The Best of APMP Winning Business Virtual Experience (WBVE)
July 22 - July 23, 2020
My Biggest Takeaways, Insights & Actionable Strategies
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THE LARGEST BID & PROPOSAL CONFERENCE EVER PRESENTED ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD : APMP's Winning Business Virtual Experience #wbve2020 featured 80+ hours of original content, 120+ speakers, 100+ brand new sessions, the best bid and proposal industry education, online networking, happy hours galore and thousands of your closest industry friends.
to the APMP and all the chapters, presenters and attendees for supporting the WBVE
– a great event held during challenging times around the world, which I genuinely feel has brought the industry closer together
For those who missed the event, this article is my little part to showcase speakers who participated in the inaugural APMP Winning Business Virtual experience (WBVE)
The more we know our history and the people who shaped it, the more liberated we become. I want to inspire future generation to choose to sacrifice over greed. I dedicate this article to our APMP community.
The two words in Tamil say, ‘’Do learn well without blemishes which is worthy of being learned’’
Selected WBVE Sessions
- Conference Welcome Session – Mike Walsh
- Creative Proposal Reviews – Kevin Switaj
- Consulting, That Is The Gig For Me – Jim Bender
- Rich Graphics On An Economy Budget – Richard Goring and Shari Lambert
- What's Eating Your Lunch in Your Capture Neighborhood – Jay Herther
- Do You Really Need “Win Themes”? – Kieran Grant
- Build (or Refresh) Your Proposal Infrastructure in a Snap – Mary Anne Heckbert
- #NewProposalWorld #NewApproaches – Marina Goren
- Pre-mortems – the Dark Side of the Win Strategy – Eve Upton
- Capture/BD Strategy and Competitive Intelligence – Len Miller
- Cutting through the Red Tape: Winning Federal Government Proposals – Ali Tweel
- Determine the Strategic Pricing of your Competitors – Richard Caldwell
- Keeping a Virtual Audience Engaged — Practical and Immediate Real-World Tips – Daniel Walker
- Getting to YES With Your RFP Questions – David Stearman
- The Benefits of Industry Certification – Charlie Divine and Rick Harris
- Tips to Communicate Real Value Propositions – Marsha Lindquist and Mark Wigginton
- A Consultative Approach to Proposal Support -Anatalia Macik
- Become a Transformative Leader – Margaret McGuire
- Empathy in the Workplace, Everyday – Rick Harris and Belinda Parmar
- How to Create Compelling Presentations – Richard Goring and Krystn Macomber
- How to Implement Effective Storyboarding – Ashley Kayes
- Pricing, Pricing, Pricing and Why It Matters – Randy Richter
- The Recipe for Successful Proposal Management – Amanda Rhodes
- How to Elevate Your Career – Karina Ames
- Managing a Content Library – Samantha Enslen
- There Is No I in “Proposal Management” – Daciana Calistru
- Storytelling: The Pixar Way – Sarah Hinchliffe
- Sprint Through Your Value Propositions – Sunil Agrawal
- The Role of the Proposal Manager in the Age of AI – Cezar Badalou
- Moving from Bid/Proposal Manager to Function Manager – Gareth Earle
- The Power of Knowing Your Role – Shubhada Kulkarni and Rick Harris
- Leveraging Thought Leadership in Capture Strategy – David Gray
- Brand Planetology – A Stellar Visualisation – Si Ellis
- Refresh Your Win Strategy Using Machine Learning – Baskar Sundaram and Ashley Kayes
- Writing Bid Content to Win – Dr. Idara Umoh
- A Solution For Working With The Solution Guys – Krishnakumar Iyer
- How To Raise Win Rates Company-Wide (and keep them there) – Jeremy Brim
- Business Development Ecosystem – Mike Walsh
- Bridging the Gap Between Sales and Bid – Chris Whyatt
- Tips on Passing APMP’s new Capture Practitioner Certification – Jon Darby
- Debriefs: 6 Steps to Growing Your Business – Robin Power
- The Great Proposal Exhibition – Jon Williams
- 6 Keys to Managing Productive Remote Teams – Tammy Bjelland
- The Four Winning Capture Competencies – Eric Gregory
- A Crash Course in Orals Prep – Rebecca Lin
- Introductions that Stand Out From The Crowd – Stacey Lee
- How Do You Write to Win? – Anya Zhuravkina
- Proposal Managers Unsung Heroes – Karthik Koutharapu
- Hidden Keys to Proposal Success – Jeremy Glover
- Risk – The Neglected Evaluation Criteria – Neal Levene
- How to Save One Hour Every Week Proofreading – Daniel Heuman
- Quick Compliance Checks for Government Contracting – Lisa Green, MPA, CF APMP
- RFP Analytics: Understanding RFPs beyond wins and losses – Nadia Ayub and Margaret Klein
- Virtual Team Superpowers: Content, Context, Colleagues, and Leadership – Dr. Christopher Wells
- Developing Killer Win Themes – Bruce Morton
- Inclusion and Belonging in Proposal Teams – Ceri Mescall
- Proposals – Beyond the Administrative – JoAnna Howell
- WBVE Closing Session – Mike Walsh and Rick Harris
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Conference Welcome Session
- Mike Walsh
APMP Chair Mike Walsh gives APMP members and guests the ultimate kick-off meeting for thousands of bid, proposal, capture and business development professionals.
Winning Business Virtual Experience (WBVE) starts off with an introductory video from Mike Walsh. He discuses how APMP has hit the ten thousand member milestone and how APMP will adapt to the changes that happened this year.
WBVE is a thank you to all APMP members. It has over one hundred presenters and over thirty presentations on various topics related to bid and proposal management. It is a continuous programming over all time zones and the users will have access to all materials and videos for the next 30 days. You get to interact with the presenters. There are also fun sessions where you can take a break and relax.
APMP Bid and Proposal Con could be potentially happening in October 2020. The safety of people is the primary concern but the conference is something the company is still working on. BPC 2020 Nashville is now cancelled.
Take advantage of this wonderful opportunity and dive into the virtual experience. Learn as much as possible and take your career to the next level.
- Kevin Switaj
Kevin Switaj, PhD, CP.APMP of BZ Opportunity Management discusses how proposal reviews can be a massive struggle. This session is a walk through on the creative ways you can improve reviews and make them more productive.
Reviews are often seen as battle between the reviewers and the contributors. This is caused by the negative remarks provided by the reviewers. Some comments might come off offensive and certain comments might not even help the project and provide guidance.
How can you improve the proposal review process and make it a more collaborative and engaging process?
Change the Mindset
Change the view of the reviewing process from combative to a creative effort. Remind both the parties that they are on the same side. The goal is to put out the best possible product.
Reviewers should be made a part of the team. They should feel included and tied in with the rest of the team members. Invite them to the kickoff meeting. Including them into the process will provide them with the needed context on how the ideas are formed and by whom. Make sure they are not too involved and should remain unbiased.
Everyone’s comments should have the same weight. Send the document to people independently and gather their comments.
Make sure you are honest with the reviewers and tell them what you are looking for. Reviewers must keep comments positive and constructive. The aim is to provide guidance.
Remind everyone on the team that you are after the same goal. The comments are made to improve the final product. The contributors should not be emotionally attached to the proposal. They should maintain objective stance.
