A proposal manager’s role is clear when a proposal lasts 30 days, or even 14, but things
get more complicated as the allotted time shrinks. Many wonder what kind of
value they could provide as a proposal manager when a proposal is only 5-7 days
in duration. In most cases, process as we know it goes out the door – and
barely controlled chaos ensues.
By far the biggest value you can add as a proposal manager on a short-fuse bid is by
providing AMPLE guidance to your team as to how to respond to each section – how
to find information, and how to use it as quickly as possible. You have to have
a good boilerplate content library – it’s a must for fast turnarounds – and
your role is to retrieve the right pieces of this content quickly and provide it
to the authors in a way that prevents them from simply cutting and pasting.
Speaking of processes, you have to tailor the process you have for short turn-around
proposals to suit this exact bid and your level of preparedness. How many
reviews will you have, will they be rolling reviews, who will attend, and what
specifically do you plan to accomplish, for example?
You can also provide just-in-time training to people on speed-writing techniques – in order
to turn non-professional writers (Subject Matter Experts) into better writers
in just a couple of hours. Techniques to teach are the correct writing process,
debunking myths about writing, brainstorming techniques for the group and
individually (mind mapping), and correct section flow.
Another must-do task is to conduct an effective win theme development session (or a win theme
refinement session if you have prepared win themes during capture). It will
focus your message. Use techniques for preparing win themes quickly rather than
the typical process that takes forever. Start with the customer’s hot buttons.
For each hot button, create a win theme in a three-prong feature-benefit-proof
set of statements, and make sure that you quantify and qualify all the facts.
This way, you will be able to focus on the customer and quickly develop
no-fluff win themes that are specific to you.
The last proven trick for managing fast turnaround proposals is to assign one good, speedy writer to
the role of a “proposal integrator.” You need someone with fast
fingers and sharp mind to take in all the raw section inputs from the
contributors, put them in one document, and massage the whole thing to
perfection. Whether it’s you who serves this role, or someone else, it’s up to
you – the key is that they have to be a strong, prolific writer.
If you need proposal support, please, contact our BD
Manager Lisa Arlt Escoto at [email protected], 703-865-4076 or 703-307-8749.