In past posts we discussed how to use the capture team’s knowledge of the prospect (including likely evaluators) and your competitors to analyse the issues for each section. See this post on how to use a competitive solutions matrix.
For each issue, strive to express solutions and gaps using quantitative values (issue resolution in hours, housekeeping using ISO standards), rather than less certain qualitative measures.
Once you’ve done this, identify actions you will take to highlight your strengths, downplay your weaknesses, exploit competitors’ weaknesses and offset competitors’ strengths.
Strategy statement examples
Create strategy statements that express your intent and include specific actions you will take. The table below contains examples:
We will show our ability to control costs by . . .
. . . Presenting a table of our 5 most recent public projects showing budgeted and actual costs
We will create confidence that we can complete the project on time by . . .
. . . Citing tour perfect record of on-time completion over the past five years
We will defend against our higher initial cost by . . .
. . . Presenting a table showing MTBF for each critical component compared to cheaper competitor products
. . . Citing the cost of downtime associated with cheaper solutions
. . . Citing 2017 independent review comparing lifetime costs of our system versus competitors’
We will call attention to our high housekeeping standards by. . .
. . . Citing our ISO compliance
. . . Including photo of Calgary maintenance shed
We will show our ability to offer innovation solutions by—
. . . Listing innovation awards and citations over the past three years
. . . Show images/logos of awards sponsors
. . . Including a client testimonial (CEO of XYZCo.) attesting to a cost-saving innovation
Notice that the actions do not include “claim to be the best.” These empty boasts have no scorable value for evaluators. Instead cite and show factual evidence of your differentiators.
Take time to do it right
Don’t skimp on strategy making. Unless you have very weak competitors and the lowest price you need to make every effort to help evaluators understand why they should select your company for this project.
For any complex, competitive pursuit, schedule up to 10 percent of the response window to building and testing your proposal strategy.