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Session 5: Shipley Associates - 7 Pillars of Effective Proposals

Shipley Associates - 7 Pillars of Effective Proposals. Presented by: Brad Douglas, EVP Global Strategy

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Session 5: Shipley Associates - 7 Pillars of Effective Proposals

  1. 1. 7 Pillars of Effective Proposals Presented by: Brad Douglas, EVP Global Strategy bjdouglas@shipleywins.com
  2. 2. 2+10 ÷ =2( ) ?
  3. 3. So What?  There’s more than one right answer  Basic principles govern proposal success  No two proposals are exactly the same  Know the customer requirements
  4. 4. The Opportunity Lifecycle Market Segmentation Early Positioning Opportunity Qualification and Assessment Opportunity Planning (Capture) Proposal Planning Bid & Proposal Development Post- Proposal Activity PHASE 5 PHASE 6 PHASE 7PHASE 2PHASE 1 PHASE 3 PHASE 4
  5. 5. RFP/RFQ Release Submit Peaks and valleys of activity
  6. 6. RFP/RFQ Release Submit
  7. 7. Standard Proposal Development Progression INPUTS Competitive Assessment Win Strategy Bid Request or RFP Receipt
  8. 8. Best Practice Study Global Proposal Best Practices 1999-Present Over 420 Over 110 (B2G, B2B; international, local) 12 (Americas, Europe, Asia- Pacific, Middle East, Africa) Over 6,400 hours -- Extract from Proposal Assessment Study
  9. 9. Detailed Findings Green: <20 percent off benchmark (1-6) : 20 - 40 percent off benchmark (1-6) Red: >40 - 60 percent off benchmark (1-6) --Extract from Shipley Associates’ Proposal Assessment Study
  10. 10. Examining Each Pillar
  11. 11. Compliance Have all the bid request requirements and instructions been followed? 4.3.2 Transition Plan & Resources Outline in general terms how you will commence operations if you are awarded the contract. Provide a high-level schedule showing the timing of transition activities from contract signing through to handover of services delivery. Provide an organization chart for your transition team, identifying roles of key resources. How many of the resources involved during transition will also form part of the on-going service delivery team? What are their responsibilities in each phase? Reference Compliance Requirement 4.3.2 Outline in general terms how you will commence operations. 4.3.2 Provide a high-level schedule showing the timing of transition activities from contract signing through to handover of services delivery. 4.3.2 Provide an organization chart for your transition team. 4.3.2 Identify roles of key resources on the transition team. 4.3.2 Identify resources involved during transition that will be part of the ongoing service delivery team. 4.3.2 Identify responsibilities of transition resources in each phase of the transition. RFP Paragraph Compliance Checklist How many unique requirements in this paragraph?
  12. 12. Responsiveness Does the proposal clearly and directly address the customer’s needs? Supplier must provide 24/7 support. We provides 24/7 support. You (customer) benefit from 24/7 support at four locations around the world, in each language required, with a response time of three minutes or less.
  13. 13. Responsiveness vs. Compliance
  14. 14. Competitive Focus Is it obvious why this offer is better than competitor offers?
  15. 15. Sales Discriminators Neutral Position Customer Needs It Competitor Has It We Have It Irrelevant Position Customer Doesn’t Need It Competitor Has It We Have It Our Weakness Customer Needs It Competitor Has It We Don’t Have It Our Discriminators Customer Needs It Competitor Doesn’t Have It We Have It
  16. 16. Win Strategy Is it obvious what’s in it for the customer? Are we addressing strengths, weaknesses and gaps?
  17. 17. Quality of Writing Is the writing customer focused, well organized, clear, and correct?
  18. 18. Ways to Destroy Any Sales Message 01 Jack and Jill went up the hill to get a pail of water. Use weak verbs: 02 Jack and Jill climbed up the hill to fetch a ewer of water Use Unfamiliar words: 03 To fetch a pail of water, Jack and Jill climbed up the hill. Put introductory phrases at the beginning to push the subject back: Adapted from: http://everything2.com/title/Seventeen+ways+to+kill+a+sentence
  19. 19. Ways to Destroy Any Sales Message 04 Jack and Jill, to fetch a pail of water, climbed up the hill. Put the action at the end of the sentence: 05 Jack and Jill climbed to fetch a pail of water up the hill. Keep modifiers as far as possible from the words they modify: 06 The hill was climbed by Jack and Jill so that a pail of water could be fetched. Use passive voice: Adapted from: http://everything2.com/title/Seventeen+ways+to+kill+a+sentence
  20. 20. Ways to Destroy Any Sales Message 07 To fetch a pail of water, the hill was climbed by Jack and Jill. Put the doer at the end of the sentence: 08 It was Jack and Jill that climbed up the hill to fetch a pail of water. Introduce false subjects: 09 Jack and Jill ascended the acclivity to retrieve a vessel of Adam’s ale. Pile on the gobbledygook (fluff): Adapted from: http://everything2.com/title/Seventeen+ways+to+kill+a+sentence
