What Evaluators Want in Your Proposal

Evaluators tell you what they want in the RFP. That’s all they want.

They want a practical, low cost solution as reflected in the RFP technical proposal requirements. More sophisticated solutions are not wanted and may in fact result in a reduced technical score.

They don’t want more than they requested in Section L including:

  • Sales pitch about how great you company is.
  • More corporate experience summaries and resumes than they asked for.
  • Management plan information beyond what they requested in the RFP.
  • Fancy formatting and graphics.
  • They want you to make their job easy and save them time

Evaluators also want clarity and conciseness to make their job easier. Government proposal evaluators do not like evaluating lengthy tomes and demand clarity and conciseness.

  • Use simple declarative sentences and short paragraphs.
  • Explain how your organization will meet each and every requirement in a clear, concise manner.
  • Describe why your organization is unique, but only when you can be convincing and the uniqueness stands up to scrutiny.
  • Use appendices for detailed material.
  • Use simple, easy–to-understand language.
  • Avoid long-winded sentences. Use simple, declarative sentences. Keep paragraphs concise and short.
  • Avoid subjective adjectives that sound boastful.

Avoid letting your CEO throw in self-serving sales pitches without backup and clear evidence relevant to the requirements. An example of this: “ABC Co is a World Class or Best of Breed Company.” Proposal evaluators laugh at such statements; they are the polar opposite of clarity and conciseness. Avoid the “You have got to be kidding pile” – the trash pile – for proposals that start with such language as: “Our firm is a world-class, best-of-breed company that is eminently qualified to serve your organization.”

Complete compliance with every requirement of the RFP is a necessity because any compliance flaw in your proposal can cause an immediate proposal rejection. This makes their job a lot easier if they have 20 plus proposals to review by tomorrow at its already after 11 pm.

Most evaluators want to make the trash pile large and the “read completely” pile as small as possible. The evaluator typically will read just as much as necessary to put a proposal in one of the two piles.

Don’t end up in the wrong pile!


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