Fact or Fiction

A myth is defined as a story without an author that is passed along…a popular belief or story that has become associated with a person, institution, or occurrence (like a proposal).

We pulsed hundreds of proposal development professionals to ask them about proposal-related myths they run into and deal with in their profession. Here are a few. Fact or fiction? Myth or reality?

  • You can’t lose a deal because of the proposal.

Whoa. Wrong. You can do everything right in the sales or capture cycle and blow it in the proposal. A proposal is much more than just an administrative, “check the box” step in the buying process. Our customers want to see VALUE in our solutions—in the proposal. Many deals have been lost due to careless proposal development.

  • The customer asked us to bid so we’re in a favored position.

Ummm…not quite. Most customers acquiring goods or services require a competitive bidding process—for both fairness and best value. You may have been asked to bid just to fulfill the need for another bidder, any bidder. Never assume the customer “needs you” or prefers you. Always be competitive and compelling in your proposals.

  • On quick turnaround proposals, it’s fine to skip key proposal reviews like a pink team or red team.

DON’T do it! Any proposal—large, small, simple, or complex—deserves a few reviews from others in your organization or outside professionals. One review early in the proposal process to validate your win strategy (pink team review); and at least one review to check all portions of the near-final draft (red team review). On quick-turn proposals, these can be short and informal. Never skip these reviews.

  • Technology will help guarantee correct grammar, punctuation, and spelling and improve readability for us.

CAREFUL! Many technology tools help at various phases of proposal development, including the final review for simple errors or oversights. But don’t be fooled into thinking spell check will choose the correct word or spelling every time. Here’s proof:

Eye halve a spelling chequer; it came with my pea sea.

                It plainly marques four my revue miss steaks eye kin knot sea.

Sometimes bad habits creep into your efforts to produce a quality and compelling proposal. As professionals, we should always benchmark and review best practices from proven sources to be sure we’re applying the best tools, processes, and skills to develop winning proposals efficiently and effectively.

All the best on your next bid.