The appropriate proposal administration course of is important to any profitable proposal writing effort. But, individuals typically wrestle to arrange a course of that works. They usually find yourself turning into annoyed with proposal administration.
On this publish, I’ll break down what a proposal administration course of is, the best way to decide which course of is greatest in your state of affairs, and the standard steps that go into proposal administration.
Plus, we’ll even contact on some proposal administration greatest practices.
However first, let’s speak about why individuals get so annoyed with proposal administration.
- 1 My Analysis Into Proposal Administration Frustrations
- 2 The Widespread Themes
- 3 What’s the Proposal Course of?
- 4 Why It’s Necessary To Have A Proposal Administration Course of
- 5 Proposal Administration Course of Steps
- 6 Which Proposal Course of Is Proper For You?
- 7 Have Questions About Proposal Administration?
My Analysis Into Proposal Administration Frustrations
A number of years in the past, I made a decision to conduct my very own little analysis research. I collected over 1,000 knowledge factors from proposal coordinators and managers throughout the U.S. on what their largest frustrations, challenges, and roadblocks have been.
I did face-to-face conferences and telephone interviews. I despatched out surveys and I began discussions in LinkedIn teams and different on-line boards.
Sure, no sane, rational human being would spend giant quantities of his or her private time amassing knowledge on why proposal administration sucks. However that’s precisely what I did. I’ll admit it, I’m a weirdo. I’ve collected what I consider to be the definitive knowledge set on this matter.
The Widespread Themes
Not surprisingly, companies huge and small generally endure from a couple of core frustrations. Let me introduce you to the frustrations your friends share with you (even when they gained’t all the time admit it):
- Sluggish Go/No Go Selections
- Late Supply From The Technical Employees
- Lack of Belief, Respect, and/or Appreciation
With the suitable proposal administration course of, these issues are likely to go away.
What’s the Proposal Course of?
An general proposal course of sometimes consists of no less than these three parts.
*Pre-RFP (Request For Proposal)
*Planning And Managing The Proposal Improvement
*Writing The Proposal
Right here’s a proposal course of flowchart from Laura Ricci’s guide, the Magic Of Profitable Proposals
At first look, it appears terrible complicated. However when you think about Shipley’s 96-step course of, Laura’s appears a heck of much more manageable.
Proposal Managers aren’t sometimes concerned through the Pre-RFP part. That effort is often taken care of by “seize managers” or “enterprise builders.” Proposal managers are answerable for making certain a profitable planning and writing effort.
So, a proposal administration course of is a subset of a bigger general course of. However that doesn’t imply it isn’t necessary. Actually, to answer a posh RFPs which require enter from a number of events, you’ll want a strong proposal administration course of that works for you.
Why It’s Necessary To Have A Proposal Administration Course of
Once I speak about a Proposal Administration Course of, I’m referring to a written doc that proposal managers can measure their efforts towards.
Lots of companies assume they’ve a course of however will typically declare it’s safely saved in somebody’s head. The very fact is, if it’s not written down…it doesn’t exist.
And not using a proposal administration course of, you’ll be able to anticipate embarrassing errors, wasted time, misplaced contracts, and frustrations as I discussed earlier.
Whereas it’d look like a ache within the butt, establishing and following a written course of makes your life ten occasions simpler.
Now, based mostly on my expertise, there’s not a single course of that work’s for each enterprise. Subsequently, it’s as much as you to create a course of that matches your agency’s state of affairs and wishes.
With that stated, there are primary steps that must be addressed in each proposal administration course of. Don’t fear, I’m going to stroll you thru every step.
Proposal Administration Course of Steps
We’ve talked about an general proposal course of. However allow us to get particular. Listed here are the proposal administration steps you might want to systemize inside your course of.
Step One: Go/No Go Choice
Earlier than you write your proposal, you need to decide not solely whether or not the chance is an effective match, however whether or not you’ll be able to fairly compete. Primarily, you need to work out what recreation is being performed and whether or not it is sensible so that you can play it.
Regardless that no one can precisely predict the longer term, in most conditions you’ll have the ability to decide whether or not or not your agency has an inexpensive shot at profitable.
Subsequently, it’s important to outline the standards wanted to be thought-about for a go/no go choice. However it’s also essential to determine who makes these selections and the way shortly that individual wants to show round his/her determination. You also needs to embrace what to do if that individual is on trip.
Keep in mind, we’re not simply defining what is completed throughout every step. We’re defining the who, what, when, the place and why for every process.
