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Dear new and potential clients: We see you!

We see how hard it is to break into the federal market, we see how hard it is to interpret Request for Proposals (RFPs) the first few times, we see how costly it is to hire full time marketing/proposal coordinators.

Because we see you, we exist! Let us help you break into the federal market, teach you to read the lingo in RFPs, and assist with proposal preparation, when needed, at an affordable cost.

In our previous blog post we included some tips for finding a proposal consultant that fits well with your company. We also included important questions to ask each potential consultant you interview. We are putting our keyboards where our mouths are (or something like that) and answering all the questions we advised you to ask.

  1. What experience do you have managing proposals relevant to our interests? Whether your proposal interests include breaking into the federal arena or responding to a private client in Germany, it’s likely we’ve done that before. Our proven performance includes more than 1,000 proposals with an aggregate value exceeding $20 billion We provide tailored, scalable solutions to both small and large businesses, for projects valued from $100,000 to $3 billion After nearly 20 years in business, our proposals have reached all 50 states, Puerto Rico and several overseas projects, including projects in Germany and the UAE. We are proud of this reach and can leverage the experience of our proposal writers to add a customized approach to proposals in any region. In addition to our geographic reach, we have a broad knowledge in our client base and contracting entities. We have submitted proposals, on behalf of our clients, to more than 20 federal agencies, various colleges and universities, states and municipalities, as well as private clients and industries. View a comprehensive list of our completed proposals here!

  2. Can you coordinate our full team of A/Es, teaming partners and subcontractors Of course! Coordinating an entire team is one of our greatest strengths. We have experience coordinating teams with an A/E, design sub-consultants, teaming partner(s), key subcontractor(s) and specialty scope subcontractors, all at once. Our collaborative approach includes coordinating team meetings, defining draft responsibilities and deadlines and formatting team member information into one cohesive document with a singular voice.

  3. Do you deal directly with the procuring agency? Absolutely! Persistence is our middle name! We have no problem calling and emailing Contracting Officer’s or Project Managers to get what we need. RFPs usually have specific requirements for submitting solicitation specific questions regarding format and time-frames. We can take your questions (and ours) and tailor them to get the answers we need and submit them according to all the requirements.

  1. How will my existing information be protected? Prior to working on the first proposal with a client, both parties sign a Non-Disclosure Agreement. This binds both parties, for mutual benefit, to exchange certain business and proprietary information and protect the confidentiality of the business and their information. We never cross utilize client information so you can rest assured that your information will remain as ONLY your information!

  2. How far in advance do I need to engage or commit to you for a specific proposal? The earlier the better! Meridian West loves to be involved from the pre-solicitation or even forecast phase. If we know you are interested in responding to the solicitation once it is released, we can set aside resources for the anticipated issue date. Additionally, the sooner we start the proposal preparation phase, the more advantage we have of pulling together a winning proposal!

  3. What is your resource availability to support last-minute efforts? This depends vastly on the workload we have at the time. Our capabilities to take on additional work depend on each Proposal Manager’s current workload and deadlines. However, we have access to a range of highly experienced proposal consultants that we can engage to supplement our core team with added depth and breadth. While we do our best to accommodate last-minute requests, a quality, compliant proposal remains our top priority!

  4. What is the cost? Do you take a percentage of the awarded contract? Our hybrid service rate for proposal management is $125/hour, with options for monthly business development contracts at discounted prices. We charge the same hourly rate for each proposal consultant. Our proposals usually have a Lead Proposal Manager, Proposal Coordinator, Graphic Designer and Reviewer. Our team collaborations reach beyond our client relationship, right into our office. We work as a cohesive team on every proposal, ensuring compliance and value is added through every step of the process. Our one hybrid rate ensures consistency throughout the proposal process and with our clients. We do not take a percentage of the awarded contract. Our charges apply through final proposal submission and any subsequent amendments or Evaluation Notices.

