Business Development Blog

Proposal manager’s midlife crisis?

Something happened to me over the past year – as if a switch flipped in my mind. All of a sudden, I can’t get enough of life and want to savor its experiences. Perhaps I’ve clocked too many years in the proposal war room, stayed up late nights seven days a week building a business for too long, and spent every free moment with my kids. Maybe I blew a circuit at one of the Chuck E. Cheese birthday parties. I am not yet at the BASE jumping stage, but I find myself fantasizing vividly about stuff like catching a jet ride to a classroom in another state with the top guns I will be training. This from a person who finds even the kids’ rollercoaster terrifying!

Where to find good proposal consultants?

Where do proposal consultants come from, and what are the upsides, downsides, and risks typical to different proposal consultant sources? This is the second article in our eight-part series on How To Benefit The Most From Working With Proposal Consultants. If you have not yet had a chance to read the first part, please visit our blog at to read it.

Advanced Proposal Management

This class covers a spectrum of the most important topics, from preparing for a proposal effort and making a bid-no-bid decision, to orchestrating a great proposal kickoff, driving subject matter experts to produce winning content, exhibiting superb leadership and ...

Success Factors In Federal Business Development

How hard can it be to do federal business development? All you need is to be good with people and a willingness to talk to decision makers, right? If it were so easy, why for years has BD been given a bad name, and why have many companies struggled to hire business developers who produce results?

6 Steps To Put Your Proposal Team On The Same Page

Unless you are incredibly lucky and everyone assigned to the proposal is a great writer, you will need to do some just-in-time training to get everyone on the same page. The same goes for conceptualizing graphics. Here is how you go about quickly getting everyone on board to create a winning proposal.

The six aspects of capturing Government contracts

With capture, many companies focus on the obvious: what are the company’s internal capabilities and the offering – and what can the company do in response to the customer needs. However, there are multiple other factors to take into account when capturing a contract that are all too often overlooked. There is no one right formula for every capture opportunity – but fortunately, I have discovered through years of practice and research that there is a simple model which you can use to tailor your capture effort to your customer and the procurement.

Task Order Proposal Management Best Practices

The NCA chapter has nearly 1,000 members, and is the largest APMP chapter worldwide. At our last Dinner Series event, three speakers, Lauren Hammond, Director of Proposal Management and Support for Management Concepts; Dan Shyti, Vice President of the L-3 STRATIS; and Wendy Frieman, Consultant, shared their task order proposal management secrets:

Successful Planning for your BD Strategy. Interview with Business Development Expert

Some psychological studies assert that if someone writes down an idea and its implementation, there is close to 50% probability of it becoming a reality. If the implementation is broken down into steps that are captured in writing, the probability of being down goes up to 70%. Adding a date to each step raises this idea’s chance of becoming real up to 95%. It means that planning ahead clears the path for even the most unpredictable and seemingly impossible projects. This principle also applies to the mystery of business development process in government contracting.

Overcoming difficulties in calling government customer

At OST, we often get a call to line up proposal support for an upcoming RFP. We hear that “RFP is about to drop, so send us a proposal manager, pronto.” Instead of reaching out to our consultants, however, we first pick up the phone and call the contracting ...

Top 7 Problems With Proposal Win Themes

Most companies, despite their best intentions (and even understanding of what a win theme is supposed to look like), fail to sell in their proposals. Win theme is one of the top five elements of proposal persuasion – and if they don’t work, it will be much harder to stand out. Time pressures force the team to start writing before themes are sufficiently developed and the entire proposal process begins to unravel. Here are the top 7 problems with win themes we have observed in a number of companies, no matter what their business size and maturity level has been.

Obtaining Senior Management Buy-in

As I was teaching our IDIQs and Task Orders course on Monday, we were reviewing the best practices for a quick and efficient proposal development process. One practice was conducting a proper kickoff meeting. After attending many proposal kickoffs (some of which included a proper breakfast and a long PowerPoint), and then watching a proposal unravel, I have figured out what needs to happen in order to prevent a disaster. I distilled the information that needs to be shared with the proposal team into nine kickoff goals. It doesn’t matter what the size of the team is and what the length of a proposal is, you have to address all the goals – or there will be problems, guaranteed.

Capture Wars

Government contractors engage in capture wars on invisible battlefields, playing the games of strategy, endurance, and focus. The stakes are high, and some do a better job than others. Here is a real life example: Team A is an incumbent, and they know the whole ...