Take a break once in a while and look at the document with fresh eyes. Remind contributors to consider each comment. It is not necessary to follow every comment or suggestion. But evaluate each comment.
Develop a sense of oneness in the team. Being honest and respectful will help in creating more creative reviews and developing better bid proposals.
Consulting, That Is The Gig For Me
- Jim Bender
Solo-entrepreneur, Jim Bender of ZK Development Solutions, talks about his handy 3-step process to launch and grow a consulting business. Stepping out on your own can be a scary and stressful process. He shared some lessons he learned being an independent contractor business.
All of us dream of quitting our job and starting our own business and being own boss. Here are the strategic aspects of starting a company:
Nothing will be more successful for your company than knowing your niche. Think about what you do, what you can do, what you do best and how you deliver value to your customer. Talk to people who do similar things and also talk to potential customers.
Have a plan for developing your business and find ways to establish yourself in market place. Think of ways to get customers. Visibility is everything. Keep a day job when starting out to keep yourself afloat. Use this time to build your business and pay full attention to your company later on.
Executing the plan is the next step. Remember that no plan will go as planned but do not give up. Stick to the plan and make adjustments. Have a good feedback system. Do not underestimate the time it takes to build up a business, relationship and reputation. Do not give up and be patient.
At this stage you will have a concrete business. You will have to make major decisions here. You have to decide on delegation, about who you hire and on outsourcing some of the administrative activities in the company. As you scale up you have to figure out how you run things. Growing business means change. It includes bringing in new people. You need to further develop customer relations. The fastest way to client acquisition is to find partners.
Rich Graphics On An Economy Budget
- Richard Goring and Shari Lambert
Shari Lambert of RTI International and Richard Goring of BrightCarbon presented a webinar on creating graphic using simple and effective tools. Here are some of the tips and information they shared.
We are bombarded with information and cannot find the relevant information in so much data. This is where visuals come in. Humans are better at retaining visuals and pictures have a superior effect on human minds. We remember pictures better and for longer than texts. This is important when you are presenting information to clients.
Info-graphics are growing in the current era and it is one of the best ways to get the message across.
Never started with graphic before. So where do you start?
How To Plan Ahead For A Cohesive Visual Story
When you decide to create graphics, always start with the basics. The important question to ask is ‘why are you creating this proposal?’. Graphics are a way to show the client what they are looking for. Use proposal graphics as a navigation tool to show clients the information they seek.
Proposal graphics may be used to convey 6 key marketing messages:
- Corporate profile
- Market position
- Current situation
- Business objectives
- Target audience
- Brand personality
Identify a single most persuasion idea that you want to convey. Identify messages that can be converted to graphics and create a cohesive story to convey the message.
With limited production time or space for graphics use three basic types of graphics, namely, organisational chart, circular diagram and process flow. Every proposal graphic should be checked by an editor with fresh eyes before final delivery
Pantone is a supplier of inks for the printing industry. Many designers use Pantone as a reference when choosing colors.
Pantone also allows the user to pick, search, and convert to find the best match for colors online.
Use the Colblindor tool to check colour blindness. You can upload a JPG image and view it in eight different colorblind simulations.
Another helpful site is Duarte’s Diagrammer™.The Duarte Method™ is persuasive methodology designed to shape ideas into presentations that shift audience beliefs and behavior.™ This site is a visualization system that houses more than 4,000 customizable PowerPoint diagrams.
Best Practices For Graphics Databases
Be descriptive with your naming conventions for folders and files. This will allow your users to quickly find the item they’re searching. Adding tags and categories provides the user more ways to customize their search and the folder system layout to fit their working methods.
To ensure the integrity of your images and content, be sure you mark each file as “read only” so users do not accidentally save their work over the baseline material. You can find this in Attributes within the file properties.
Set the Standard
A graphics database is a great tool to help your team keep aconsistent brand across your company’s proposal responses. Ways you can utilize the database to set the standard is by incorporating images that align with the company brand/focus; providing your users a color palette; creating templates for spines, cover pages, and letterhead; and including a best practices workbook to guide them through proper formatting of images and best font choices, as examples.
Creating Clear Graphics Using Simple Design Tools
Goal of using graphics should be clarity. It should clearly and neatly convey the idea to the viewer in a simple manner. A good philosophy for slide design is “one idea per slide,” but in a word document you should not place ideas together as people will assume they are related.
People are built to make order of their world. We use clues like color, contrast, repetition, alignment, and proximity to discern order. Used well, a designer can use these concepts to develop clear graphics. Used poorly, we will lead the audience astray.
Using icons is one method people use to spruce up a list. But do not overuse it. Use different colours or patterns to show different points or steps in a process.
Break down a list to sub-groups to give people more digestible bites of information rather than one less defined group.
For a slide presentation, placing a good photo along with the content is a good call. This is an effective way to get your audience to digest the slide quickly, then focus their attention on the speaker.
Picture can be adjusted in PowerPoint to be in a similar tone, so they look like they belong together. You can adjust color, tone,saturation, brightness, contrast, etc.
Do not make things too colourful. Stick to a palette and do not distract your audience. Colour coding sections is another way to make the document or PowerPoint more cohesive.
- Various sites you can use for:Data visualization and punchlines: Information is Beautiful
- Combining images and data visualization: Unsplash
- Icons: Illustrio
- Design inspiration :Creative Bloq
- Visual storytelling: BrightCarbon
- Use morph transition to make slides more lively.
- Zoom function to draw attention to points
- Lens function to draw attention to areas in complex image
What's Eating Your Lunch in Your Capture Neighborhood
- Jay Herther
In this session,Jay Herther of BAE Systems, use lessons from Mr. Rogers on Kindness, Diversity of thought, and other techniques to really improve Capture Win Strategy and Pwin!
Here are some of the points he covered:
To Bid Or Not To Bid Or Smart Opportunity Selection
Pick the jobs to win ,win the jobs you pick. Do not pick every job. Be selective. Choose less and pay attention to all.
Do not pick a RFP that you discovered late. Bidding losses waste resources and demoralizes the team. Smart selection is everything. You want qualified and winnable opportunities
You want to make sure that your solution matches your competitive position, customer relationship and is also a financial match. Finally a strategic value to keep in mind to check if you can take this opportunity.
Get the right people. Proposal manager is important. Do not select people based on availability.Pick people that have hustle, passion, and perseverance. Get started early.
Its a team effort and bring together a functional and creative team to start on the process ahead. Be diverse, objective and independent and build a real strong team.
Building Customer Relations
It is important to understand the customer. You want the proposal to be a mirror that shows the customer how their problems will be solved. Do not make the proposal about yourself. Make it customer centric.
Kindness is extremely important. It has a tremendous effect on people. Be courteous, dignified and respectful. Be kind to your proposal team, your employees, customers and everyone around you.
Scribble Talk Podcast
The Scribble Talk is world's #1 podcast for all things bids and proposals. You can always count on lively discussions and guest interviews with APMP veterans and brightest bids and proposals folks.
Do You Really Need “Win Themes”?
- Kieran Grant
Kieran Grant of KPMG talks about why you should break the Rule of Three and make it easy for the client to choose you.
Win themes are part of proposal but have two main problems with them. Usually they are pretty generic and tend to say what competitors’ says. They are actually quite difficult to use.
