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Showing posts from March, 2018

Effective Proposal Management: 5 Strategies for Success

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We all know that proposal teams are not always made up of willing participants. As proposal professionals, we continually struggle to find ways to motivate our teams and ensure we are getting the best results possible. This article will explore strategies to energize and add life into your proposal teams.
Tina Benson suggests in an article published on the Chartered Management Institute website that, “By and large, team reflect their management. So being an effective, proactive manager increases your team’s changes of achieving success.” In line with Benson’s suggestions, as a Proposal Manager, you can make great strides in increasing the motivation level of your team with the following five steps.
1. Contextualize the Contributions of the Team. We write proposals to win business. This means that the contributions of your proposal team create (or keep) jobs—often for those participating in the proposal development. Proposals drive revenue growth and maintenance for companies, and ult…

Four Ways Proposals Are Like Backpacking Trips

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I recently went on a fairly intense backpacking trip to Havasu Falls, Arizona. For those of you who don’t know me personally, I am not a big backpacker, nor am I very outdoorsy. But, I was presented with a trip of a lifetime, so I decided to stretch out of my comfort zone and prepare for this somewhat daunting adventure. And through this experience, I discovered that backpacking is not unlike proposals. Here’s what I learned:
1. Preparation is key Like with proposals, preparing for an intense overnight hike requires the right preparation. The more work you do up front, the smoother things go when things go live. With our backpacking trip, the better we prepared in terms of researching the environment, having the supplies we needed, breaking in our shoes, and making sure our bodies were trained and ready, the smoother things went on the trip. Similarly, with proposals, preparation goes a long way. A well researched and implemented capture plan, a pre-trained proposal team, and having t…

Win Themes are Hard: A 6-Step Strategy to Success

People often confuse win themes and section themes. Win themes are those high-level features and benefits that transcend the entire proposal. Effective proposals usually have no more than three win themes focused on what the customer cares about most. Typically, the customer wants things cheaper, faster, and better—which we might present as low-cost, low-risk, with innovation to provide increased efficiency and effectiveness.
Section themes should resonate with your overall win themes; however, section themes are specific to each section. Section themes should highlight a key feature of the section solution and the benefit that the customer receives from that feature. Section theme statements: State your case up front (themes are the first sentence in the section/subsection)Contain quantified benefits to the customerAnswer, “Why should the customer select your company?”Should be provided for every first-level section and second-level subsectionAre typically formatted to stand out from…