Newsletter to OST e-zine subscribers as of 05/25/2011 (published here as preamble to the post as of 06/10/2011 – see above).

I am getting ready to travel to Denver, Colorado to the APMP International Conference. I feel honored to have been invited to speak at a panel alongside the proposal industry legends: Steve Shipley, Steve Myers, and Tom Sant. The panel is titled “Proposal Pioneers and Today’s Warriors.” We will discuss some trends and make (educated) guesses on how the proposal industry is going to change in the future. I have to confess that while preparing, I stalled at first but then the floodgates of ideas opened and I came up with a presentation that was three times as long as it should be. In the end, I had to boil it down to a couple of slides to fit the panel format. Here are some of the points on the proposal industry future that did NOT make it into the presentation:

  • The current procurement trends will reverse (hopefully not only in my wishful thinking):
    – The deadlines will balance out so that we will see fewer 5-day turnarounds and more 30-day and longer turnarounds as the customers register the negative impact of short deadlines on proposal quality and project execution
    – Page count allocations in the RFPs will shake out and become more deliberate, less haphazard
    – Numbers of IDIQs will decrease since they have gotten out of control and the Government is seeking to reel them back in
    – Demand for innovative, more cutting-edge solutions will grow as the Government workforce is replaced with younger personnel
  • Evaluation automation may lead to using the same software to build in compliance
    – Evaluation automation may be on an increase (especially in certain international markets)
    – Hope it’s not going to replace human evaluation…
  • Commercial “complex sales” world will continue to become more like the Government – formal, structured, less handshake-based, and therefore more adaptive of a structured BD process
  • Orals may become as frequent in the Government as they are in the commercial business; more agencies will adopt them
  • There will be greater education opportunities for proposal professionals through college courses in the field
  • Professional landscape will change, with certain “rare” types of professionals more readily available, such as cost and price to win people
  • Proposals will be developed entirely “in the cloud” – with all the work done on a thin client
  • There will be more and more virtual or “hybrid” proposals:
    – Less and less “old-style” and “traditional” proposals
    – Possible exception: the classified arena
  • Search for work-life balance will become more desperate with the advent of virtual work and increased competition among proposal professionals
  • Pipelines, proposal development tools, knowledge bases, social collaboration, and communication tools will become a given shortly, whereas now they are still not used across the board
  • Proposal process will become so well defined, it will be transparent, so that focus will finally shift to solutions and proposal content; so naturally capture will gain further importance.

I am dying of curiosity to see what the other panel participants have prepared, and how the discussion will go. I will share the results with you, including the points I DID end up including. I will also attend conference sessions and will share my notes on everything I learn in the upcoming webinars and articles, so stay tuned.

If you are going to the conference as well, please, find me and say “Hi.”
In the meantime – I would love to hear your opinion – how do YOU think the proposal industry going to change?

P.S. Don’t miss our fully updated proposal and capture courses June 21-22 and June 23-24 respectively. They incorporate the latest lessons learned, new graphics and animation-rich slides, and all-new hands-on exercises for you to integrate the material. We won’t repeat these classes until next year, and there are only a couple of spaces left in each. Learn more or register at:
Proposal Management: How to Write Less and Win More
Capture Management: How to Position to Win Before an RFP Issuance


Olessia Smotrova-Taylor
OST Global Solutions, Inc.
Your resource for Capture and Proposal Management
…Because there is no second place in proposals!
15621 Holly Grove Rd
Silver Spring, MD 20905 USA

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