Speaking directly to client's needs makes you stick to their minds. Be bold. Be emotional. Make it easy for them to choose you.
Build (or Refresh) Your Proposal Infrastructure in a Snap
- Mary Anne Heckbert
Mary Anne Heckbert, Torys LLP, teaches simple steps to build out the tools, templates and content you need to make your next proposal process faster, easier and better.
Here are some key points:
Proposal infrastructure is anything that makes the job of proposal manger easier and efficient. Building a proposal infrastructure is an organic process and ultimately it saves time.
Steps to build a proposal infrastructure:
Document Your Process
Write down all the steps that are applicable to any proposal your work on. Steps starting from intake to debrief. Then categorize these steps into phases like intake, follow up etc. Also create a resource centre in a shared drive if you work in a team that contain templates and other resources. Create folders for each step or process.
Save Your Tools And Templates
Save all templates that you gather along the way in your folder system. Make it as generic as possible when saving. Save the final version and then refine and edit so that all resources are available.
Create Your Proposal Template
Save a template that you can use for future opportunities. By saving generic templates will save time in the future. Spend extra time of this chapter as it is very helpful in future.
Build Your Content Library
Save anything you want to use multiple times in different opportunities. Save standard content, information on products, biographies, case studies etc anything that helps you in the starting point. This is the biggest part of building an infrastructure.
Eventually you will have everything you need. It might take an year or so. As you are working through proposal and you identify a need for a content, take the time to develop that content and then put it into the proposal.
Do not save content from proposal directly. Make it generic. Tell the team that you are saving proposal content. Establish a naming convention for biographies, industries etc. Eg:company info – history, company information – management. This helps you sort and find the content you need.
Do not spend too much time refining content. Establish one person to have complete oversight over maintaining the content library.
Save Your Graphics
Graphics are meant to help readers to find information. Do not save opportunity specific graphics unless it can be edited for later proposals. Save graphics into a folder whenever you use. Save it in the format of file that you use most frequently.
Consider a manning conventions for graphics as well
Organize once you collect a lot. Keep one person incharge across content, template etc. This is fundamental in maintaining the infrastructure for everybody.
#NewProposalWorld #NewApproaches - Marina Goren
- Marina Goren
In this presentation Marina Goren, Smart BD Consulting, explores new proposal and capture approaches to adapt to the procurement changes and our new COVID – created norm. It is designed to inspire innovative approaches, breaking the old rules and thinking out of the box.
We are in a new world. We need to adapt and change to keep up and understand new customers and their needs. Change is all around us and we have choice, to adapt or not, but adapting will lead to success.
Procurement changes were always happening . Here are some changes happening now:
- COVID – induced lack of customer intimacy
- Shortened proposal time frames
- Drastically reduced page budgets
- Virtual Orals
- Technical Demos
- On-the-spot (or 24-hour turn) scenarios
- Millennial workforce
How do we adapt to these changes:
Getting Customer Knowledge
There are more bidders and competition. Face-to-face meetings are no longer an option. But be creative and invite customers to a virtual lunch,happy hour, or any type of virtual meeting.People still enjoy human connection and chatting. Conduct in-depth online research. Hire Subject Matter Expert Consultants
Themes Vs Strengths
Themes are generic and should be applied across the entire proposal. Discriminators are more tangible. They have to be unique. It has be something that the customer wants to buy.
Thankfully proposal is never evaluated based on theme and discriminators.
Proposals are evaluated based on strengths. So value proposition as strengthen. It can be an be a paragraph, a call out box, a page write up, a graphic, a section of your proposal. It needs to be a fully developed solution and it needs to clearly demonstrate how it exceeds the RFP requirements.
Solutions on a Slide
This is a more streamlined approach and does not involve additional learning. It is very useful for designing solution, identifying strengths, and also encourages group thinking. It does not require a blue team review before writing. Writers can use this as guideline when they start writing. It reduces duplication of effort and virtually eliminates re-work.
Why do Agile/Rolling/In Process/Peer Reviews often work better?
- You still get a second set of eyes, but for a peer, a person of customer/project knowledge
- Great tool for proposal knowledge cross-pollination and elimination of redundancies
- Not time consuming
- Can do at meaningful stopping points – not arbitrarily scheduled intervals
- Can conduct these as many or as few times as needed
Break All “Old” Proposal Rules
Learn to tailor your approach to the situation and to the Proposal. Keep action captions only if they are meaningful. Be understanding and it’s totally okay to use future tense. Best Capture Managers know the value of proposal teams and keep them together.
Pre-mortems – the Dark Side of the Win Strategy
- Eve Upton
Where win strategies focus on how to win, pre-mortems focus on how not to lose by bringing a little reality into the room. They are a practical way to shape your strategy and improve your win probability by challenging you to identify and respond to likely causes for losing before you begin, giving you time to take preventative action and avoid the dreaded “if only…”
Eve Upton, BidCraft, goes in depth about Pre-mortems in this webinar.Why do people not pay attention to lessons learned?
The team usually disappears into the next bid and has no mind space. You cannot identify what went wrong where and lessons learned from previous bid are not applicable to the current bid.What can we do right now?
During win strategy session we never discuss why bids can fail. We are too focused on winning and analyzing the competition and customer. We study our organisation and solution and are very confident that we will win. Visualizing our aims make us feel like we have won. Though positive imagery inspires you it can also make you lazyRisk and risk management
Best organisations in the world for managing risks are HROs or high reliability organisations. A successful HRO has the following characteristics:
- Preoccupation with failure: They do not ignore even the smallest failures and actively work towards fixing errors.
- Reluctance to simplify interpretations: Complex problems require complex solutions. They do not simply.
- Sensitivity to operations: Being aware of situations are extremely important. They constantly look into all matters.
- Commitment to resilience: They are resilient and recover quickly from errors committed.
- Deference to expertise: Though their is fixed hierarchy, they prefer expertise over authority in times of need.
The constant and continuous mindset for improvement that HROs have must be applied to the bid proposal team.
After a win strategy, embrace the dark side. Like HRO, get preoccupied with failure. Counter optimism. Use the team and expertise. Look at specifics and conduct a Pre-mortem.What is a Pre–mortem? How to conduct one?
Think of opportunities or ways in which you may fail. Guide the team through the process. First, gather the team and give them a rejection letter. Then ask them what went wrong.
Perspective hindsight is imaging the event has already occurred and it helps in identifying the mistakes correctly by thirty percent. By making the failure concrete people become more creative and think of better solutions.
Encourage divergent thinking. Give them permission to raise issues they would not have raise before. Give them psychology safety. Get them to individually write the reasons to maintain group harmony.
Each person will provide different or overlapping ideas. Use categories to group similar ideas
Pick the top ten items that have real impact and are more likely to happen as well. Get rid of anything that you cannot control. Start actions for the top ten. Bid manager can check on the list and the unlikely list to keep track of events.
Develop solutions. Write down actions and execute it. These are really important actions. Make it integral to the part of the bid.Tips
- Have a dedicated scribe. Since much will be happening and you do not want to miss any details.
- Look at external pressures like organisational changes or directions.
- Use the categories across bids and make a real change.
- Facilitation skill is important.
- Remember to turn risks into actions.
- Embrace the pessimist side for once.