  21. 21. Ways to Destroy Any Sales Message 10 Jack and Jill did the hill climb for purpose of water retrieval. Turn verbs into nouns: 11 Jack and Jill traversed the gradient to fetch an alembic vessel of H20 Use unnecessary technical jargon: 12 Jack, in the company of Jill, climbed their way up the hill for the purpose of fetching water in the approximate amount of a pail’s full. Add wordy phrases (fluff): Adapted from: http://everything2.com/title/Seventeen+ways+to+kill+a+sentence
  22. 22. Ways to Destroy Any Sales Message 13 Both Jack and Jill climbed all the way up to the top of the hill’s summit to fetch a pail filled to its capacity with water Multiple redundant words: 14 Jack and Jill, who need no introduction, climbed up the hill by leaps and bounds to fetch through their good offices a pail of water by hook or by crook. Throw in clichés indiscriminately: 15 Jack and Jill water retrieval hill ascent was achieved. String lots of nouns together to form the subject: Adapted from: http://everything2.com/title/Seventeen+ways+to+kill+a+sentence
  23. 23. Visualization Do our graphics clearly communicate major selling points? Does our caption support our sales message? Figure 6.5-1. Efficient Account Team Structure. With only three direct reports and co-location with OSG, Ms. Natasha Bevans will focus exclusively on meeting OSG objectives.
  24. 24. Page and Document Design Is the proposal professional in appearance and easy to evaluate?
  25. 25. Implementing the 7 Pillars Planning Organizing Writing examining Review and Revising Know the big picture Follow customer instructions Write for evaluator Understand discriminators and win theme Develop customer benefits Main points first State, support, summarize (3S) Use clear, concise language Write short sentences and paragraphs Avoid fluff and jargon Use proposal reviews at key milestones Check for compliance and consistency Benefits-focused messages Clear discriminators— why us! Be clear, concise, and correct Spell and grammar check (then human check)
  26. 26. Plan Your Proposal: Know and Write to the Evaluator(s)
  27. 27. Numerical Adjectival Color Ordinal Know the Customer Evaluation Method 10 9 Outstanding 8 7 6 Good 5 4 3 Marginal 2 4thUnsatisfactory 1st 2nd 3rd 1 Source: FAR 15.305(a) 0
  28. 28. Organize Your Proposal 1: Organize as Instructed 2: Mirror the Bid Request 3: Organize Around Customer’s Hot Buttons
  29. 29. Write with Customer Focus Is the customer named before us? Is the customer named more often than us? Is the customer’s buying vision evident? Have we linked the buying vision to this solicitation/bid? Are the customer’s hot buttons prioritized? Is hot button ownership explicit? Are proof statements directly related to customer’s hot buttons? Are the benefits of the solutions(s) listed before the features? Is the content previewed and organization instructions followed? Is the value proposition clear and are next steps defined?
  30. 30. Proposal Writing Guidelines Write Quickly •Work from outline •Write headings first; use as guide •Begin with easiest parts •Start and keep writing •Don’t worry if draft contains errors •Work with desktop publishers and editors Use Paragraphs Effectively •Have only one main idea per paragraph •Begin with sentence that states main idea •Organize from general to specific, familiar to unfamiliar, etc. •Put details in middle of paragraph •Use transitions to show connections Overcome Writer’s Block •Check your Section Planner or Organizer •Write continuously even if gibberish •Talk out problem with another writer, manager, or someone you trust •Change working environment •Create summaries for each section to clarify thoughts Additional Guidelines •Follow general sequence on each hot button of Benefit, Solution, Proof •Substantiate claims •Address weaknesses •Use lists to clarify and emphasize •Summarize key content within subsections
  31. 31. examine and Revise Your Proposal Our Proposal  Is our proposal compliant, responsive, competitive, and priced to win?  Does our proposal meet corporate quality standards? Risk Assessment  Are there any unresolved elements of risk to us that could preclude submitting the proposal?  Does our proposal meet corporate quality standards? Negotiation  Is the contract likely to be awarded without negotiation? Are we prepared to accept this?  If negotiations occur, do we know who in the customer organization will be leading them?  Is the customer under any constraints (e. g. time) that we can leverage?  Has our negotiating team been identified?  Is our negotiating position clearly defined and agreed to by senior management? Transition  Is our project manager ready to begin delivery immediately upon award?
  32. 32. A Checklist for Winning Proposals  Write to evaluators (customer), not yourself  Make it easy for evaluators to find information  Use simple, clear, customer-focused language  Do not overwhelm evaluators with technical information  Never assume you have the opportunity “wired”  Do not attack competitors by name  Always tailor reuse material  Apply the 7 characteristics
  33. 33. Discussion Thank you!
  34. 34. Contact Information Brad Douglas, EVP Global Strategy bjdouglas@shipleywins.com www.shipleywins.com

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