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Recruit the Best Business Development Team

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Sometimes we waste time trying to figure out who is in charge. It can be as confusing as listening to a rendition of ‘Who’s on First’ by Abbott and Costello. To avoid confusion, the Business Development Team must work together, understand their roles, delegate authority, and exercise that authority to carry out their assigned responsibilities.

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Your BD team may include:

  • Company Executives

  • BD Managers

  • Capture Managers

  • Proposal Managers

  • Coordinators

  • Support personnel – contracts, pricing, safety, security, and human resources

  • Subcontractor capture, proposal, technical, contracts, and pricing personnel

Each team member has a role (or roles), responsibilities, and authority. They must all know who is up first. Everyone cannot run the first leg of a relay. There must be a plan to successfully complete the race, and everyone must know, understand, and follow that plan if you want to win more government contracts. The roles listed below may be different than those at your company, but they are most likely being performed by someone on the team.

Assign Roles and Responsibilities to the Team

Company Executives maybe include the COO, CEO, or a VP. These executives may not be involved in the day-to-day details of capture and proposal, but they are responsible for committing corporate resources to the bid and for executing the contract successfully.

BD Leadership or Managers identify potential opportunities, manage an opportunity portfolio, and gather information.

Capture Managers use their technical skills and proposal knowledge to develop proposal win themes, capture strategies, and the overall Capture Plan. They combine sales, pricing, and contract expertise with leadership skills to build a winning team.

For some companies, BD and capture functions are executed by the same person. Others employ a team of people. However, your company is organized, you need to know what must be done, by when, and by whom. This is a requirement if the team is going to work together efficiently and reach the goal.

Proposal Managers produce the written sales documents, based on Capture Manager inputs and manage the entire proposal process.

Again, each team member has a role (or roles), responsibilities, and authority and must know who is in charge. If part of the team does not understand the plan, they will not be able to fully support the plan, which will cause time delays, morale issues, and possibly even chaos.


Work Together for the Win


In the BD cycle, developing a winning bid is not merely a series of hand-offs from one separate phase to another. Rather, BD is a team sport. Everyone may be involved in each phase but have a different level of effort or leadership opportunity. There must be a designated lead for the entire BD process and for each phase of the process. Everyone on the team must recognize the authority of the lead and support them through the entire BD lifecycle.

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Proposal Managers should be included in and support capture planning. Capture Managers should know who the Proposal Manager will be and start working together as a team. Recognize that Capture and Proposal Mangers have different complimentary skill sets and leverage those skills and capabilities. You must be proactive and work together to meet your goal – unless you enjoy a 30-day sprint!


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This is the 2nd in a 12-part series Get More from 24 Hours. This series is based on the eBook Get More From 24 Hours in a Day and Win More Government Contracts, which contains the entire series with additional bonus content and tutorials. The eBook is evolved from a presentation at APMP's International Bid & Proposal Con 2021, given by OneTeam's Product Manager, Donna Hamby. Download your free copy of the eBook.

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OneTeam is a complete, secure, cloud-based collaboration platform for GovCons to track, qualify, capture, propose and win more contracts with fewer resources by streamlining and automating processes. OneTeam was designed and developed by a federal government contractor to address the lack of resources and time, as well as the pain associated with winning government contracts.


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