- Involve the front line people in risk management.
Capture/BD Strategy and Competitive Intelligence
- Len Miller And Hinz Consulting
Len Miller, Hinz Consulting, talk about Shaping Requirements during the Capture Phase using the MARS Methodology.MARS Methodology
Mutually – all personals must work together and create a common set of objective. First foster a collaborative environment to develop, change, evolve or shape requirements
Assured – all parties actually working to develop requirements that benefit all, both client agency and you.
Requirements – items or specifications for goods and services a client needs to perform their mission and make their objectives
Shaping – applying the set of processes, techniques, tools and people in developing, changing, evolving or fine-tuning the requirementsMutually
During this part of MARS, you must find the common intersections between whatever BD life cycle model you are using with that of our Customers’ acquisition life cycle framework. Learn everything you can about your customer, so you know their wants/needs, issues, and hot buttons.
Also learn everything you can about your competitors so can play both Offense and Defense and counter their offerings. It is absolutely critical that you start early. If you wait until the draft or final RFP is released, then you are way behind and will have little to no chance in being able to get any shaping accomplished.Assured
Shape requirements that benefits both clients and you. Think about the plan. Come together as team and move towards the objective. Keep end goal in site and plan. Assure customers and work collaboratively.Requirements
Consider each requirements that will benefit both you, industry and client ultimately. Shape a strategy to help you win. Think about things in a consistent environment. Think about customers and what they consider important that will help you reach a favorable position. You will form a winning strategy that forms a winning solution. Look at all strategies and form an overall win strategy.Shaping
Shaping happens on opportunities you decide to pursue, so choose wisely from your pool of identified opportunities. First and Foremost, you need to be prepared to shape at every Client/Customer Contact. Look at points in the BD cycle where you can gather information and customer or competitor intelligence and have collaborative customer meetings. Look at where key customer meetings can occur for collaboration and where/when you can develop/submit white papers.
It is critical to understand what the various roles and responsibilities are for each of your personnel as you go through the capture/shaping phases on an opportunity.
Shaping of a business opportunity never really stops and should occur at each contact with the customer in some manner. Create a plan of how, what, who, when, and where to shape. Pull together toward the objective, know and understand the team members’ roles and responsibilities and continuously communicate.
Cutting through the Red Tape: Winning Federal Government Proposals
- Ali Tweel
Ali Tweel in this session will provide tips and tricks for succeeding in federal government bids, covering activities pre-, during and post-proposal submission.Getting Started
- You need to get registeredin System for Award Management at SAM.gov
- Providedetails about business.
- Need minimum for twoweek to do this.
- Many advantages for small businessas many solicitations are set aside
- Can partner to large business with sub contracting goals
- Mento protege program
- Small business administrationoffice is great way to get technical guidance and resources
- BetaSam a good siteto find relevant opportunities
- Different types of notices available
- Use each notice to your advantage
- Industries might post their plans for upcomingyear
- Federal Acquisition Regulations(FAR) provide uniform procedures for procurement and acquisition
- Understandthese regulations at acquisition.gov
- Review the evaluationcriteria to understand the procurement criteria being used,
- Be mindful of evaluationcriteria
- Pay attention to ranking of factors
- Understandthe customer
- Proposal evaluation is subjective
Determine the Strategic Pricing of your Competitors
- Richard Caldwell
Richard Caldwell, Northrop Grumman, present how to determine the pricing strategy of your competitors using well tested frameworks. Here are some key points:
Pricing Strategies are nearly always shaped by the customer but not all companies have a strategy. Large companies have difficulties in executing grand strategies. But these grand strategies can be inferred. Use frameworks to collect a body of evidence and draw your conclusions from there. Pricing strategies can be formed from properly evaluating the competition.
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Keeping a Virtual Audience Engaged -- Practical and Immediate Real-World Tips
- Daniel Walker
Daniel Walker, PwC, discusses way to engage audiences in a virtual presentation. With everything moving online here are some ways to keep people engaged :Keep Cameras on
By keeping cameras on we can engage with audience easily. 7% is what we say 93% is how we say it. How do you make customers do it? Invite them to do so. The internal team could all follow the same guideline so customers could follow it.Oral invite
Create an oral invite in Google or PowerPoint. It familiarize clients with you and help them see the technology and what to expect when they join a meeting.Interactive
Keep the sessions interactive and consider doing some activity as part of your session. Start off with something fun. Take a break of 15 minutes between interactions and never take more than 30 minutes for breaks.Fun Activities
What are fun? Describe something fun on the background. Ask people to describe things. It will be fun ice breaker. Ask question on sticky notes and move around. Find what is appropriate for your clients and find what engages them.Include them
Miro an online whiteboard. This can make presentations more lively and interactive.
Give clients a space to do things together. Start a poll or send things in advance.. Give them activities or jobs to do. Keep it interactive and make them work in along with you. Make them ask questions.
Getting to YES With Your RFP Questions
- David Stearman
David Stearman from Proposal Strategy and Development Consulting LLC, presents a concise, effective methodology for developing RFP questions that will give you a greater chance of getting the answers you want and need to make your proposals complete, compliant, and compelling‚ and, ultimately, successful.Why ask questions?
It is to help the customer. It keeps the proposal customer focused and helps to resolve any problem in RFP that might forestall potential process. Questions designed keeping customer in mind. It is to get information you need that will help with technical solution, management approach, past performance and anything that will help with pricing. This is last chance to shape the requirement and also gain a competitive advantageWhat you want to have happened?
Begin by identifying your preferred answer. Think about how it will develop technical solution. Keep an answer you want in mind when framing a question. You want the question to guide the customer to the direction you want to go.How to frame questions?
Limit the customers’ option in responding. Keep questions relatively simple. You do not want essay answers and compound questions. Separate questions to get all answered.Customer Focus
Your answer should be in their interest. Customer focus should be a part of everything. If customer is interested they will give you the answer you want.Key Takeaways
- Understand why you are asking questions
- Have a clear preferred answer in mind
- Phrase question based on answer
- Frame questions with their interest in mind to give you answer you want
The Benefits of Industry Certification
- Charlie Divine and Rick Harris
APMP CEO Rick Harris and Charlie Divine, CPP APMP Fellow, walk you through the benefits of APMP industry certification. You can learn how APMP certification can help you earn more money and achieve your professional goals during this information-packed session.
Charlie Divine Certification Scholarship
This scholarship designed to help people get started on their certification journey. One person is selected from each chapter, every year for this scholarship. You can apply for the scholarship by answering two important questions. Your answers will determine your selection.
Why should you be certified?
Benefits for Individual:
- Enhances credibility
- Extends your knowledge and skills
- Improves career opportunities
- Professional development
- Demonstrates you have right skill
- Global recognition
- A third party assesses and approves of your skill
- Increases earning
Benefits for Organizations:
- Promotes customer understanding
- Establishes credentials for your workforce
- Shows your organization represents industries best standards
- Providing measurable qualifications
- Win more business
Levels of Certification
ATOs or Approved Training Organisation are APMP reviewed and approved. Members can use these organizations to start their certification journeys. Talk to your boss or head before getting certified to set up the stage.
New Certification : Capture Practitioner
Capture Practitioner in the new certification. The original practitioner was an assessment based on providing evidence. There was a word limit but it was laborious. You need to provide document evidence. This form of test was good for self assessment and helped you improve.
