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31 Jul, 2017

Event Recap: Strategic Proposal Development

Irene Kwon


Read time: 1 minute, 32 seconds

Local A/E/C marketers and business developers gathered at CallisonRTKL’s DC office on July 26th, excited to hear all of the great tips Frank Lippart, FSMPS, CPSM, founder of Go Strategies, and A/E/C strategist, shared on strategic proposal development and how to best position your firm for the win. He guided us through the critical areas of proposal development and how to organize the best teams within your firm for the job. He discussed the importance of effective pursuit planning, which entailed asking all the right questions about the pursuit, being a great listener and understanding what your client really wants because the idea of a successful project can vary from project manager to project manager. He also stated that it is imperative to talk to your client to find out what worked well on past projects and what didn’t so that your firm avoids making the same mistakes your competitors made.

Strategy development is another area of the proposal development process that involves critical thinking on concrete goals against which you can measure success. How do you differentiate against your competitors and what are your capabilities to win? Where will you choose to play and not play? Understanding your company’s role and how you fit into the client’s project is the most important facet of strategy development. We learned about strategic teaming and finding firm differentiators through an interactive exercise where we used a qualifications analysis chart to better understand our team’s strengths and weaknesses for a particular job. We then compared it to our competitor’s and utilized the go/no-go analysis to see exactly what our team would bring to the pursuit.

Lastly, Frank talked about identifying firm differentiators in technology, innovation, expertise, and experience. He stressed the importance of taking the time to find out how your firm is differentiated from your competitors and to think about that differentiation from the project and client perspective. We learned that finding innovative ways to save your clients time and money will differentiate you from your competitors and boost your chances of winning the job. We took away important lessons and new ideas to implement into our proposal development process that will help us better position our teams for future jobs.

Irene Kwon, SMPS DC, PR/Communications Committee member
ECS Mid-Atlantic
Business Development Specialist