Tutorials and resources for proposal writing and business development

Proposal Management

Proposal management involves implementing repeatable processes and techniques for team collaboration to improve proposal quality. Managing a proposal involves defining the process, planning the content, and coordinating reviews, as well as assigning staff and coordinating their activity. Being a proposal manager involves determining what the best process is and struggling to impose proposal process discipline. Proposal management may be more of an art than a science, but there are proposal management best practices that you can follow. The follow articles provide proposal management tips and techniques to help you improve the quality of your proposals and your win rate.

6 Steps to Planning and Managing the Perfect Proposal Key proposal management techniques you should know about to make sure that you get everything that you need to win into your proposals.

Are you using the wrong lists for proposal management? 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.

How the Executive Sponsor Can Contribute to the Proposal The Executive Sponsor is the business unit manager with profit and loss responsibility who owns the proposal and the project that results if it wins. Their hands-on involvement with the proposal may be extensive or could be very little, depending on his or her interests and priorities. If you are the Executive Sponsor for a proposal, even if you never touch the proposal itself, you can have a major impact on the success or failure of the overall effort.

Coping with a bad RFP 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...

Planning Your Solution vs. Planning Your Content I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen a proposal thrown into chaos because during a late-stage review someone decided the solution was wrong. This happens because solution planning is different from content planning, and you must use the right tool for the right job. Find out how to keep your proposal from getting entangled.

Negative Past Performance Disaster: How One Company Overcame It 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.

Create your own draft RFP If the customer doesn't issue a draft RFP for an upcoming solicitation, there are some good reasons to consider creating one yourself.

Questions to answer in your proposal The job of a proposal is to persuade a potential customer to do business with you. To achieve this goal it is critical that your proposal anticipate and answer all of your customer's questions.

Roles people play in developing a proposal Here is a list of typical roles and.

Improving your proposal schedule and milestone planning 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.

Unsolvable Problem: Your proposal team argues over proposal quality This article is the first in a series offering solutions to the "unsolvable" problems of proposal development. It targets how to prevent people on your team from unproductively arguing over proposal quality issues.

Unsolvable Problem: You're not ready at RFP release 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 and ensure your readiness for RFP release.

Unsolvable Problem: No One Follows The Process When people get assignments, do they do what they think should be done instead of the assignment? Is the schedule treated like a recommendation instead of a requirement? Do people try to run out the clock so they don’t have to bother with making changes? Instead of trying to force people to follow the process, there is a better way. Find out how to get people to follow your process.

What it Takes to Win 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.

What Makes a "Must Win" Opportunity Different? Must Win opportunities are important. 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...

Proposal Teams Worry About the Wrong Things 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.

The Right Things to Worry About on Your Proposal Instead of worrying about the wrong things on your proposal, you should make sure that you worry about the right things. Here are eight things that should keep you awake at night...

Should you use permanent staff or consultants to do your proposals? Are you looking for criteria to use to determine whether to rely on outside proposal support? For some companies one approach works better than the other. Find out which approach will work best for you.

How many people do you need to produce a proposal? 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.

How much should a consultant cost Consultant rates often cause people to experience sticker-shock. This article contains tables and explanations that can help you better understand the value equation.

Alternate Proposals – Why You Should (Almost!) Never Submit One Just because you've thought of a better approach than the customer doesn't necessarily mean that it's a good idea to submit a proposal that is different from what they are expecting.

The Top 10 ways to ensure proposal management success Got a must-win opportunity? Here a list that's short, easy to read, and easy to understand that will ensure success. Unfortunately, it's considerably harder to implement than to read ;-)

The Top 10 ways to lose a proposal Resemble any of these? No bid!

Who owns the proposal? 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.

Thoughts On Discipline In The Proposal Process From A Proposal Veteran Even if you have a proposal process, it won't do you any good unless you also have discipline. Get some tips that can help keep everyone on track.

Five Easy Ways to Improve Your Proposal Management There are many ways to improve you proposal process, and improve your proposals. Most of these ways involve spending money, from "not much“ to "a lot“. Here are five ways to improve your proposals at low cost.

Configuration management during proposal development. One overlooked file version conflict during final production can ruin a perfectly good proposal. How do you maintain control of the proposal in spite of all the changes that occur?

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