Making the most of your bid and proposal training budgets
Is your company meeting all its business growth goals? Are your costs per bid at or below your budget? Do your proposals consistently receive the highest scores? If you answered no to any of these questions, your staff could benefit from bid and proposal training.
Setting a training budget
Start by setting aside a percentage of your total bid and proposal (B&P) budget for training your staff. For example, if you are a $100M services company, you could spend $3M annually on B&P. Of that $3M budget, most companies spend 80% or $2.4M on labor. Many companies budget 1–3% of that total on training for a total of $24K to $72K. This number will vary from year-to-year depending on the maturity of your team.
Although this budget seems high, you will need to stretch it to cover at least 10 full-time staff and a greater number of part-time operations staff (perhaps even double that number). Training your part-time operations staff can be a huge force multiplier, enabling you to bid more work. However, since bids and proposals are not their primary area of expertise, those part-time operations staff will need the training to increase their efficiency.
Typical training for bid and proposal professionals
Typical training for staff whose primary focus is bids and proposals includes:
- Capture management
- Proposal management
- Proposal reviews
- Proposal writing
- Price-to-win and basis of estimation
- Oral presentation coaching
- Specific training focused on improving proposal scores
Additionally, consider paying their fees to attend conferences and maintain membership in professional organizations.
Typical training for staff whose expertise is not bid and proposals
Training suggestions for those staff whose focus is on company operations include:
- How the bid and proposal lifecycle works from the customer’s perspective
- How you can influence the proposal lifecycle
- How to collect competitive intelligence
- How to win your recompete
- How to grow a contract organically
- How to win new business
- How to document past performance and resumes
- How to present demonstrations and oral proposals to customers
- How to respond to technical challenges from customers
Optimize your budget
To maximize your training dollars, identify sources of free training. For example, Lohfeld Consulting Group offers many free blogs and vlogs on its website. In addition, the Association for Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) and its local chapters offer members many free training webinars and certification scholarships. For example, APMP offers the Charlie Divine Scholarship to help pay certification fees (applications are due by April 14, 2023).
By Brenda Crist, Vice President at Lohfeld Consulting Group, MPA, CPP APMP Fellow
Lohfeld Consulting Group has proven results specializing in helping companies create winning captures and proposals. As the premier capture and proposal services consulting firm focused exclusively on government markets, we provide expert assistance to government contractors in Capture Planning and Strategy, Proposal Management and Writing, Capture and Proposal Process and Infrastructure, and Training. In the last 3 years, we’ve supported over 550 proposals winning more than $170B for our clients—including the Top 10 government contractors. Lohfeld Consulting Group is your “go-to” capture and proposal source! Start winning by contacting us at www.lohfeldconsulting.com and join us on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter.
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by Bob Lohfeld
contributors Edited by Beth Wingate
Did you know that contracting officers spend up to 20% of their time mitigating disputes between teaming partners? In an informal poll we conducted on LinkedIn last month, 40% of respondents classified their teaming partners as “frenemies” on their last bid.
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