Within the MustWin Process Architecture we divide the input layer into the following areas: information, strategy, and offering design. In many companies, the scope of the proposal process begins with RFP release. However, proposals require input, and that input often must be gathered before the RFP is released. Regardless of how you define the scope of the proposal process, you should define the inputs a proposal requires to maximize your win rate.
The input layer defines those input requirements so that they can guide pre-RFP efforts. When pre-RFP efforts are either not possible or out-of-scope, the input layer is still necessary to facilitate a rapid start to the proposal. The probability of winning a proposal depends on the delivery of information, regardless of when you start collecting that information. The input layer informs proposal writers with not only what to write about, but what points to make. Without the necessary inputs proposals tend to end up being self-descriptive, watered down, and literally pointless.
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