Cost proposals are often times the deciding factor in determining the winner – “It all comes down to price.” So why are cost volumes typically finished at the end of the proposal process and treated as an afterthought?
Many companies treat cost proposals as an administrative task that requires no creativity. They figure out what they need to price, assemble the spreadsheet, and then cut and paste some language from other proposals to “justify” the numbers.
But this is a flawed way of thinking. Cost proposals present a great opportunity to convince the government that yours is the only realistic and reasonable pricing. There’s a lot of nuance when it comes to realism vs. reasonableness price evaluations that the Government performs, but we’re talking generalities here.
Cost proposals need to have win themes and ghost your competition by describing how you derive your rates. For example, is this a difficult market in which to find qualified job candidates? Are you paying people for specific and unusual skills that the government requires for this job? Do not assume that the person evaluating your proposal knows the ins and outs of the program. Spell it all out.
For cost volumes, there are many different creative ways to explaining different concepts to your government customer. But to succeed, you need more than one green team that’s happening towards the end of the whole proposal lifecycle. You must treat your cost like the technical volumes that follow the same lifecycle as your technical proposal.
OST likes to have a cost proposal pink team, a cost proposal red team, and a cost proposal gold team. Read aloud reviews can make sure the whole proposal to make sure it’s perfect. Cost people will notice your errors because they pay attention to detail.
My challenge to you: during your next proposal, think of your cost volume as a key piece of the proposal that you track and review thoroughly from the beginning of the process. Don’t put it off till the very end.
If you need help with cost proposals, call us at OST Global Solutions. We will make sure that you start on time, finish on time, and do a great job.
OST Global Solutions is a professional business development consulting firm. We provide capture and proposal teams to develop winning proposals. Or we can provide consultants on a case-by-case basis to fill gaps on your business development team, including running your color team reviews. Our services consist of capture management, proposal management, orals coaching, proposal writing, graphics support, editing, desktop publishing, and cost volume development.
Reach out to us to discuss how we can help you develop a winning proposal.
Upcoming Bid & Proposal Academy Classes
A compliant and high-scoring proposal starts with a well-thought-out outline. This course dives into the intricacies of developing proposal outlines, annotating these outlines, preparing compliance and cross-reference matrixes, and preparing storyboards or work packages the right way. It starts with analyzing different types of Requests for Proposal (RFP) and Requests for Quote (RFQ) formats to show how various customers may organize the requirements. Learn More
This Government Business Development training offers essential skills in professional business development for government contractors selling services and solutions to the Federal Government. The two-day course begins with an overview of the Federal business development (BD) process and what it takes to succeed in the profession. It proceeds to the basics of U.S. Government business. Learn More
The course uses a real bid opportunity to practice all the capture steps in hands-on exercises using typical tools available to business developers and capture managers. Participants practice developing key elements of a capture plan using a capture plan template provided with the course, and brainstorm on win strategy using a case study. Learn More