Proposals should stand for something. They are inherently aspirational. You aspire to win and beyond. The customer aspires to procure, reap the benefits, and beyond. Proposals matter when they fulfill aspirations. You want your proposal to matter.
But are they your aspirations, your company’s, or your customer’s? Even within your own company, executives, sales, marketing, and proposal development staff all have different aspirations. Something similar is true for the customer’s aspirations.
And which aspirations should impact your strategies? How do they impact what ink you put on paper?
Discovering how you and your company’s aspirations impact your bid strategies:
- Are your aspirations tied to this particular pursuit, or are they broader?
- Should your strategies be aimed at developing the foundation for your broader aspirations?
- Are your aspirations personal or organizational?
- And if you answer “organizational,” who defines those organizational aspirations?
- How does this pursuit relate to them?
- Where is the line between your dreams and what can be achieved through this pursuit?
- How do those aspirations produce benefits for the customer of this pursuit?
- If you achieve your aspirations, why would that matter to the customer?
- Why should your aspirations make the customer more likely to accept your proposal?
- What should you change in your approach to the bid that would make this more likely?
Discovering how your customer’s aspirations impact your bid strategies:
- Will the customer’s personal aspirations impact their decision making?
- Who defines the customer’s organizational aspirations and do the decision makers share them?
- Are the customer’s aspirations well focused, overly broad, or somewhere in between?
- Where is the line between what the customer dreams of and what can be achieved through this procurement?
- Does the customer have a consensus regarding their aspirations?
- How could this procurement impact the customer’s organizational aspirations?
- How do the customer’s mission, goals, and needs relate to their aspirations?
- Are there any conflicts between the solicitation requirements and the customer’s aspirations?
- Is your understanding of the customer’s aspirations up to date?
- What about fulfilling their aspirations could lead a customer to select one proposal over another?
What can you do to further you and your customer’s aspirations in a way that makes your proposal the customer’s best alternative? Answering this in a way that impacts your bid strategies and what you say in your proposal can put you in a position of being the way for the customer to achieve their aspirations.
What can you do or say in your proposal to become a vital part of the customer’s dreams?
Or should you simply respond to the RFP like everyone else?