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  • Proposal management techniques for improving your win rate

    Proposal management is the closing of a sale through a written document using repeatable processes to guide a team of contributors. A proposal manager implements the process to plan and produce the proposal content, assign staff and coordinate their contributions, and validate proposal quality. Here are some proposal management best practices that you can use to help manage your proposals. The following articles provide proposal management tips and techniques to help you improve the quality of your proposals and your win rate.
    • Key proposal management technique you should know about to make sure that you get everything that you need to win into your proposals. How to plan your proposal content to make sure you get it all on paper without backtracking or going through endless re-writes.
    • Most people manage their proposal efforts by making lists and crossing off items as they are completed. The problem is, they have the wrong things on their lists. Find out how you can improve your proposal management by improving the lists you use.
    • Many proposal management problems are the result of having to deal with a bad RFP. Find out what a proposal manager can do about it, some strategies you can take to work around RFP problems, and ways to persevere.
    • Proposals are often thrown into chaos when during a late-stage review someone decides to change the solution. This often results because solution planning is different from proposal planning. Find out how to keep your proposal from getting entangled.
    • Negative past performance is the kiss of death for a Federal contractor. It doesn't matter if the company has fixed the problems. They have a negative mark that's on their "permanent record." Find out what one company did to overcome a past performance disaster.
    • If the customer doesn't issue a draft RFP for an upcoming solicitation, there are some good reasons to consider creating one yourself. Here is how doing this can help you anticipate the issues, gain customer insight, and better prepare for the proposal.
    • Proposal schedules should be about more than just crossing off the items on your outline and counting the days until your deadline. Find out how the need to validation 49 specific things about your proposal can make your schedule better support your goals.
    • Even if your company knows about a bid ahead of the RFP release, does it seem like the time somehow disappears without much to show for it. Find out how to fix this recurring problem, ensure readiness at RFP release, gain an information advantage, and start ready to win.
    • Are your proposal schedules treated like recommendations instead of requirements? Do people run out the clock so they don’t have to bother making changes? There is a better way than trying to force people to follow the process. Find out how to get people to follow your process.
    • You should structure your business development and proposal processes around what it will take to win. The problem is that most people prepare their proposals without having a clear idea what it will take to win. Find out what it takes and what you have to do to get there.
    • A must win opportunity demands an even more heroic effort than all the other pursuits that people pour their hearts and souls into trying to win. Nobody really knows what the extra "something" should be, but if it's a must win opportunity, it's got to have it. Find out what makes a must win different...
    • They say Nero fiddled while Rome burned. During proposals people argue while the deadline clock runs out. Take a look at some of the things they argue about. See if you can spot the common elements.
    • Large proposals can have dozens of people working on them. You may have that many people working on yours and not even realize it. Budgeting for a proposal requires an accurate estimate of the staffing required. This article can help you assess how many people you really need.
    • If you resemble any of these, you should no bid! Sometimes it's better to cancel a proposal you've started then to throw more effort at something that's going to lose.
    • There can be a lot riding on a proposal – deadlines, stress, long hours, and even people’s jobs. As a result, everyone wants to be in control.
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