Proposal Management Best Practices, Part 6: Kick-Off Meeting
When it comes to proposal management, there are a lot of moving pieces to manage, and organization shouldn’t be the thing that keeps your proposal from winning the bid.
The Kick-off Meeting is a critical first step to getting your team on the same page about process, responsibilities, schedule, and expectations.
A successful Kick-off Meeting does more than just set proposal execution in motion. It establishes the groundwork for flawless execution while inspiring the team to work together for the win.
Whether you schedule a formal, well-orchestrated meeting or a loosely structured conference call depends on the size of the opportunity, i.e., your investment in winning. Either way, preparation ensures the meeting is productive and successful.
Do your best to get everyone to participate, and prioritize section leads and experts. Your whole team needs to know who they are selling to, what they are selling, and why you are the best choice.
You want everyone clear on the decided compliance and win themes. And your sponsoring executive should reinforce the message that the organization is "all-in" and you are leading the charge. If this requires scheduling two different Kick-off Meetings, consider that option.
Provide access to your materials from a centralized location to avoid version confusion. During the meeting, invite questions and discussion to engage the team and dispel any confusion. Most web-conferencing software (GoToMeeting, Zoom, etc.) allows you to record your meetings so that executives and new team mates can review the details later on.
Be sure to do a follow-up email after the Kick-off Meeting to share access to the materials, especially on information that has changed as a result of the call. Consider including educational links and pointers to approved, reusable content.
Next in our series on proposal management best practices: Why you should always use visuals in your proposals.
Cheryl Smith is our Senior Content Writer. She has additionally been writing and managing proposals since 1998. Shipley trained, she has helped establish proposal centers and advised on capture strategy, coached orals teams and lead marketing, communications and knowledge management programs. Cheryl is a graduate of The George Washington University with degrees in Theatre, Communications and Literature. When she’s not sharing her passion for work, she loves drawing, writing, cooking and exploring the Virginia woodlands with her husband, their dog Chase and the fuzzy guests they host for Rover.