News & Knowledge Center

What Drives the Best Capture Managers?

The need to win is the key when picking the best person to chase the big contracts.

This article with Bob Lohfeld was originally published in Washington Technology magazine October 9, 2009. By David Hubler Good capture managers are known for their business and technical skills, understanding of complex government requirements, and intimate knowledge of their company’s competencies. But outstanding capture managers have at least one other asset: an innate drive to win. “Nobody is born knowing how to program a computer. But the competitiveness, I think, is born,” said Bob Lohfeld, president of Lohfeld Consultant Group, a consulting firm that specializes in capture management. “And you’ve got to have gifted ability if you’re going to play at a level of professionalism that a larger company and a successful company will demand.” Some industry experts liken capture management to the sports world, where overall excellence is rare and therefore highly valued. “Good or excellent capture managers are very hard to come by,” said Eric Gregory, senior vice president...

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Planning for Better Capture Management

Capture management is everything a company does to raise its win probability between the time it decides to pursue an expected government contract and the time the RFP is released.

Interview with Bob Lohfeld Q: What is capture management? Lohfeld: Capture management is everything a company does to raise its win probability between the time it decides to pursue an expected government contract and the time the RFP is released. Q:How does it work? Lohfeld: After identifying an opportunity before the RFP is released, the company performs an early stage qualification review to make sure the deal fits the company and that there is a reasonable chance of winning. A capture team is then created from the line operation or from a standing group of capture executives. These are people who know how to orchestrate activities in the marketplace and in the company. They become the champions for the pursuit of the activity, bringing in technical experts, business development experts and consultants as needed. Together they form the capture team and go after the contract requirements. Q: What do they...

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3 Steps to Improving Your Proposals

Break the cycle of relearning key lessons each time around.

No proposal is ever perfect. Every company executive wishes he or she had just a few more days to tweak the last sections. But after the proposal goes out the door, it is time to reflect on what did or did not go well in the proposal process and what could have been done to improve the outcome. A review of lessons learned is a valuable step in improving proposal development efficiency and raising your win probability on the next bid. Surprisingly, not all companies do such reviews. Even more surprisingly, many companies that do them repeatedly make the same mistakes. The review should follow the same process after every significant proposal. The process has these three fundamental steps: 1. Gather data. Give the proposal team a few days to settle back into its normal operations before trying to collect information about the last proposal. People need time to reflect...

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5 Tips for Hiring a Proposal Consultant

Additional proposal expertise during the busy season can help boost win rates.

Proposal activities in the government market generally peak in the summer months. The requests for proposals that we have been waiting for all year seem to drop at that time. To handle the peaks and valleys in proposal workload, get additional proposal expertise for must-win procurements or get a fresh view on how to present their solutions, companies reach out to proposal consultants. When you need help from proposal consultants, here are some things you should keep in mind. A typical proposal can take a dozen or more people to develop over a 30- to 45-day period. During this high-paced activity, you can supplement your own staff with consultants. Proposal consultants include proposal managers, volume leads (technical, management, past performance, and price), subject matter experts, technical writers, coordinators, graphic artists, editors, and production specialists. Each specializes in a different aspect of the proposal-development process, so before you start looking for proposal...

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