Have you ever noticed that even when companies know ahead of time about an RFP (when it will get released and what the subject matter will consist of), often times they are still not ready when it drops? The current state of the economy is forcing us to reduce the amount of resources we can engage for each effort, creating an environment that makes it difficult to deliver winning proposals.
We have to perform like Olympic athletes, winning against the competitors breathing down our necks, and rely on uncanny endurance to last through those 16-hour workdays. Michael Phelps said that “You can’t put a limit on anything. The more you dream, the farther you get.” Visualizing victory will help us push the limits of what’s possible. We have to always remember that we are here to get that contract, and not just throw together a compliant proposal by the deadline.
In this environment, we have to become resourceful in accomplishing more with less, and literally distort the space-time continuum to create masterpieces by the impossible deadlines. We also have to figure out how to become deadly efficient, wisely knowing where to spend the effort, and where to conserve the resources.
You should employ the following techniques to make your job more efficient and speed up the process:
- Shedding storyboards in favor of an annotated outline that provides play-by-play directions to the subject matter experts on exactly what to do, instead of leaving them to figure it out on their own;
- Conducting a kickoff that accomplishes nine goals that will help you avoid problems down the road (we teach these in greather depth in our proposal classes);
- Providing just-in-time training your non-professional writers on how to develop compliant and highly persuasive proposal sections;
- Using checklists every step of the way to avoid forgetting key steps and eliminate rework;
- Running reviews that help your proposal move forward effectively instead of setting you back; and
- Many more best practices for effective proposal management.