Guiding a proposal from bid capture, through development and across the final mile for the win can often feel like a whirlwind of piecing together the necessary information, people and approvals. How you approach this whirlwind will determine how you react, endure, and win more bids in the future.
Given that most proposal contributors are typically juggling other responsibilities, any disorganization can seriously infringe on your efficiency, focus and on your timeline. So, what is it that is slowing your team down?
In this two part series, we've outlined some common pain points that often slow down proposal development and outlined how to approach them for the win in 2019.
1. Lack of a Repeatable Process
Creating a standard process and gaining adoption for that process can be difficult to do. It becomes more efficient and easier to accomplish when accompanied by a centralized software solution. An integrated capture and proposal management platform will help you manage the bid/no bid discussion and save time on the transition to proposal. When you decide to bid, a centralized workspace will provide your team and partners with a secure "one stop shop" for tasks, deadlines, documents, reviews and collaboration.
Your team will be able to anticipate where they are needed and when their part in the process will arrive on their desks. When your team has a repeatable process, they can get off running at a faster pace and better plan for contingencies and capacity management.
Proposal management is all about communication, expectations and balance. When the team understands where their piece of the puzzle fits into the process they are more likely to step up. With a standard process in place, you have visibility into bottlenecks before they impact deadlines and clarity into what is working in the process and what needs improvement.
2. Duplicate Data Entry
Once your team makes the decision to pursue a proposal, even with a repeatable process, the data that needs to be downloaded and manually exchanged to everyone on the team is time consuming and disorganized. Avoid hunting down an email and downloading disorganized data that is important to the success of your proposal.
A centralized workspace enables your team during capture management to download the necessary win themes, discriminators and proposal requirements one time only. If that workspace is easily accessible to your team, then the necessary people can access that information without waiting for emails or searching for a lost tab. Manual data entry is getting in the way of your team starting the proposal process. Anything to speed up the transition will gain you crucial time later on, toward the deadline.
3. Manual Workflow
Manually deciding and assigning workflow to your reviewers, writers and subject matter experts is slowing your process down. If your contributors don't have visibility and clarity into when they will be needed to work on the proposal or when their personal deadlines are, then important pieces of the proposal will start to fall behind.
Automated workflow, within a centralized workspace will enable your team to anticipate where they are needed most and when their part in the process will arrive on their desks. When your team has a repeatable process and an automated workflow, they can get off running at a faster pace and better plan for contingencies and capacity management.
4. Unprepared Review Meetings
A lack of visibility within the transition process and throughout the proposal process is one of the main sources of friction toward getting a proposal started off strongly. Without a centralized platform for collaboration and information sharing, transitioning and creating the proposal becomes a game of phone tag, email threads and continuous recapping of what stage the proposal is in on any given call. This lack of informational accountability and visibility is slowing you down.
Start 2019 as efficiently as possible by addressing the old habits and processes that might be holding your team back from success. Stay tuned for Capture and Proposal: 9 Things Slowing You Down Part II.