Proposal management is the best practice process of leading a team through the written portion of the sales cycle.
As busy professionals, proposal managers juggle a lot of different tasks, from writing and reviewing and monitoring and reminding to compliance and deadlines. To keep the team in sync and on deadline, proposal managers follow a predefined process, or a predefined process tailored to a specific proposal, comprised of a series of activities and milestones. All aimed at delivering a high-quality, high-scoring and stand-out proposal.
The proposal manager's success relies on how effectively they shepherd the team through four key proposal management milestones; Intersection, Interplay, Inspection, and Improvement. The team's success relies on the collaboration throughout the process that aligns capture strategy with writing execution to reduce revision cycles and drives consensus so the team focuses on advancing proposal quality given the time available.
Collaboration typically begins where the business development and proposal management team meet in the sales cycle; qualifying an opportunity. We like to think of this step as the Intersection: where the team shares opportunity information, asks solution and strategy questions, agrees to invest in the bid, and outlines the capture strategy.
Experience demonstrates that the more collaborative this Intersection is, the more time your team will save to invest in proposal quality.
By harnessing the collaborative energy of your team during the Intersection of business development and proposal team, you’ll move quickly, remain agile, make better investment decisions, and focus writing and reviewing time on quality. By centralizing Intersection collaboration, you’ll make proposal development faster and easier. How to use proposal software for better team collaboration
Where the rubber hits the road, however, is when the team starts writing. We like to think of this step as the Interplay: where each contributor has an effect on the other, greater than the sum of their parts. Together, their understanding of the customer, the opportunity, and the solution come to light in the written phase of the sales cycle, the proposal.
By harnessing the team’s Interplay collaboration, you’ll make proposal development faster and easier and set the groundwork for faster, more productive reviews. How to achieve collaborative Interplay with proposal mana?
Where the team goes from here will determine how well the proposal resonates with evaluators. We like to think of this step as the Inspection; where reviewers identify compliance, solution and strategy issues, provide feedback and instruction, and address scoring goals.
By harnessing collaborative team Inspection, teams make reviews faster and more productive, and deliver a clear roadmap for impactful revisions that advance proposal quality and win probability. How to achieve collaborative Inspection?
Where the team goes from here will determine how well the proposal reads in favor of the solution. We like to think of this step as Improvement; where the team leverages reviewer reactions and insights to refine content to better engage and convince evaluators.
Revisions are typically a crossroads for the proposal team; time is of the essence and the course of action chosen will significantly affect the proposal’s win probability. Experience demonstrates that the more collaborative this Improvement phase, the more productive the revisions.
By harnessing collaborative Improvement, proposal teams save time; time they can invest in the writing that improves win probability, or, the proposal maturity and quality evaluators want to read, understand, accept, and defend. How to achieve collaborative Improvement?
A quality proposal is the ultimate sales document; it gets inside the mind of the evaluator, makes it easy for them to reach the desired conclusions, and communicates a clear message about you and your business.
Send the right message, and you build confidence and trust with evaluators. Inadvertently send the wrong message and you undermine your sales effort.
Your proposal says a lot about you. Make sure your intended message reaches evaluators loud and clear by eliminating these common writing missteps that can undermine your sale process. Are you saying:
Message: Your project is not important enough for us to write a proposal that is specific to your needs.
Message: Your project is not important enough for us to write a proposal that helps you understand and accept our solution at a deeper level.
Message: Your project is not important enough for us to write a proposal you want to read and defend.
Stakeholders are keeping score. Review and revise your proposal with the details evaluators need to understand your solution at a deeper level, and defend their scores to decision makers. Here's how.