In the last post of the APB writing model series, I argued that training your proposal team to follow a standard writing model is the best approach for improving proposal content. In this post, I’ll introduce you to the APB writing model you should implement and describe the benefits this writing model achieves. After reading this post, you’ll be ready to transform your bids. The APB model stands for approach, process, and benefits. I liken the APB model to a police officer’s All Points Bulletin. A cop’s APB makes what they’re looking for abundantly clear so other officers won’t miss it. In the same way, your writing needs to make your strengths abundantly clear to evaluators so they won’t miss them. The APB structure gives the evaluators all the detail in an easy-to-read format so they can find and record those strengths and rate your proposal as outstanding. In addition … Continue reading Improving the quality of proposal content with the APB writing model – Part 2
How do we know whether we have bad processes or bad habits? According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary: Process: a series of actions that produce something or that lead to a particular result. Habit: a usual way of behaving: something that a person does often in a regular and repeated way We often follow processes – whether for acquiring new business, managing a project or proposal, or retaining customers – that are based on “proven processes.” The particular result we seek varies, but in general we seek a successful outcome. Yet, even when results are empirically poor, we often continue to do things the same way. For example, perhaps we are chasing new business, and we follow our best-practice business development processes. The result is a downward trend in win rates. While we may hold a lessons-learned session or attend a debrief meeting with the customer to learn why, often we fail to isolate the … Continue reading Bad processes or bad habits?
The government spends a third of its total annual budget in the final quarter of the fiscal year, and this is definitely a busy time for government contractors. So as you enter the final quarter, there are some actions you can take to maximize your share of the government’s year-end spending. To do this, almost every customer-facing manager in your company needs to engage in your year-end sales campaign, and your internal sales support organization—especially your proposal team—needs to step up its op tempo. If you orchestrate a well-planned selling blitz, you can maximize your share of the year-end rally. How big is the year-end rally? The year-end spending spree comes in the fourth quarter of every government fiscal year, and the spending rate is pretty consistent from year to year. Not all government agencies will obligate a third of their annual budget in the final quarter; some agencies will … Continue reading 5 ways to grab your share of the fourth-quarter rush
Dear Proposal Doctor, I have just assumed a position as director of a team of junior proposal managers. They are bright and they have great work habits, but they have only minimal training and not much experience. What is the best way to get them up to speed? By the end of the year, they will each need to be able to independently manage several concurrent task order proposals ranging from 25-50 pages (for the technical and management sections). Thanks very much, -The New Director Dear New Director, Congratulations on your new position. Training for proposal managers is a tricky business because so much of what these young people need to know is specific to your company and your industry. Moreover, there are many different ways of approaching this challenge. I like to think about three broad categories in which proposal managers need to develop, and you have to be … Continue reading Best way to get new proposal managers up to speed – Ask Proposal Doctor