Now certification is scenario based. You need to apply what you know and answer a series of questions.
APMP certification is an investment for your professional future.
Scribble Ambassador Programme
We are looking for passionate, outgoing proposal professionals who care about community, help to inspire other people and make a difference. From being involved in mentoring scholarship attendees to shaping the scholarship programme Scribble Challenge Ambassadors are a part of a global network.
If you love our vision and want to be part of our community who can help support our mission to democratise bidding knowledge and Giving Back, here is my exclusive invite
Tips to Communicate Real Value Propositions
- Marsha Lindquist and Mark Wigginton
Marsha Lindquist, Granite Leadership Strategies, and Mark Wigginton, Shipley Associates discuss on way to communicate real value propositions effectively.
When you demonstrate how you can save them money, add true value they care about, and why your proof of the value you bring is important to them, only then can you set yourself apart from your competition.Customer focus is key. How to get information on what is important and how to convey it to the customers and ultimately how you portray your VP to customer are all important.
Uncovering The Evidence You Need
Customers buy benefits. Work with the customer to co-create the solution. Ask Quality Questions, Multi-Level Questions
Verify and do not just guess.
Find Sweet Spot
Think on how differentiate our benefits to our customers.Our solution should stand out. There are three different elements to understanding our competition. The three Cs, namely, customer needs, competitor’s capabilities and our capabilities. Find ways to uncover the sweet spot.
Use the Evidence to Differentiate Your Solution
When possible, vet the solution in advance. Prioritize what matters most. Quantify features, benefits, and significance of your approach and find ways to save time and money. Assure consistency between the solution and the business volume. Ask clients and find out whats their issues and problems.
Putting a “Value” on Added Value
You should highlight “value” of your added value. Show customer your solution meets their value definition. Values should be put in executive summary.
Convey it in a visual form. You want the picture that they can remember the answer. Use tables and graphics. Put captions that tells them what they are going to get if they choose you. Use bullet points in each page as it saves time.
A Consultative Approach to Proposal Support
- Anatalia Macik
This session by Anatalia Macik is to help proposal professionals develop a service-oriented mindset to help build their careers within the industry.Building Blocks for Success
- Knowing the rules and when to break them
- Preparing through diligence and attention to detail
- Communicating with direct and decisive messages
You will have a stronger understanding of stakeholders. Create and follow sustainable and functional processes. It will establish transparent communication that is build trust and respect.
Consultative approach is providing expert advice and being an invaluable member to your team and company.Rules Are Set And Flexible
You do not need to change our entire process to be agile. You need to be flexible with existing processes. You can advocate for rule changes that can benefit the entire team. Know when to break rules. This will increase teams appreciation to you.Diligent And Detailed
Read everything you can to better understand the opportunity. Diligence is critical to understand contracts, the rules etc. It extends outwards and you need to understand the stakeholders, staff, supervisors. Understanding everyone’s concern is beneficial. Pay attention to details.Decisive And Direct
Understand that direct communication can still be polite,kind and humble. Become a trusted and reliable voice. Be direct. Speaking up and clarifying will take you forward. This will improve business and your standing. Keep learning and growing.
Howard Nutt Tribute
Howard Wesley Nutt passed away to meet the Lord
Saturday, July 11, 2020
Become a Transformative Leader
- Margaret McGuire
A transformative leader guides, inspires and motivates others to innovate and create change. Margaret McGuire, will share distinct actions that you can take to guide you in your transformative leadership journey.
Manager is incharge for controlling. The power is from authority. A leader guides and they have power because they influence. You are only a leader when others determine you are one. Anyone can be a transformative leader.Evolve
Find your purpose. Your purpose is your underlying passion. Who are you when you are best self? It is not tied to your profession or goal. It lies in service to others. What are you can use your purpose to help you guide your decisions and goals.
You have to trust your team and make mistakes. When things go right, give credit. When thing go wrong, you have to take responsibility. Create a safety net for your team.
Your inherent qualities are not set in stone. You can change and grow. A leader should have a growth mindset.Communicate
A leader uses language that is open, clear, consistent and inclusive. Listen actively. Try to listen and learn. Cultivate curiosity and ask questions. Listen more than talk.
Eliminate negative words like ‘no’, ‘not’, ‘never’ and replaces such words with positive words. A small tweak in words will have great impact. Use inclusive language like ‘we’ instead of ‘I’. A leader understands and prevents micro aggression. Micro aggressions are little phrases that are hurtful.
Be honest with your team. Tell stories. Stories trigger emotions and are more memorable. They need not be long.Embrace This Leadership Style
Lead in service. Help others to grow, learn, advance and shine. Lead by example. Rather than saying this is the idea, engage team and collaborate.
Empathy is recognition and understanding people. Show people you care. Learn about people and learn about their experience.
Inspire, motivate and celebrate your team. Set high goals and provide everything to make them successful. Show your team you appreciate them.
Empathy in the Workplace, Everyday
- Rick Harris and Belinda Parmar
Empathy expert Belinda Parmar joins Rick Harris, APMP CEO in the fast-paced Power Half-Hour interview and shares tips, trends, and techniques for being a more empathetic person in the workplace and at home. They discuss the importance on empathy in a workplace especially during these times.
How to Create Compelling Presentations
- Richard Goring and Krystn Macomber
From this session by Richard Goring, BrightCarbon, and Krystn Macomber, CP APMP Fellow, LEED APBurns & McDonnell you can learn how to plan, write, prepare for and design a winning pitch presentation, with actionable theory and practical PowerPoint techniques and online delivery methods.Introduction
Only a small percent of presentations are given well. With the current scenario and most meetings being held virtually, it is best to be fully prepared for a pitch presentation. Here are the some basic points to keep in mind when creating a presentation.Prepare
- Know the audience their size, roles, technical knowledge and hot buttons. Decide on the team of presenters and assign roles.
- It is important to have a script. Decide on the time, key point and speakers.
- If it is a virtual presentation you need to consider the lighting, camera, seating and background. Background is visual cue and using your brand will show consistency.
- Make slides dynamic to gain attention. Be flexible and discuss tech issues before hand.
- Dress code matters. Consider the background you use and the dress you wear.
- Have a question and answer plan so that everything is orderly. Practice is important. Build a schedule and stick to rehearsals.
- Conduct a virtual interview prep.
What are you trying to convey? Establishing relevance is important. How does you solution address their challenges?
Do not simply list the features.
Start with the problem. Introduce the solution and how it works to solve the issues. Address the benefits that the solution unlocks and always end on powerful note.Explain why should they do business with you.
Establish a clear set value proposition. Remember that the first and last information conveyed stays longer. Be compelling, clear and persuasive.
Capture attention of the audience. Consider the content you are presenting and keep your audience in mind. Ask questions and keep the meeting relevant, enjoyable and motivating.Design
Use the grids and alignment tool to make the content more aesthetically pleasing. Use the three grid guideline to make the slides look more cohesive.
Use the white space in slides to focus on certain elements. Create a flow between the information and objects used in the presentation.PowerPoint
There are many tools available to make the presentation more appealing. Remember to the short cut keys to help in creating the slides.
Morph is a stunning way to seamlessly transition between slides, but also to create motion, emphasis and tell stories. Highlight important points and information.
