5 min read

How to Get the Business Development Team Working Together for the Win

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The Business Development (BD) Team is your company’s key to growth. Bidding and winning new contracts are the keys to growing your capabilities and experience. Who makes up the BD Team and what are their roles in winning more business?

Each person on your BD Team has unique responsibilities to support your company’s goal of winning the contract or bid. Your BD team may include:

  • BD Managers

  • Capture Managers

  • Proposal Managers

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

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


The Business Development Manager

The BD Manager identifies potential opportunities and manages a portfolio or pipeline of opportunities. They focus on gathering information and building relationships with customers. When an opportunity has been identified and qualified with a pursuit decision, the BD Manager usually hands off the opportunity to a Capture Manager.

BD Managers:

  • Lay the foundation for a relationship - trade shows, association/networking events, and LinkedIn.

  • Start a relationship with the customer, so they know the company.

  • Build a relationship with the customer, so they trust the company.

  • Learn about the customer by finding out their needs and pain points.

  • Help the customer solve their issues – even if it’s not a solution the company offers.

  • Follow through - if they promise information to the customer – they are credible and follow through with the research, meeting, phone call, or email.

  • Meet other stakeholders in the customer organization.


The Capture Manager

The Capture Manager must have a good understanding of company history, capabilities, resources, and contracts. They need technical skills to know how to do the work and proposal knowledge to anticipate what information they need to gather. They need sales, pricing, and contracts expertise and require leadership skills to build a winning team. For some companies, BD and Capture functions may be executed by the same person or team of people.

Capture Managers:

  • Develop a list of customer needs and hot buttons, ideally from data gathered by the BD Manager.

  • Learn about the entire customer team, including the multiple technical leads, and their different concerns and personalities.

  • Perform SWOT analysis of their own company from the customer’s perspective.

  • Develop a list of top competitors and perform a competitive analysis or Black Hat Review from the customer’s perspective.

  • Develop features and benefits for technical, management, and past performance.

  • Develop the best solutions for the customer.

  • Validate proposed solutions with the customer.

  • Develop a proposal based on win themes.


The Proposal Manager

The Proposal Manager is responsible for producing the written sales document, based on inputs delivered in the capture process. They manage the process of integrating RFP requirements and capture strategies to produce a compliant, compelling offer to the customer.

Proposal Managers:

  • Develop the proposal from the customer’s perspective.

  • Focus the approach on benefits to the customer.

  • Demonstrate understanding of customer and work, beyond what is written in the RFP.

  • Make every sentence matter to the customer.

  • Ensure proposal terminology matches the RFP terminology.

  • Ensure the proposal is easy to read and evaluate.

  • Use bulleted summary checklists of strengths and benefits. The customer can easily copy these to support their evaluation decision.

Proposal Coordinators support the Proposal Manager and may be assigned responsibility for an entire volume or tasks across multiple volumes.

Support Personnel such as the Contracts Manager, Security, Safety, and Quality personnel should each:

  • Review the RFP for their specific areas of expertise.

  • Submit questions to the Proposal Manager to submit by the Government deadline.

  • Draft text for their specific sections.

  • Gather data to support the approach.

  • Review final applicable sections such as the Safety & Health Plan, Security Plan, or Quality Management Plan.


Pricing Personnel

Pricing personnel are an integral part of the BD Team and must:

  • Review the RFP for pricing, staffing, CLINS, etc.

  • Submit questions to the Proposal Manager to submit by the Government deadline.

  • Draft pricing narrative, including accounting, timekeeping, rates, and other information for the Pricing Volume.

  • Complete Excel Worksheets for the Pricing Volume.

  • Request pricing data from subcontractors.

  • Consolidate sanitized pricing data into the prime contractor’s pricing volume.

  • Hold a Green Team Review to evaluate pricing data.

  • Ensure labor categories in Pricing Volume align with what is proposed in the Technical Volume and what categories are required by the RFP.

  • Ensure pricing data takes Service Contract Act (SCA) and Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) personnel and their unique pricing rates into account.

  • Complete Section B CLINS with the final pricing data after the Pricing worksheets have been reviewed and validated as correct.


Subcontractor Personnel

Subcontractor personnel may be assigned technical or past performance volume assignments. They may serve as Color Team Reviewers. They may be responsible for completing a Past Performance citation in the correct format and completing any resumes or forms that are required by the RFP.

Subcontractor personnel can also be valuable members of the Black Hat Review as they bring a different perspective on their team, the competitor teams, and the customer.


This is the 4th in 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 Must Know to be Successful. Check back each week for another installment in the series. Happy Bidding!


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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. Our team of Proposal Managers, Capture Managers, and BD Managers write extensively about business development topics and best practices.

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