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Surviving the Current Deluge of RFPs

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It’s that time of year again—we’re approaching the end of the US Government fiscal year, and agencies are releasing the RFP floodgates to secure their funding and drive next year’s budget. And as a result, many of us in the proposal world are barely keeping our heads above water. For those of you who feel like you’re on the verge of drowning, I want to offer you some words of encouragement. I took a look back at my Facebook feed, and ever since I entered the field, this has always been an unbearable time of year. But even though the challenge seems utterly insurmountable—I look back, and for thirteen years, I have gotten through it. And that gives me confidence that I’ll get through it again this year—and if you’re feeling doubtful as well—I’m sending you confidence that you’ll get through it too.But I also wanted to send out a friendly reminder to all of you out there to take care of yourselves! I know it’s hard when we’re working crazy long hours, but please eat healthy, get enough …

Reflecting on APMP's Winning Business Virtual Experience 2020

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We’re just five days post the much anticipated APMP Winning Business Virtual Experience (WBVE)! The event proved to be the largest bid and proposal conference held anywhere in the world to date. Heading into the event, there were more than 2,000 registered attendees across the globe. Over two days, participants chose from a variety of educational presentations, including more than 120 educational presentations and 75 hours of content. Because there was no way for participants to take full advantage of the event in just those two days, APMP is graciously leaving up the presentations for another month or so, and I couldn’t be more excited. In this week’s article, I’ll reflect on some of my favorite events from the virtual conference, highlight some of the presentations that are on my list to check out over the next few weeks, and reiterate a few of my tips for making sure you get the most from this amazing event.Highlights from Day 1With so many fantastic presentations to choose from, i…

Making the Most of the APMP Winning Business Virtual Experience 2020

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We’re just three days away from the much awaited APMP Winning Business Virtual Experience! The event has more than 2,000 registered attendees and features over 120 educational presentations and 75 hours of content spread over two days! This exciting event will be delivering 32 straight hours of industry-related education (plus some fun sessions as well) across all time zones. It’s so exciting because you can take advantage of this awesome event from the comfort of your own home. However, with so much content, and so many sessions to choose from, the idea of making the most of this event could seem a bit overwhelming. This week I’ll share my advice for making the most of this event—and provide you with a sneak peek of some of the sessions I’m personally excited about.Take Time to Understand How to Use the Event Platform Before the Big DayAPMP is using a tool called Pathable to host and manage the event. Before the big day, make sure you log in and play around with the application so th…

Three Common Problems to Avoid When Leveraging Reuse Material

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We’ve all been there. We’re busy, strapped for time, and these RFP requirements look just like the requirements of the proposal we submitted last week. Let’s just repurpose that content and we’ll be golden, right?While this might seem like a great strategy, repurposing content can lead to some pretty embarrassing blunders if you don’t do a proper scrub of the material first. Reusing content can certainly be a great starting point, but be sure to watch out for these three common pitfalls that can quickly turn off your evaluators.Problem 1: You Don’t Sufficiently Scrub Out the Previous Customer’s NameIf you’re using reuse material, it’s so critical to scrub out the previous customer’s name. This seems simple enough, but I see this problem so frequently with teams that consistently reuse proposal content. Leaving in the wrong customer name is such an easy way to turn off evaluators from selecting you and your team. First, you’ve offended them by calling them by the wrong name. Second, th…

How Making Proposals Easy to Score Will Improve Your Win Rate

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Six weeks ago, I had the pleasure of presenting a webinar dissecting six key tactics to help improve your win rate. These tactics include:Applying a thorough strategy in the opportunities pursuedStarting pursuits earlier to gain an understanding of the customer and competitive landscapeDocumenting the intelligence gained from the business development and capture stagesApplying rigor in the bid decision processMaking your proposals easy to scoreConducting lessons learned so you can understand where you are doing well and where you need to improveIn this week’s article, I do a deep dive into one of those critical tactics: making your proposals easy to score. Understanding Proposal EvaluationBefore we can really understand how to make proposals easier to score, we have to understand how proposals are being evaluated. The first thing to understand is that proposals are typically first reviewed for compliance with the requirements as outlined in the proposal instructions. Next, the proposa…

How Documenting Capture Intelligence Will Improve Your Win Rate

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Five weeks ago, I had the pleasure of presenting a webinar dissecting six key tactics to help improve your win rate. These tactics include:Applying a thorough strategy in the opportunities pursuedStarting pursuits earlier to gain an understanding of the customer and competitive landscapeDocumenting the intelligence gained from the business development and capture stagesApplying rigor in the bid decision processMaking your proposals easy to scoreConducting lessons learned so you can understand where you are doing well and where you need to improveIn this week’s article, I do a deep dive into another one of those critical tactics: documenting the intelligence gained during the business development and capture phases. Capture Planning One of the biggest downfalls I see with the capture process (other than skipping the capture phase completely) is a lack of capture documentation. Once the company decides to pursue a potential opportunity, the capture manager needs to be diligent in docume…

How Applying Rigor in Your Bid Decision Process Will Improve Your Win Rate

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Four weeks ago, I had the pleasure of presenting a webinar dissecting six key tactics to help improve your win rate. These tactics include:Applying a thorough strategy in the opportunities pursuedStarting pursuits earlier to gain an understanding of the customer and competitive landscapeDocumenting the intelligence gained from the capture or sales stageApplying rigor in the bid decision processMaking your proposals easy to scoreConducting lessons learned so you can understand where you are doing well and where you need to improveIn this week’s article, I do a deep dive into one of those critical tactics: applying rigor in your bid decision process.Make Smart Bid DecisionOne key reason win rates may be low is that the company is making poor bid decisions. This is a hard one for many companies because it is so difficult to ignore the sunk costs that have gone into a pursuit; however, smart organizations will not discount the opportunity costs of developing and submitting a proposal with…