Scribble Talk Exclusive with Rick Harris
How to Implement Effective Storyboarding
- Ashley Kayes
Ashley Kayes, AOC Key Solutions, Inc. tackles how to implement effective storyboarding. The top three takeaways include:
- Storyboarding works best when it supports the big picture
- Storyboarding is most effective when conducted collaboratively, but must also cater to different personality types
- Conducting formal storyboard reviews can help save time and effort by gaining internal stakeholder buy-in before any time is wasted on drafting content
- Necessity for visual appeal in proposals
- Need to present a cohesive “story” in our proposal responses
- Became part of our industry standard best practices
- Helps in streamliningand makes it cohesive and saves time in the end
- Increases efficiency
- Analyze the customer
- Consider the competition
- Consider your position
- Define the section strategy
- Identify section themes
- Add key visuals
- Section Information
- Outline and Compliance Checklist
- Customer Issues/Hot Buttons
- Team Strengths & Weaknesses
- Competitor Strengths & Weaknesses
- Issues, Features, & Benefits
- Theme Statements
- Risks & Mitigation
- Creating Key Graphics
Vary your solution development, brainstorming, and/or storyboarding sessions to cater to different personality types. Present different brainstorming strategies.
Before the storyboarding sessions, authors should review, RFP documents, Proposal outline and assignments and Storyboard templates.
Set aside multiple days for storyboarding. Make time for a formal storyboard review.
Pricing, Pricing, Pricing and Why It Matters
- Randy Richter
Randy Richter shares with us the best way to win and make money.
Cost Based Pricing
Almost all companies use a bottom-up process to estimate costs, then develop a price based on their profit expectations.They start by calculating fixed costs, that is, costs that are expected to be the same month over month or year over year. They then add variable costs to the mix. Variable costs change based on the amount of stuff they must produce, regardless of whether it’s products or services. The total of these fixed and variables costs represent the resources needed to produce the desired product or service. Next, they determine what their profit expectations are based on their corporate goals.
Finally, they establish the price based on these profit expectations, generally expressed in terms like “return on sales” or “operating margin”.
This approach has several clear advantages:
- It’s generally easy to do based on minimal data.
- It’s very flexible; process can be used with virtually any product or service.
- Pricing can be easily changed if underlying costs change.
- It’s very defensible, when it’s developed and later as its implemented.
But it also has significant disadvantages:
- It ignores market forces.
- The fixed relationship between cost and price means cost changes mustresult in price change.
- It ignores what competitors offer
- It ignores what customer’s want
Value Based Pricing:
- Understand your customers
- Understand your competitors
- Identify your differentiated solution
- Quantify differentiation value
- Estimate the value pool to share
- Price to capture value – or walk away
Value Based Pricing links customer needs and your business goals. It is based on competitive intelligence, gathered and analyzed over time.
Differentiation is not only key to winning the deal. It also is key to meeting your business goals, including profit. Once your differentiating solution is defined, the next step is to analyze the solution’s value to your customer in terms of measurable dollars and cents.
The value-based approach is not easy to use. It requires extensive data, filtered through clearly defined assumptions in a consistent, repeatable process. It requires skill and training.
Our brand is focused on building confidence, seeking purpose and making impact.
We believe in our relationships – our friends and partners. We thrive to do our best.
These beliefs inform everything we do at Baachu. It’s our culture and our content.
The Recipe for Successful Proposal Management
- Amanda Rhodes
Amanda Rhodes tells us how to use basic mise en place steps to prepare, arrange and set up for the day by which proposal management and other professionals can deliver five star service with ease, even during the most challenging circumstances.The Origins of Mise en Place
Georges-Auguste Escoffier was a pioneer in French cuisine during late the 18th and early 19th centuries. Escoffier was thought to have codified the concept of mise en place. He believed that in order to master cuisine, the foundations of order and organisation must be established. Beyond physical organisation, he also focused on mental preparation and dedicated time to relax the mind before service.Organize Your Space
Organize your work space even if you are working from home. Make sure things are functional and easy to use. Arrange folders and files. Ensure you are comfortable at your desk.Manage Workload
Look at work flow and procedures. Look at procedures and routinize it. By routinizing procedures, errors will be less likely to occur and time gains will naturally surface. Identify opportunities for time savings.
5 Steps of Mise En PlaceCarefully read and assess the recipe
The solicitation from the client can be thought of as a recipe. Required sections represent the ingredients that are needed to complete the dish. Depending upon the complexity of the solicitation and the actual requestor, the offeror must adjust the process based upon the event.Determine and source ingredients
The time required to prepare each component must be factored into the total duration needed. Some content are available from your saved drive but other content and sections must be created. This takes time.Prepare items to required standards
Pay attention to how to how the solicitation requires the ingredients to be prepared. Evaluation criteria should drive writing. Look for where the most weight is assigned.Arrange in order of use
Follow the request. There are typical sections that often make up the structure of a proposal, align your proposal to the solicitation to ensure compliance.Clean after completion of all steps
Cleaning up best applies for proposal management much like it does in professional kitchens. The closeout upon submission of the proposal is a critical element and producer of lessons learned, standard content and more.
How to Elevate Your Career
- Karina Ames
Karina Ames gives tips on how you can elevate your career.
- Be passionate about what you do. This will sustain you during the difficult times. It will help you bring the best to work. Find what motivates you.
- Build your domain knowledge. This means knowing the industry you are working in. Try and understand more than your organisation. Know the market, clients and competitors.
- Remember that you deserve a seat at the table. Even new comers deserve to be part of large meeting. Your presence can contribute more to a meeting.
- Speak up to get results. Have the courage to ask questions and to speak out loud.
- Plan your meetings. Have a plan on what information you need and what you want to get out of a meeting.
- Moving beyond process is good at times. You need to look beyond the process to become an expert. Being flexible is also important.
- Develop your influencing skills. Treat people well and be open.
- Start delegating and figure out what you do and who you should work with.
- Build your network and this will help you grow as a person and a professional in this industry.
- Never stop learning. There is always a new way to do thing. Remember to look after yourself and your mental health.
Managing a Content Library
- Samantha Enslen
Samantha Enslen, Dragonfly Editorial, talks about managing your content library.
A content library is a central place to keep proposal content. It is a tool used to facilitate content sharing and reuse. It saves time when creating proposals and makes the entire process easier. Content library is created with time and effort.Contents saved can be:
- Answers to standard questions
- Descriptions of your services, products, and approach
- Company information
- Certifications and awards
- Past performance, case studies, testimonials and references
- Cover letters
- Executive summaries
- Information not relevant to proposals
- Variations of the same answer
- Old content that are good but is no longer current
- Customized solutions
Do no include content that are redundant, outdated or trivial. Save content that are beneficial, clear, persuasive and evident.How to start?
As mentioned above content library takes time. You need to save content in such a way that it can be reused. You should organize and sort it in a way it is easy to find. Do not strive for perfection. Creating and managing a content library takes time.
Choose two proposals and pick the reusable content. Break it into chunks and remove the client information.
If you are a large company start with figuring out what is your commonly proposed product line and the most commonly proposed area within that.
Choose recent and top notch proposals. Remove any customization, enhance the content and import it into your CMS.
