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How to Improve Win Strategy for Government Contract Proposals

You’ve landed here for one or two reasons: your organization’s current process is broken or you do not have a strategy in place at all for winning government contracts. Whatever the reason, you’ve landed in the right place to ease your RFP response woes. Read on if you want to understand how to improve win strategy for government contract proposals.

It all starts with acknowledging the problem… so good for you, you are on your way to the solution that will benefit your whole organization and team.

Let’s start with taking a look at the business development process and why it is important to writing a business proposal.

Why is Business Development Important?

Winning government contract proposals is a strategic process that takes time and skill to perfect. You need the right people, the right solution, and the right structure to support scaling business proposal processes. Business development is a huge part of developing win strategy for government opportunities and can offer your organization an internal competitive edge for proposal management. To give you an idea of the impact business development can have, think about these scenario…

Organization 1 has an in-depth business development process that includes well thought out capture strategy that was conducted 06 months in advance of request for proposal (RFP) release. An identified champion has previous experience with the prospective government client, knows key decision makers, attended pre-proposal conferences, and can anticipate key personnel based on their understanding of requirements. The organization uses all this information to determine the best possible subcontractors for partnership. Key components of contract award were planned before the RFP was ever issued.

Organization 2 relies on a single Capture Manager to gather and analyze all competitor information, has zero mechanisms in place to organize or track data, potential resource resumes, nor subcontractor profiles, and does not know much about the prospective government client outside of learning of the open bid. The organization routinely pursues new government contracts with next to zero pre-qualification of the opportunity and last-minute RFP response processes.

Organization 1 and Organization 2 happen to be competitors on the same open opportunity. Who can you guess is more likely to gain contract award with the government client? Hopefully, you can identify more with Organization 1 than 2.

Winning government contract proposals usually stem from the right people using the best government proposal management software to reinforce a structured business development process. Business development is important because it integrates capture management with proposal management, helps to streamline the overall response process, and allows your organization to improve win strategy for targeted opportunities.

Your business development process takes the steps needed to prevent your team from wasting time where time should not be wasted – instead, your team can spend more time producing top-notch government contract proposals for sure-fire opportunities.

Let’s look at the steps for integrated and streamlined business development processes that lead to a winning government contract proposal:

Here’s How to Streamline Your Business Development Process for the Win

You know of an upcoming bid opportunity. Great! Time to get started – as early as possible!

1. Collect customer intel. Does your organization collect customer intel in a secure place? Can other key stakeholders access it for review? Can you make quick updates when new information is gathered? Start building an Opportunity Profile for the upcoming bid as soon as you can (usually the Capture Manager will start this), and collect customer intel as your organization begins the qualification process and learns more client-specific information over time.

 Business Development Process

2. Build a winning team. Start identifying key personnel and inviting potential subcontractors to the opportunity as soon as possible. You do not want to get caught without the right resources or subcontractors when the RFP comes out. Qualify personnel and business partners against the stored customer information. Compare and contrast Partner Profiles in your database with the customer requirements.

Build a winning team

3. Make an early Go/No-Go decision. Is your organization likely to win the contract upon award? Do you have enough information to make a sound Go/No-Go decision? Does your capture management solution offer data-driven recommendations for win probability? Now you have plenty of information to analyze and plenty of qualified resources to help determine the best decision for Go/No-Go. Use your collected data and smart insights from capture management tools to determine the viability of the opportunity, and make a Go/No-Go decision well before the proposal due date.

Go No Go Decision

4. Convert to Proposal. Assuming all your ducks were aligned and ready. You’re ready to get quackin… (Sorry we couldn’t resist). Organizations run the risk of losing data when capture management is not properly streamlined and integrated with proposal management. The proper proposal management software will allow capture management to integrate with proposal management with a simple conversion method. Capture all data in pre-defined templates or the beginnings of your proposal to ensure compliance.

The earlier your business development process starts, the better and the more likely it is to produce a winning government contract proposal and to improve win strategy. Notice that the proposal comes at the end of the business development process! A winning government contract proposal is 10Xs simpler to create when you have a clear understanding of the prospective government client.

Note: Business development doesn’t end there either, but we will go into that another time.

Your business proposal should provide evaluators with a clear and persuasive document that shows understanding of their requirements and what they can expect from your organization’s solution.

Improve win strategy with a systematic solution to address all aspects of business development. Here are additional areas to consider for improved win strategy:

Review with a Trained Eye & Empathetic Approach

Too often reviewers enter the proposal process at Red Team or Gold Team and tear the document to shreds with little consideration for what may have transpired beforehand.

Reviewers are usually senior-level people who can provide an objective perspective and fresh eyes to an otherwise complex or lengthy document. Their objective take on the document is as good as it is helpful to burnt out proposal writers, thus it is fair to suggest that poorly chosen commentary is unhelpful.

Reviewers must have a trained eye to spot discrepancies and noncompliance and show empathy when providing criticism, as well as provide valuable feedback. It is everyone’s responsibility to help make the proposal process go as smooth as possible.

Know Your Competition

A key to successful win strategy is to know your competition. Are you clear on what your organization is up against in competition? What are the incumbent’s weak spots and strengths? Once that information is understood, use it to determine the key discriminators that will drive your proposal narrative and add those into your proposal outline. Your discriminators separate your organization from the competition – you’ll need a firm picture of the competitors to effectively define discriminators.


All win strategy begins with a carefully outlined plan, and is successfully executed with proper time management and the right tools. An early start to business development with a systematic solution for win strategy and proposal management will provide the advantage your organization needs to improve win strategy for government contract proposals.

Want to get started implementing a systematic solution? Schedule some time to talk with us today.

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