Where's the Beef? Substantiating Claims - #4 Proposal Development Process Improvement Lesson Learned
(4) Substantiate all claims with quantifiable metrics and proof points.
Claims written in proposals that are not substantiated with quantifiable metrics and proof points read as "Trust us - we got this!" Don’t make unsubstantiated claims. Instead, back up claims with why they’re true. Think of something that proves your statement and work it into the claim.
For example, stating that your company is one of the fastest growing small businesses in the healthcare market is a claim that can be backed up with proof such as being ranked on the Inc 500 List for the last 3 years.
Including your experience in your proposal response is essential to:
- Show where we’ve done it before
- Show how that work is similar to this work
- Show what we’ve accomplished and how well we’ve done it (past performance)
One way to demonstrate measures of performance (e.g., efficiencies, improved effectiveness) with metrics – but don’t force evaluators to do math. For example: “Our streamlined test and evaluation processes reduced deployment time by 3 months, resulting in a system upgrade cost savings of 15%.”
Another great way to substantiate your claim is through actual customer references. Use customer testimonials and feedback from sources such as CPARS reports, letters of commendation, Quality Assurance (QA) / Quality Control (QC) activities, customer surveys, student critiques, informal “kudos” emails, etc. to add proof points to your proposal. Direct quotes from the customer provide solid proof that you can back up your claims through your experience and demonstrated performance.