How to Successfully Manage a Proposal

Each week we will be looking at a different element of how to effectively manage a bid to ensure your proposal submission is prepared in a timely fashion and is as good as it can be. In this first part of our five part series we will be covering the kick-off meeting with your bid team.

1) Proposal Checklist – The Kick-off Meeting.

Kick-off meetings are critical milestones that require careful planning. A good one will inspire your bid team, a poor one can demoralise it.

Prior to the meeting prepare an agenda and comprehensive kick-off package and be sure to invite the right people.

During the meeting encourage everyone to talk through their initial thoughts on the bid.  Read the proposal documentation together then discuss your general approach. Do the decision makers agree that this opportunity if you won it would align with your business strategy? Can you deliver it? Who is likely to be your competition?  When everyone is on the same page, going through this checklist will help make the proposal writing process easier:

  • Identify all of the documents and information you are likely to need when writing your proposal.
  • Allocate different roles to each member of the proposal team and following the meeting distribute the proposal template document including in it who will be responsible for which sections of the document.
  • As your strategy for dealing with the proposal becomes clearer make sure you consider how the bid will fit in with your other work.  Consider the amount of time and the number of personnel that will be devoted to the bid, estimate how much the proposal will cost you and allocate a bid budget. Decide whether you will need to hire consultants or expert bid writers.
  • Create a proposal schedule including deliverables and milestones. Decide the first set of deadlines during this meeting and according to this plan arrange when your second meeting will take place.  Ensure all team members are absolutely clear on when their work needs to be completed.
  • If there are questions about the proposal that can only be answered by the buyer, agree who will be the key contact and how they will manage this and communicate the answers to the team.  Your questions should be answered swiftly and if you have concerns regarding company autonomy you can ask them not to divulge your details especially if the response is likely to be published to all respondents.

Next time on Win That Bid’s blog – ‘Preparing to Write Your Proposal’

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