Clear thinking

Learn how to improve your proposals and win more business.


Favourite posts of 2017

 January 2, 2018
by Paul Heron

Welcome to 2018—a year of better bid proposals.

To get off to a strong start, follow the links to our top picks from our 2017 blog posts. 

General knowledge faves

Multi-stage processes formerly used only for very large projects are becoming more common in smaller procurements. If you’re seeing requests for qualifications (RFQs) for the first time (or struggling to get shortlisted) be sure to check out the series on RFQ basics, proving capability, showing alignment and achieving a single voice response.

If you’re looking for more rigour in evaluating your proposal efforts, begin with this post on bid/no-bid decision summaries, and then read these posts on win-loss reviews, win-loss interviews, win-loss reporting and win-loss review analyses.

Strategy faves

Our posts on the dangers of rebid complacency and how to avoid complacency will help ensure a smart and hungry competitor doesn’t scoop your good client at rebid. Whether or not the opportunity is a rebid, additional safeguards against going to battle with a flawed strategy include Blue Team and Black Hat reviews.

After reading this caution against the search-and-replace obsession, check out these posts on when you can re-use proposals and how to identify and pre-build customizable content.

Proposal management faves

Avoid pain and embarrassment by ensuring you own the RFP right from the start. Then use a compliance matrix and an annotated table of content or ATOC to ensure completeness and manage content delivery.

A well-planned and executed kick-off sets the right tone and direction for proposals. Read our four-part series on kick-off goals, preparation, participants and agenda to make yours a success.

Content development and design faves

To clear up a common source of confusion, see this post on the difference between a cover letter and an executive summary.

Challenged to get writers using plain language? Here’s our link to our all-time favourite guide to plain language—and it’s free!

If you want to use more and better visualization, but never seem to have the time, try building in graphics right from the start, using section storyboards.

While we’re on the topic, graphics don’t have to be challenging—or expensive. Read these tips for creating low- and no-budget visualsfast and easy infographics, using meatball charts and easy proposal callout graphics. Flowcharts make processes easy to understand for evaluators. These two posts explain when to use flowchart diagrams and step-by-step instructions for building them.

Want more?

See our blog index to explore the rest of our 2017 (and earlier) posts. And visit our blog page every Tuesday or subscribe to our monthly blog summary (see the form at right) for a fresh injection of winning ideas.


Need more help increasing wins in 2018?

Contact Complex2Clear



Photo credit

Paul Heron, MBA, is the founder and managing partner of Complex2Clear, and leads our bid response practice. LinkedIn 





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