ND APEX Accelerator

A resource for assisting North Dakota businesses in obtaining federal, state, and local government contracts.

August 2022: Why a Proposal Fails

Every solicitation generally receives multiple proposals. One area that should be discussed is why your proposal failed. How can you increase your competitive edge to win a contract? Not a pleasant subject; however, there are good topics to learn, discuss, and apply.

Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association (AFCEA) gives reasons that can cause a company to lose a contract proposal; a few reasons are listed below:

  • Not following the request proposal directions
  • Too much focus on the details
  • Don’t ask questions to clarify the solicitation
  • Focus on the company and not the solution

For more information, visit AFCEA.

Jim McCarthy, Principal Owner, and Technical Director, AOC Key Solutions, Inc. (KSI), shares 29 reasons why a proposal fails to win the contract. He groups the reasons into five areas:

  • Little value offered
  • Selling what the government is not buying
  • Lack of senior leadership buy-in & resources
  • Lack of customer insight
  • Lack of preparation

Continue reading the 29 Reasons Why Government Contract Proposals Fail.

Why does a company lose a government bid? JetCo Solutions breaks it down to these points:

  • Pricing
  • Past Performance
  • Non-Compliance
  • Inaccurate Documents
  • Non-Adherence to Directions

Learn their strategies to overcome the reasons.

Your proposals aren’t winning? Could it be:

  • Pricing
  • Clarity
  • Lack of Customer Focus
  • Experience
  • Sales / Business Development

Utley Strategies’ Reasons Your Proposals Don’t Win may be worth reading more.

Remember, on a federal contract, your company can request a debrief from the contracting officer and discuss areas you can improve future proposals. This post-award debriefing for unsuccessful offerors must be requested in writing within three (3) days after receiving the notice of contract award.

Losing contracts can be frustrating. However, you can lose again by not debriefing with your team and implementing strategies to improve your proposals.

As always, if you are not sure where to start or how to get organized, connect with the North Dakota Procurement Technical Assistance Center (ND PTAC). Our services are at no cost to businesses based in North Dakota. Register to schedule an appointment. Additionally, take advantage of the many other training opportunities and events listed on the ND PTAC website.

Not from North Dakota? Find your closest PTAC on the APTAC website, then click on your state.