Step Two: Proposal Planning
After you’ve made the choice to submit a proposal, it’s time to start out planning. Proposal planning consists of figuring out duties and particular person duties, creating a profitable technique, drafting a proposal define, creating the schedule, and coordinating with subconsultants/contractors.
How is all of this going to work? Who’s going to do what, when, and the way?
You want an unambiguous plan for each proposal effort. Subsequently, your proposal administration course of must be very clear about how the planning can be accomplished.
Step Three: Kick-Off Assembly
When you’ve began planning your effort you’ll want to collect everyone who’s going to contribute to the trouble and ensure everybody is aware of what to do and is on the identical web page. That is known as a “kick-off assembly.”
Your course of must determine what must occur previous to the kick-off assembly. For instance, is everybody going to learn the RFP earlier than the assembly? In case you don’t have a proposal administration course of that requires individuals to learn the RFP and reminds them…it merely gained’t occur. So, make certain every thing that should happen earlier than the kick-off assembly is outlined inside your course of.
You’ll additionally have to outline what’s mentioned throughout every kick-off assembly. This may embrace a regular assembly agenda. On the very least, you’ll need to contact on who will write which sections, what the deadlines are, which staff members shall be proposed, and your technique for profitable.
Step 4: Proposal Improvement
Proposal improvement is all about placing your plan into motion. At this level, you will have an overview. You recognize who’s going to write down what by when.
Proposal improvement is if you write the proposal, design the doc, create graphics and pictures, and put collectively the numbers. It’s when the “sausage is made.”
There are key issues throughout this step. There are literally totally different approaches to writing proposals. Laura Ricci taught the world the worth of storyboarding your proposal. Carl Dickson promotes using “proposal recipes.” And sadly, others merely revise present boilerplate materials.
No matter your writing strategy, the people liable for writing will probably want (or a minimum of recognize) some materials to assist them get began or information them. Your proposal administration course of ought to handle what individuals will probably be offered.
Through the proposal improvement, there will even inevitably be some reviewing and modifying. Some companies use a normal “shade workforce” assessment course of. However colour staff evaluations shouldn’t be the one technique on the market. How will you guarantee high quality and effectiveness in your proposal? That’s one other instance of what you could embrace on this part.
There are additionally different methods you possibly can add your proposal improvement, like dummy books and remaining flip throughs.
Regardless, this step is the place the rubber meets the street. In the event you don’t outline how this step works, you might end up in a world of harm.
Step 5: Ship Out
Do you hand ship your proposals? Do you ship them out by way of the mail? These might appear to be minor particulars, however for those who’ve despatched out as many proposals as I’ve, you realize they don’t seem to be.
For instance, I by no means ship out something in a single day by way of UPS. I solely use FedEx as a result of I’ve been burned by UPS too many occasions.
And I by no means ship out proposals for “early morning supply.” What if the package deal is delivered at eight am and your shopper doesn’t open the door till eight:30 am? Huge drawback.
And who will ensure that the proposal is packaged correctly and despatched to the fitting place? And who will monitor the package deal to ensure it will get there?
All of this stuff should be a part of your proposal administration course of
Step Six: Proposal Shut Out
As soon as the proposal is shipped out and has reached its vacation spot, you may assume you’re carried out. However you’re not.
It’s widespread follow to file an digital or paper copy of your complete proposal, RFP, and addenda within the correct location. I additionally recommend that you’ve a system to find out which venture write-ups have to get added into your proposal database.
Please word, you possibly can’t assume that as a result of a undertaking write-up in newer, it’s higher. Typically, write-ups are edited and lowered due to web page limits. Subsequently, you possibly can’t merely paste over an older write up with a more moderen one. Hand-written proposal edits or monitor modifications will allow you to determine what was up to date.
Write-ups from particular person resumes also needs to be up to date in the identical method.
You’ll additionally need to add new and distinctive strategy items or boilerplate language to your proposal database.
Which Proposal Course of Is Proper For You?
Keep in mind, you’re general proposal course of will in all probability embrace greater than proposal administration. It ought to embrace the pre-RFP/seize planning parts.
However so far as the administration of a proposal effort is worried, you completely should embrace the six steps above in your course of.
You could determine to not use colour group critiques. You won’t retailer info in a proposal database. However you’ll want all six of these steps in a method or one other.
Have Questions About Proposal Administration?
Submit your questions within the feedback under. I’ll reply each one.