Congratulations! The RFP has finally dropped! As a capture manager, you identified a contract opportunity and spent 1 to 2 years building the winning team. You developed and executed a capture plan and you shaped the procurement. Now, you breathe a sigh of relief as your part of the job comes to a close, or does it?
Does the capture manager step aside as he or she hands over the job of winning to the proposal manager?
If you want to submit the winning bid, then the most likely answer is no. The capture manager's job is about half done. The capture manager is the most knowledgeable person about the team, the customer, and intimate details of the procurement. Capture managers can provide insight and work with the proposal manager to deliver the win. Here is the best advice for a capture manager.
Partner with the Proposal Manager and Support the Proposal Process
The Proposal Manager is responsible for producing the written sales document, based on inputs delivered in the capture process. The proposal manager integrates the RFP requirements and capture strategies to produce a compliant, compelling offer. The capture manager should partner with the proposal manager as they manage the process to ensure the capture content is available to them.
- Outline or draft the executive summary or introduction. Use the win themes and customer knowledge you gathered to get your team noticed from the first paragraph of the proposal.
- Use your extensive knowledge of your teaming partners to develop a definitive team graphic, with key strengths of each team member. Customize these for each volume of the proposal – past performance and capability strengths, technical expertise, management experience, and costs/contractual strengths.
- Participate in the proposal kick-off meeting and emphasize your complete confidence in and support of the proposal manager.
- Participate in color reviews, including Red Team Review, for sections you did not write or help develop.
- Participate in daily stand-up meetings and complete actions assigned by the proposal manager.
- Provide technical inputs for writing specific proposal sections, including innovations, features and benefits, customer understanding
Validate Capture Strategies
- Check for updates on the opportunity and any impacts to the proposal.
- Update and document competitive information and coordinate with the proposal manager if updates impact any strategy or win theme.
- Objectively evaluate your team’s position with a qualification matrix or at designated gate reviews.
Lead the Team to Victory!
- Perform a focused capture strategy review to ensure the capture strategies are thoroughly incorporated throughout the proposal.
- Ensure that the risks are up-to-date. Depending on the length of the capture and proposal phases, company changes could change risk or mitigation plans.
- Demonstrate teamwork in all parts of the proposal process.
Be sure to show your appreciation for the proposal development team. Capture managers usually reap rewards from contract wins, but writers, artists, editors, and other proposal support personnel may not. Make sure to celebrate your proposal team’s accomplishments with a proposal submission celebration, such as a catered lunch or coffee/donut break. Then plan a proposal win party when the contract is awarded!
Business development is a partnership where capture and proposal management professionals must work together to submit the winning bid. Download our Capture Management Toolkit for free customizable tools including a qualification matrix template, capability matrix template, and SWOT analysis for a Black Hat Review.