News & Knowledge Center

Suggestions from readers | More favorite business books to start off 2016

At the end of 2015, I asked a number of my favorite business development, capture and proposal management, and leadership gurus for their recommendations of “must-read” and all-time favorite business books. Everyone generously provided a plethora of suggestions—many of which I'm now pouring through while recovering from the Blizzard of '16 (watching the 15' snow pile that used to be my car slowly melt and hoping I can drive the car before March)! After publishing the list, I received a number of additional suggestions from readers. Here they are for your business reading pleasure with links to Amazon.com so you can learn more and hopefully find some new favorites. Made to Stick: Why Some Ideas Survive and Others Die by Chip and Dan Heath (recommended by Jayme Sokolow). Start With Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action by Simon Sinek (recommended by David Stearman). The Challenger Sale: Taking...

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Discriminating your offer: 5 steps to competitive edge

As we look back on 2015 and ahead to the challenges of 2016, it is clear you must find ways to discriminate your bid from the competition. Discriminating your offer is especially difficult for service providers (vs. product providers) as the playing field is fairly level and more bidders are competing for less work. Market competition is a battleground, and your goal should be to win the war…or at least the must-win battles that comprise your target revenues. This edition of the APMP-NCA Executive Summary eZine focuses on discriminating yourself from the competition. In my experience, five steps are key to gaining competitive edge. Understand your industry. First things first! In order to discriminate your bid, you must know who your competitors are. Amazingly, many companies have cut their competitive intelligence capabilities due to budget constraints. Reserve enough B&P dollars to at least research your industry and lines of business...

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Using “Send Personally” in BD and proposals

The right tool can save you precious time—and Send Personally is a hidden gem to save time when composing emails

Technology has increased the capacity for what we can do in proposals, but with the plethora of new tech coming out, it’s hard to keep up and sometimes great products fail to garner national attention. In this post, I’m featuring one application that isn’t widely known, but could save you time in business development (BD) and proposals. Send Personally, a plug-in for Microsoft Outlook, allows you to compose one email with several recipients in the “To” field and Outlook will send an individual version of that message to everyone in the “To” field. For instance, you could write an email about an upcoming deadline to John, Sally, and David. When you click “Send Personally,” Outlook will send three identical emails: one each to John, Sally, and David. If you want to add a personal touch, you can set the email to include a greeting with the name associated with the...

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Here’s how to tune up your business for 2016

Washington Technology Article

We have been talking with lots of companies to understand what they are doing to win more business in 2016, and I thought I would share some of what we learned with you. Surprisingly, the results are pretty consistent. Many companies found that winning has gotten harder, especially since the government’s budget has been in a steady decline for the past 7 years. We all fully understand the notion that with fewer dollars to spread across government contractors, companies have to fight harder to win their share. Many companies realize that what they did to win in the good times just isn’t good enough today. To move ahead, companies have to work smarter and harder and reinvent what they are doing to remain competitive. It should come as no surprise that if a company isn’t continually improving how it competes for new business, then it is actually falling behind as...

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