Showing posts from December, 2019

Five Proposal Resolutions for Increased Win Rates

As we head into 2020, many of us are making our New Year’s resolutions. I have some professional goals that I’m working towards—including continuing with these blog posts—as well as some overall health and wellbeing initiatives that I’m pursuing. On top of these more individualized goals, another goal many of us have for 2020 is increasing our win rates. Here are five resolutions you can make this year to help increase your overall win rates.   1. Start Earlier One critical thing you can do to increase your win rates is start earlier. Long-term planning provides corporate awareness of upcoming opportunities aligned with strategic goals. Once opportunities are targeted, Capture Managers should begin gathering customer, opportunity, and competitive intelligence.  Remember that building a relationship with your customer and understanding their underlying concerns takes time. Without solid customer relationships, you won’t have the opportunity to understand their programma

Proposal Reflections: A Year In Review

I started my blog on January 1, 2018 with as simple welcome post: Welcome to Proposal Reflections. This is a project that I have put off for several years, but I am hopeful that it is a site that others in the field will find useful. Stay tuned for my first real post, which will feature some useful tips for proposal writing success. Here's to many wins in 2018! Happy New Year! I had great aspirations for the blog in that first year; however, the year got away from me, and I only posted six articles that first year. This year, as part of my New Year’s resolutions and goals for 2019, I wanted to establish a rhythm with the blog, some consistency. I set out with a goal to post one blog article a week. That’s 52 articles—all unique, all about proposals, business development, and/or capture. It was a daunting task—but I decided to tackle it one week at a time. I didn’t quite have the rhythm down in the beginning—it took me a while to establish the right cadence. But

Proposal Reflections: A Look Back In Time

Being a part of the APMP NCA Chapter Mentor Protégé program this year was such an invaluable experience. I learned so much from my protégé and from the other mentors in the program, many of whom have been instrumental in the growth of APMP. As part of our end of year white elephant gift exchange, I received a copy of the Spring 1999 edition of the Journal of the Association of Proposal Management Professionals, which in today’s technology driven world has evolved into the online publication of Winning the Business. What is so special about this particular journal edition is that it looks back on the history of our profession—from the vantage point of 1999! The 1950s and 1960s: The Age of the Secretary As I read through the journal, I was fascinated by the proposal practices of the past, particularly those called out in one article, “A Personal Look Back…at Events, People and Organizations That Shaped the Proposal Development Profession,” by Tom Boren. Boren’s article

Three Ways to Finish the Proposal Year Right

As we approach the end of the year, the proposal season tends to slow down for us here in the US. We are busy preparing for the holidays, so we might use this lull as an excuse to surf the internet and catch up on holiday shopping. While it is critical to take advantage of downtime to rest and rejuvenate, I encourage you not to waste the entire month away, especially if your workload is light. This end of year lull is a great time to close out the year right and make sure we start off next year’s proposal season strong. This week I discuss three ways to finish out your proposal year right. 1. Conduct Lessons Learned and Update Your Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) As the year wraps up, take a look at your lessons learned debriefs from the last year or so and analyze them for trends. Look at common themes and share those trends with your team. Understanding these trends will not only help you to improve in the areas that may need some work, it will also allow you to pi

A Proposal Manager’s Wish List: Three Things to I’d Like to See Before the RFP Release

As we approach the holiday season, many of us are developing our holiday wish lists. These lists might be filled with clothes, electronics, jewelry, watches—lovely things we can unwrap in the presence of our family and friends. However, this year, I am putting out there a simple proposal manager’s wish list: three items that capture managers can give proposal managers to support a much smoother proposal development process. 1. Key Personnel Your key personnel are critical components to your solution. They are the individuals with whom the customer is going to communicate regularly, and they are critical to delivering the mission. When you wait until after the RFP is released to identify your key personnel, you waste critical time looking for and qualifying the right personnel. This leaves too little time to develop the key personnel resumes in a way that best demonstrates their strengths and the value they deliver to your customer. Delaying key personnel identification also