Review is also important. Company stats, employee number and organisation charts require quarterly reviews and updates. Resumes, product features etc require an annual review.Rarely review testimonials and case studies.Cleaning up a messy library
- Start by tackling the most essential content
- Remove duplicates
- Reconcile similar content
- Delete ancient content
- Identify content owners and set a clean-up schedule
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There Is No I in “Proposal Management”
- Daciana Calistru
Daciana Calistru describes the Kaizen philosophy and how we can adjust it and use it in Proposal Management and in our personal life.
Organisational culture is how you do things. Your values and beliefs determines the culture of the organisation.
Kaizen is a philosophy that helps to ensure maximum quality, the elimination of waste and the improvements in efficiency, both in terms of equipment and work procedures. It is about maximizing productivity. Loosely translated it means changing for good.Principles:
- Know your customer means creating customer value.
- Let it flow. Target for zero waste. Everyone should aim to create value and eliminate waste.
- Go to Gemba. Follow the action. Stay in touch in people and be aware of things that happen.
- Empower peopleand organise your teams. Set the common goal and strategy.
- Be transparent and share the actual ideas and concepts. Performance ad improvementshould be tangible and visible.
- Artefacts- what we see
- Bahavior- what we follow
- Convictions- what drives us
- Kaizen leader will provide a secure and safe environment that encourage and support the team to provide the best solution to the client. They will encourage the people to learn.
- They will be able to align objectives and strategy.
- They will respect others and the environment.
- They will help people identify issues and solve problems.
Storytelling: The Pixar Way
- Sarah Hinchliffe
Sarah Hinchliffe deconstructs aspects of Pixar's unbeatable storytelling formula and tells us how it can applied to proposal writing. She breaks down Pixar’s storytelling and brainstorming sessions and implements it for a more effective storyboarding.
Sprint Through Your Value Propositions
- Sunil Agrawal
Sunil Agrawal provides tips and ways to create a value proposition within one hour. The strategy and tips mentioned here are based on Dr. Alexander Osterwalder who is the author of “Value Proposition Canvas”.
Value Proposition is described as the benefits customers can expect from your products or services. It is the value a company promises to deliver to customers should they choose to buy their product. What is in it for the customer?
You must observe the customer, create a value and make a fit. You can do this by using a Value proposition canvas. Value proposition canvas has two parts namely, Customer Profile and Value Map.Customer Profile
- Describes a specific customersegment in your business in a morestructured and detailed way.
- It breaks the customer down into itsjobs, pains, and gains
Customer jobs contains functional jobs, social jobs and personal or emotional job. You need to identify the social and emotional jobs. In order to complete job, the customer faces some obstacles or pains. These are problems or undesirable outcome. Customer also wants to gain something from the job. It could be required gains, desired gains, expected gains and unexpected gains.Value Map
- Describes the features of a specific value proposition of yourbusiness in a more structured and detailed way.
- It breaks your value proposition down into products and services, pain relievers, and gain creators.
Products and services are something your company has to offer. Not every product is relevant to the customer. They can be physical, intangible, digital or financial. Since you have learned about customer pains you need to find ways to relieve the pain, mitigate risks and overcome obstacles they face. Now you need to outline how your products and services can provide the gain the customer seeks.Getting Started
Divide in a max of 4 groups, with atleast 2 participants each
- Use lot of sticky notes and markers
- Stage 1: 20 mins to create the Customer Profile
- Stage 2: 20 mins to create the Value Map
- Stage 3: 20 mins to check the Fit and create the Value Proposition
Use this set team and time to identify the various facets of the Value Proposition Canvas. Stick to the time so that people do not over think. Allow the members to discuss and decide on top jobs, gains and pains. Now outline how your product or service will help the customer and rank them accordingly. In the final stage, you will all work together and check the fit. You can decide on the most important job, gain, pain and how you will solve all this. This way you can create a value proposition in an hour.
Test the value proposition directly with the customer informally or discuss it with sales team or people who know the customer.
This is one the easiest and fastest way to create a value proposition.
The Role of the Proposal Manager in the Age of AI
- Cezar Badalou
Cezar Badalou, Shipley Services, in “The Proposal Manager Role in the Age of Artificial Intelligence” looks into how our profession is exposed to AI automation and into what AI enabled tools we have within our reach to allow us to make our job easier and achieve better results.AI in the World Around Us
AI has been around since the mid of 20th century. AI skills are growing rapidly and leading to innovations across all industries. There is chance for job reduction and creation.Automation of tasks may eliminate occupations but it creates new industries and increases productivity.AI at the Proposal Manger’s Fingertips
The role of a Proposal Manager is important and requires a number of skills and expertise. AI can break the down RFP based on keywords like ‘will’. ‘shall’, ‘must’ but hidden needs cannot be identified. There are AI algorithms in financial sector that help people make decisions. It helps in Bid/No Bid decisions. This is meant to support the decision maker.
When preparing and conducting kick-off, AI can create time lines and automatically create templates. It can identify requirements by keywords.
While developing the proposal, fast AI search engines to find content. It also reviews the state of reviews. It can help in scheduling and reminding.It can check the quality of writing and provides great recommendations.
Page and document design can be automated. It can check the compliance against submission instructions but cannot assess is response is correct and abides by RFP. It can help in intelligent tagging of proposal deliverables content.AI in the Future
Proof reading tools will go beyond simple grammar and readability test. It will be able to check for hidden requirements and there will be automated styling standardization. In twenty years, there will be corporate knowledge repositories. AI will be able to check for implied requirements and suggest tips for styling and highlighting.
The current mid level AI is there to enhance the power of proposal managers.
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Moving from Bid/Proposal Manager to Function Manager
- Gareth Earle
Gareth Earle, TP Group plc, gives some insights and guidance from his experience about what moving from proposal manager to function manager might entail.
You need to use your leadership skills when this shift happens. Management is the process of dealing with things and people. Leaders inspire while managers hold people accountable.Function manager needs following skills:
- Vision and strategy
- Process ownership
- Learning from experience
- Resource management
- Thought leadership
- Wider stakeholder engagement
- C-suit engagement
Make your plan for the future and business. Plan should include resourcing, tools, training, qualifications, memberships and budget.
Process ownership should be fully defined.Plan is fit for process but should be flexible and adaptable. Also consider cross business implementation.
Learn from experience through feedback and analysis. Study the process and activity. Collect reports and identify trends and drive for improvement.
Make enough time and know your team. Be a good leader who provides guidance and insight. Retain and encourage creativity and share your experience.
Be consistent and focused. Have the courage to make decisions. Remember to prioritize and delegate accordingly. Always have faith in your team.
The Power of Knowing Your Role
- Shubhada Kulkarni and Rick Harris
Shubhada Kulkarni and Rick Harris sit down and discuss the difference between a Bid Manager and a Proposal Manager.
They discuss the power of knowing your role, staying organized, and being focused.
Leveraging Thought Leadership in Capture Strategy
- David Gray
David Gray gives a short and sharp discussion on the value of Thought Leadership as an integral part of Capture, with some examples of successful outcomes in commercial and government business-winning.What is Thought Leadership?
