Those who have been in the proposal game for even a short period of time will know that a proposal certainly can cause the loss of an opportunity that might well have been won otherwise. As I’ve often said, “Proposals, in and of themselves don’t win business. But many a poor quality proposal has resulted in losing business. And there is a reason we often hear during qualification, “This is ours to lose.” Translation, we are in a position to win as long as we don’t do anything wrong when responding.
The reasons a proposal can cause an opportunity which might have been won otherwise to be lost are numerous. This list includes: submitting after the deadline (especially true with Federal RFPs), failing to comply with the instructions, not addressing a requirement, inconsistencies, typos/errors and/or submitting a less than professional response, to name just some of them.
Proposals don’t win business either … but that’s an entirely different discussion, right Jon? (for a copy of “Beyond Win Rates:” Fair and Appropriate Measurement of the Proposal Support Function” just send me an e-mail requesting a copy.)