Showing posts from November, 2019

On Mentors and Thankfulness

You may have seen some posts recently about the ScribbleChallenge , an exciting scholarship initiative for APMP certification and membership. This amazing program was spearheaded by Baskar Sundaram to give back and honor his mentors, and I have really been inspired by Baskar and his message of gratefulness. In light of this inspiration, especially as we head into the week of Thanksgiving here in the US, I wanted to recognize my mentors and take some time to express my thankfulness for these individuals. My mentors have served as critical resources for personal growth, career guidance, and specific proposal-related advice. I have been so fortunate throughout my proposal career to find amazing mentors who have encouraged me to leverage my strengths, work on my weaknesses, and continually grow and improve as a proposal professional. I am thankful for Nancy Gordon-Brooks and Greg Wilson, who really helped to shape my early career development. They both helped me to recognize

How to Overcome the Challenges of Virtual Proposal Teams

Successful proposals rely on close collaboration. In an ideal world, teams are assigned full-time to work on proposals, sitting in the same room, working on many projects consecutively. This removes barriers to communication and eliminates the distraction of other duties and assignments. Before collaborative technology took off in the last ten years or so, it was much more common to see these dedicated teams working full-time on proposal efforts, collocated in war rooms, solving problems, developing solutions, and marching forward together until the proposal was submitted. However, in today’s world, we see this scenario far less frequently. Today’s reality is that many times the proposal group is spread out over different rooms, locations, and even time zones. This makes it so easy for team members to avoid collaboration and work in silos. And when the team is not assigned full-time, individuals are forced to divide their attention between multiple projects and tasks, cre

The Great Win Rate Debate

A colleague recently posted about win rates and posed the question of whether win rate was a fair assessment of a Proposal Manager’s performance. It’s an interesting question since it seems to be such a huge focus in our industry, and I was surprised by how many individuals seemed to favor the metric. But here’s the Catch-22 of being a Proposal Manager: Proposal Managers can certainly be the deciding factor in a proposal loss; however, winning the proposal is frequently very much out of the Proposal Manager’s hands. This is because proposals are won during capture. An Argument for Capture Rate The first problem with measuring proposal or capture professionals based on win rate alone is that win rates can be misleading, especially when it comes to impact on a business’s revenue and bottom line. Let’s say your team loses one large proposal worth $500M but wins three small proposals worth $10M each. In this instance, your win rate is fairly high (75%), but the impact to reve

Four Tips for Smoother Color Team Reviews

Color team reviews are critical to developing winning proposals. Most large, strategic proposals should undergo at least three review cycles: Pink Team, conducted at about 65% to 75% completion; Red Team, conducted at about 85% to 95% completion; and Gold Team, conducted at 100% completion, before final production. When implemented effectively, color teams support stronger proposal content that is compliant and compelling, with clearly articulated strengths and customer benefits. This week I discuss four ways to make your color team reviews run more smoothly. 1. Select a Sufficient Number of Reviewers For the greatest success, make sure you select a sufficient number of reviewers to allow for a thorough review. Select a team of reviewers (independent of the proposal team) early in the proposal development process and schedule the time and place for the review well in advance. The review team should comprise a mix of proposal professionals and relevant subject matter expe