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16
May

How to Write a Government Contract Proposal (+08 Tips to Make Yours Better)

We are going to get straight to the point. Writing a government contract proposal involves your commitment – time commitment, resource commitment, planning commitment, and commitment to quality. All these things matter to how to write a government contract proposal. Process matters too. Government contract proposals are hefty tasks to accomplish and the best proposals are put together with proposal management and project management best practices, and a streamlined process.

If you want to be successful in learning how to write a government contract proposal, we recommend doing these things:

Do Lots and Lots of Research

Government contract proposals are probably some of the longest documents you will ever be responsible for writing, and they are worth substantial amounts of potential revenue. There length comes from the amount of detail that is expected to be delivered. The government requires high quality contractors that can truly deliver and will be heavily scrutinous of the information in all proposals.

You’ll have to do your research.

Research the prospective client as soon as you know of an upcoming bid opportunity. Understand as much as you can about the requirements, your competitors, the client’s challenges, the client’s culture, and anything else that would be valuable to know.

Prepare Your Team in Advance

You cannot write a government contract proposal alone. Yea, it might be possible, but it is highly unrecommended. Every proposal requires at least one writer, a separate reviewer, and a subject matter expert. Typically, a salesperson is responsible for explaining the relationship building effort with the prospective client to the writer(s), and that person helps make the Go/No-Go decision prior to writing the government contract proposal. All players need to be informed about the opportunity as early as possible to avoid the catastrophes that come with last minute decisions.

Follow These Steps for Organization

When it is time to write the actual proposal, there are set standards in place to help you do so. We recommend these critical steps to help you organize your response:

  • Review the RFP and pay attention to the primary sections first. (Sections B, C, L, and M for federal government RFPs, and the Technical Proposal, Cost Proposal, Scope, Background, and Evaluation Criteria for state and local government RFPs)
  • Create your compliance matrix as you review the RFP. Your compliance matrix should have RFP sections listed, along with the response author, due date of response, and comments related to that section.
  • Standardize your proposal layout based on the RFP section headings. Add those headings and RFP sections as dictated in the RFP to your template.
  • Schedule meetings with your response team based on the proposal deadline.
  • Highlight questions that require in depth technical knowledge and send those to your subject matter expert.

Once you have these steps done you are ready to write the government contract proposal. Here are 08 tips to help make yours better:

  • Restate the question in your opening paragraph
  • Use “You” language
  • Refer to the customer and their needs more than your organization
  • Create a clear narrative from Question 1 to the very last
  • Create value-based headings for each section
  • Use graphics to illustrate complex solutions
  • Write the Executive Summary last
  • Use the best proposal management software

Ultimately, your government contract proposal needs to be compliant, responsive, and detail-oriented, while also being concise. Provide the information that needs to be known based on the RFP and do so in visually appealing and thought-provoking ways. How to write a government contract proposal starts with your ability to commit to putting forth the best possible response with the best possible proposal management tool and strategy.

Zbizlink is a robust, cloud-based, mobile-friendly solution for end-to-end business development and proposal management. You can track proposal progress across review teams, leverage an all-in-one resource for each stage of preparation, and scale opportunities and proposal submissions.

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