the webinar, Reena took questions from those in attendance. Four questions came up a few times in the Q&A section. These were such great questions and answers that we wanted to share with everyone who could not be with us.
Q: Sometimes when you read a request for proposal (RFP) it feels like the prospect has already decided who they want because the bid is written so specifically. Is it worth it to even bid on this?
A: If it is that specific, no, I would say why even bid on that? It is wired for someone else. But that being said don’t be a pessimist. There are times when you can read too much into it. Take a look and see what differentiates you from the incumbent and what you feel can help you unseat that company. Use those to make the decision on whether to bid or not bid.
Q: The contract I have currently is about to expire, and the client is bidding out the renewal. How should I change out the new proposal from the original proposal?
A: Hopefully as the incumbent you have done a lot for your client in the last 1, 3 or even 5 years. You have brought value to the table for your client. It is important to pull your monthly reports and show the work you have done. If you have brought in new employees that the agency values, these are all hard hitting facts that support you for reconsideration. Find out what is important to your client. Is it your employees, is it you, is it the efficiencies you have brought to the table? Pull out letters and emails you have received from the client telling how great of a job you have done. All these materials need to show up in your new proposal. You cannot just change the date on your original proposal and send it in. That basically tells the client that over the course of the contract you did nothing of value for them. You will be in a great position if you can showcase the value that added in your new proposal.
Q: For teaming or a joint venture, does the other company need to be on a GSA schedule or 8A certified to be matched up with us, or can the other company be a nongovernment competitor?
A: This all depends on the bid. If it is an 8A set aside bid and you are an 8A contractor, does the RFP require the joint venture to be 8A certified or can you position yourself as a lead in that joint venture so your 8A can be recognized? With a GSA schedule, unless it is required there is no stipulation that a joint venture or a partner has to have a GSA schedule. Again this will all depend on the particular bid. It is very important to read the details in advance so you know what you are dealing with.
Q: When you are a writer on the proposal team, how do you get the subject matter experts to buy into your timeline. So often we can come to a standstill on writing as we wait for clarification on the subject matter while we’re essentially running the project of responding to the RFP. We are not in a position to dictate sales and operations.
Those subject matter experts are great at what they do, but most of the time they have other obligations and you are a secondary priority to them. When dealing with ProposalHelper we assign technical writers who ask the subject matter experts to simply provide bullet points and let our writers do the work and have the subject matter experts review. This is a much easier process. We also are successful at having our technical writers do interviews with the subject matter experts over the phone. This way the subject matter experts don’t have to stare at a blank page or try to write out ideas themselves. They can be more open and talk through their thoughts and get a draft on paper.
If you are looking to grow your business but don’t have the bandwidth to write award winning proposals, then you owe it to yourself to check out the amazing tools at your disposal.
As a supplier who uses Links or Links Plus, it is easy to feel like you are paddling against an ocean current when reviewing all the agencies you can do business with. After all, with a BidSync Links Plus subscription you have the potential to see over a million bids in our system.Read More