4 min read

Steps to Success After GovCon Proposal Submission

Featured Image

Congratulations! You got the proposal completed and submitted. What can you do to make the time during Source Selection go smoothly and prepare for next steps?

After Proposal Submission

Take a breather! Now is a good time to relax before the next bid! Proposal teams need to recharge, especially if the bid involved long hours at work. Everyone is better equipped for daily tasks when they are well-rested. Whatever downtime that is allowed by the schedule, take time to recover.

Lessons Learned

Win or lose, it is always good to know how to improve before the next race. Lessons learned should not be a formality – but a tool. Use this tool to unemotionally assess what happened, and pros and cons of the process. Identify hurdles that were not expected, and determine improvements to better prepare the team for future opportunities. It can be stressful and emotional all the way from capture planning to the proposal process and post-submittal. But take the emotion out of it, and honestly strive to see where improvements can be made. This helps make the entire process go more smoothly, better determines status, and motivates the team to meet the schedule.

  • What worked and what didn’t work?

  • What could have been done better?

  • How can we modify our process to make it go smoother next time?

Those first few days after the proposal has been submitted is the only real opportunity in which to capture these lessons-learned, after that memories quickly fade. Take an hour or so to capture the key items and use them to revise the process for the next proposal.

Allow all team members to provide inputs, making sure to record their responses. Remember to look for solutions together, as a team. Teamwork is important to get any job completed on time. The point of lessons learned is not to make the Proposal Manager’s job easier – it is to improve the process, remove the pain points, and to win government contracts. Incorporating lessons learned into the process reduces stress and reworks, ensures team members are trained for upcoming events, and creates better proposals that score higher. It also improves team member participation, identifies weaknesses that need to be addressed, and guards against making the same mistakes. This helps leverage best practices to conserve time and resources and move toward more proposal process improvement and proposal automation.

Get Organized

This is a key activity that is often overlooked. Here is a good Proposal Submitted Checklist:

  • Check the access for proposal documents and ensure only the core BD Team has access to the documents. Make subcontractor users ‘inactive’, then they can be made active again, if needed later in the process.

  • Update information including, proposal submitted date and opportunity stage (should be submitted or source selection).

  • Ensure files are organized and the final submitted files have appropriate name/titles and are easy to find. Ideally files should be maintained in a document control system that keeps all previous versions of a document together. Final files may be needed for a Best And Final Offer (BAFO) or for Evaluation Notices (ENs) or Clarification Notices (CNs).

  • Organize graphics, ensuring file names are clear for use in future bids.

  • Update capture strategies to include win themes, customer concerns, and competitors.

  • Check to see if any information changed with amendments, including customer contacts, due dates, etc.

  • If additional competitive intelligence was learned during the final weeks of the process, update information in whatever system or tool is used.

  • Update any capture or proposal team members.

  • If the proposal team breaks up content to tag and organize for future proposals, this may be the time to do that. A few hours here will ensure big dividends on future bids. Some companies wait until after a BAFO submission to complete this step.

Recognize the Team

After a proposal is submitted, make certain that each member of the proposal team is recognized by their company for their hard work. For teammates, send an email to the BD Manager or other corporate executive that oversees the personnel who supported your proposal.

Make the email personal to individual contributions and express your gratitude to the manager for providing personnel to support the prime contractor’s bid. Do the same within your own company. Thank your proposal and capture team for their continued support to the company’s growth. Be sure to include the graphic artists, editors, and production personnel, who often are not part of the entire process, but who contribute to the team’s success.


Prepare for Orals

If the bid contains an orals component, prepare now for the Oral Presentation, by developing charts and scripts for presenters. Also include plenty of rehearsal time for the Oral Team.


Identify Problems or Mistakes in the Submitted Bid

Address any mistakes or problem areas identified in the final review, that were not corrected before submission. If you know there was an incorrect term or value and there was no time to correct it, make a note of it and correct the issue on a new version of the proposal. It may not be needed, but it is best to be prepared for revisions.


This is the 13th and final installment of a 13-part series focused on learning about Government RFPs and your response to RFPs as a government Contractor. Be sure and download our complete guide, Government RFPs: What you Need to Know. Check back each week for another installment in the series. Happy Bidding!

New call-to-action

OneTeam is a complete, secure, cloud-native 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. Our team of Proposal Managers, Capture Managers, and BD Managers write extensively about business development topics and best practices.


2 min read

New OneTeam Features - February 2024

OneTeam users will notice a few new changes beginning February 2024. We released updates and new features to give our...

7 min read

Thanksgiving Reflections on Gratitude

As November approaches each year, our thoughts turn to Thanksgiving with the celebrations of food, family, and...

2 min read

OneTeam Software Release - August 2023

OneTeam users will notice a few new changes beginning August 18, 2023. We released updates and new features to give...