  5. Do you provide a proposal/project estimate beforehand? Why yes, yes we do! After a solicitation is issued and a bid decision has been made, we will develop a proposal estimate based on the requirements of the RFP’s submission and evaluation criteria. We will provide a hourly estimate, typically with a 5 to 20 hour range, depending on proposal size and level of effort. Request a quote today!

  1. What role will each company play and how will specific proposal responsibilities be determined?

We work hand-in-hand with our clients throughout the proposal process. Whether it’s providing company-specific information for formatting and compliance check, to providing and incorporating subject matter expert information, to final review and edits, we’ll work together throughout the entire process.

During our Kickoff Meeting we will determine responsibilities and assign deadlines. Typically, our clients are responsible for providing company-specific detail (if we don’t already have it in our database), technical information regarding scope of work details and pricing. While, Meridian West provides proposal/document set-up, contract document set-up and completion, data population, content management, formatting, compliance checks, reviews as well as printing and production, as applicable.

  1. What is your typical process for proposal management?

Once we have worked through a bid/no-bid analysis and determined a solicitation is a great fit and provided an estimate, it is GO time. Kick-off Meeting: We use a Proposal Directive to streamline the submission process and evaluation requirements. During the Kick-off Meeting we utilize the Proposal Directive to outline the submission and evaluation requirements, identify win strategies and themes, as well as determine responsibilities of each team member. Proposal Preparation: Our proactive approach begins with an immediate data population of existing information from your previous proposals and our existing database of your information. Our structured process adds discipline to the team approach. Supplemental data requests are used to gather additional information. Red Team Meeting: The Red Team Meeting ensures proposal compliance with emphasis on win-themes and discriminators. We distribute a final draft for the client to read prior to the meeting. All comments and edits are gathered during this meeting and will be used to create the final document. Print, Assemble and Ship: In-house printing, production and delivery logistics are provided. Post Proposal Activities: Includes debrief support, incorporation of lessons learned and updating client-specific databases with new proposal information. Learn more about our proposal management process here!

  1. Will I be provided with all final files at proposal completion?

DEFINITELY! As part of our post-proposal activities, all final proposal files are provided via Dropbox. Final files typically include a comprehensive PDF as well as individual Work and/or InDesign files.

  1. Do you have capabilities for graphic design? YEP! With the help of the Creative Cloud Suite, our Proposal Managers have graphic design experience. For extensive graphics requiring additional time and knowledge we have strong relationships with graphic design consultants who provide top-notch services for all of our crazy ideas.

  1. Do you also print and ship final proposals? YES! Printing, production and delivery logistics are provided. Printing: Our professional equipment allows us the capacity to print thousands of quality, full-color prints in a single day, including large-format prints up to 11”x17” (Tabloid). Production: Includes assembling binders and boxes as required by the RFP. We do a careful quality control check of every page, to catch things that may not be apparent on a computer screen. Delivery logistics: Coordinate with FedEX, UPS or USPS, delivery of proposal to pick-up site and confirmation of on-time delivery. Our shipping expertise includes experience with all major carriers. Knowing their cut-off times and operation methods helps us to prepare back up plans B and C, all the way to X,Y and Z, to protect against Murphy’s law. Learn more about our print and production services here!

  2. Do you have existing templates to utilize? We always start with and use the required templates from the RFP. From there, we have some general project, resume and management templates, however, we always tailor each proposal response to meet the requirements and relevancy of the solicitation, thus creating the perfect format for each proposal we submit.

  3. Do you take on more than one client for the same proposal submission? In response to multiple-award procurements, we may choose to take on more than one proposal in response to a single solicitation. On a case-by-case basis we will assess available resources, existing deadlines and the level of magnitude required to effectively prepare the proposal response. At the end of the day, we will never sacrifice quality to prepare more than one submission.

We hope you find these answers helpful! If you are ready to take the next step toward realizing your goals for organizational and revenue growth, we would love to tell you more about our cradle-to-grave federal proposal management services. Contact us here or don’t hesitate to call us at (801) 542-7082!

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