In federal government contracting, the BD Team includes business development, capture and proposal management. Each player on your BD Team has unique responsibilities to support your company’s goal of winning the contract or bid.
The BD Manager identifies potential opportunities, manages the opportunity portfolio, and focuses on gathering information and building relationships. When an opportunity is qualified with a pursuit decision, the BD Manager usually hands off responsibilities to a Capture Manager. Capture Managers use their technical skills and proposal knowledge to craft capture strategies. They combine sales, pricing, and contracts expertise with leadership skills to build a winning team. For some companies, business development and capture functions are executed by the same person. Others employ a team of people. Proposal Managers produce the written sales documents, based on inputs from the capture managers. They manage the process of developing compliant, compelling offers of integrated capture strategies and RFP requirements.
So, who has the most important or significant role in the BD lifecycle? The most significant role in Business Development belongs to the CUSTOMER!
The entire BD lifecycle must focus on the customer. Every word in the proposal must matter to the customer. To win, your proposal must be a customized solution and reflect ideas that matter to the customer. Here are some suggestions to put the focus on the customer:
Business Development Management
- Lay the foundation for a relationship at trade shows, networking events, and LinkedIn.
- Build a relationship of trust with the customer.
- Learn about the customer’s needs and pain points.
- Develop solutions to address the customer’s issues and problems.
- Follow through with actions you commit to – research a potential solution, attend a meeting, or make phone call or email.
- Develop a comprehensive Capture Plan to gather customer information
- Develop a list of customer needs and hot buttons, starting with the BD Manager’s documentation.
- Learn about the customer, get to know the technical leads, their concerns, and their unique personalities.
- Perform a SWOT analysis of your company from the customer’s perspective.
- Perform a competitive analysis or Black Hat Review of competitors from the customer’s perspective.
- Develop features and benefits for technical, management, and past performance sections of the proposal.
- Develop solutions that specifically address customer needs.
- Use customer feedback to refine solutions and align them with the customer’s vision.
- Develop proposal win themes.
- Develop the proposal from the customer’s perspective.
- Focus the approach on benefits to the customer.
- Demonstrate an understanding of their customer and their work.
- Make every sentence matter to the customer.
- Ensure the proposal terminology matches the RFP terminology.
- Ensure the proposal is easy to read and easy to evaluate.
- Use bulleted summary checklists of strengths and benefits that the customer can use to support their evaluation decision.
Download our Capture Toolkit to get customizable templates for a qualification matrix, capability matrix, SWOT analysis, and other tools to help you in your capture planning process.
Developing new business and maintaining existing business is critical to every federal contractor. Ensure your team has a single purpose – Win the Contract – by FOCUSING on the CUSTOMER!