It is a long established concept. It is positioning an organisation or individual as a specialist subject. It is about identifying your customers’ challenges and defining the best ways to overcome them. It involves sharing the best practice, driving innovation, change or improvement. You will be the one lobbying for change. It is about building trust and becoming a trusted adviser and increasing the demand for your brand, product or service. Its about influencing and positioning yourself. It involves strategy.Thought Leadership in Practice
- Publishing – blogs, reports, articles, research papers,(e)books, white papers, comment / opinion pieces
- Social media content – posts, links, videos, comment
- Speaking at conferences / events / virtual events
- Creating / leading / joining industry working groups
From the APMP Body of Knowledge:
“The capture strategy can be implemented in four fundamental ways:
- Emphasize your strengths
- Mitigate your weaknesses
- Highlight your competitors’ weaknesses
- Downplay your competitors’ strengths”
Thought Leadership can be used as a tactic – or tool – to help execute a part of your Capture Strategy.How do we use Thought Leadership to influence buyers?
- Increase buyer awareness
- Lend credibility to your brand
- Create buyer relationships
- Shorten your sales cycle
- Inform procurement activity
- Influence specification
- Improved relationship(s) with the buyer
- Inform buyer opinion and influence strategy
- Reduced cost of customer acquisition
- Influence procurement and specification
- ‘Pre-qualify’ your organisation
- Position yourself advantageously for the opportunity
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Brand Planetology – A Stellar Visualisation
- Si Ellis
Si Ellis, of Ellis James Creative, talks about how brand relates to purpose, vision, mission and values.
Brand and brand understanding is imperative for effective deployment of business. Visualisation of a brand can have great benefits.Think of your Brand as a planet
It makes your brand an entity everyone is responsible for. It makes the brand more tangible and permanent. It de-personalizes your brand. Everyone is accountable and credible for its health.The Planet’s Core…
Purpose. Purpose powers people. Identify and understand why the organisation started. It is the reason your brand exists. It is an inspiration and an idea. It is a belief and instills a sense of commitment. Only by identifying purpose can you deliver it to the people. Make the purpose fulfilling. It drives people forward.Your Brand’s Mantle…
Culture. It is a swirling band of ideas, diversity, actions and energy that is driven by the core or purpose. Its an accumulation of actions and interaction of the people. Golden cultures are aligned and powerful, inspiring and fulfilling. Toxic cultures are unhealthy and will bring down your business.Alignment
Alignment of culture is important. You need to attract like minded parties into the planet’s orbit and you need to be protected from harmful attacks. Your brand need’s a unique twinkle.Vision
Vision is aspirational. It is a reason to keep your purpose energized. It is idealistic. It is about bringing about a change. It speaks of human difference your brand is committed to making.Mission
What do we have to do now to achieve our vision? Mission is actionable. It is about the small actions you take to reach your final goal. It is subject to change. It should be achievable. It is about intent, focus and structure.Values and Behaviours
It about how people behave to stakeholders and clients to achieve the vision. It is about the different beliefs and actions your organisation is committed to.
The better the brand, the more people you attract.Cultural Alignment
Discover your purpose and share it. It will inspire and motivate people. Empower people with values. Identify ambassadors to show people what you value. Look for metrics that help you see how far you reached. Brand success leads to business success. Always lead by example.Results
It will provide people with direction. It will motivate people since they know their values and goals. It will lead to greater success and a sense of fulfillment.
Refresh Your Win Strategy Using Machine Learning
- Baskar Sundaram
Baskar Sundaram, Founding Director of Baachu Scribble, talks about the need for machine intelligence in win strategy in this session. He discusses how and where machine intelligence can shape win strategy and benefits of machine intelligence in product based win strategy.
Win strategy describes the action required to win an opportunity. Your ‘win strategy’ is driven by information about the opportunity, the client and your company.Opportunity
You need to know what is the opportunity, the need behind it and the scope of the opportunity. You need to gather enough intelligence about the opportunity.Clients
You need to know who the clients are. What are the key influences, who are the key decision makers and how the selection will be made.Company and Competition
Now you need to identify the competitors. Understand and find out the strengths and weaknesses of your competition. Every sector has three or five key suppliers. You also need to understand your own strengths and weaknesses.Start Early
The information keeps changing frequently. You are converting the information to statements. You are conveying the message to the client. Win strategy is not just collecting information, its about the actions we take.Five steps to developing a win strategy
- Form the win strategy team
- Perform customer and competitor analysis
- Develop minimum five stories behind win strategy
- Develop and assign action plans
- Generate proposal statements
You can use AI to gather, update and analyze information for you. Here are some ways machine intelligence can shape win strategy:
- It will actively track how how audience perceive you and the competition.
- You will never miss an important event or update.
- You can stay on top of negative press related to you and the competition.
- It helps with brand optimization, pricing intelligence, personalized planning, product life cycle intelligence, brand analysis and buyer centric customization.
AI can gather information from all sources available out there. Collecting the information will be automated and the processed information will be passed on to you.
The AI based win strategy will improve the process and it also saves money and time. You will be constantly updated on market change, customer updates, changing trends and you can build the perfect win solution that satisfies the customer and neutralizes competitor’s offering.
Writing Bid Content to Win
- Dr. Idara Umoh
Dr. Idara Umoh will provide participants with a two step plan for creating winning bid content.
Clients are send a lot of information in form of documents and response to RFP. Your response to pre-qualification and also unsolicited sales information.
There are many types of content. This includes the cover letters, executive summaries, healthy and safety response, quality statements, product and service information, general company information and any additional information clients request.Step one
Read the RFP or ITT and understand what the client is asking for. Review the evaluation criteria and the scoring criteria. Then you frame a wine theme that work. Remember to focus on the client. Follow the client’s template and use the keywords. Signpost the document and use compliance tables.Step two
Respond to each question. Do not be generic. Focus on each client and how them that you care. Demonstrate how you will help the client and provide proof. Always highlight your competitive advantage and the opportunity identified.
Be pervasive and that you meet all the requirements. How do you reduce the risk of disqualification. Check whether you responded to everything and evaluate your score.
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A Solution For Working With The Solution Guys
- Krishnakumar Iyer
Krishnakumar Iyer talks about working with solutioning team.
Most Bid and Proposal professionals struggle to extract the best out of the Solutioning team due to a variety of reasons some of them being
- feeling intimidated,
- not having any know how of the domain/technology and some more
- Succumbing to a classic ‘Inside Out’ approach to Solutioning
The Solutioning team plays the most important role in driving the Winning aspect of the opportunity. However, they themselves are challenged in adopting a framework that will work irrespective of the size, complexity or domain of the opportunity.
This webinar talks about the 4WH framework that can become a good template for the Bid Manager to work effectively with the Solutioning guys.
Why conflicts arise between both sides?
Bid manager is mostly focused on RFP. Issues are not about instructions and confidentiality etc. Solutioning is aimed at product, service and partnership capabilities. Solution specialists can come from technical, functional, pricing areas.A solutioning Framework :
- It is a tool that will help the solutioning process
- Itmust be away from technology and should start from the drawing board
- It is a team exercise
- It must support non-linear thinking
- It must drive the process from big picture to attention to detail
- It is a tool that can support internal reviews
Look at the RFP and identify all issues.Then group the issues in a horizontal matter. Make sure you are unbiased.4WH framework
Ask questions about your solution:
Use this framework to work through the solutioning process. Keep these points in mind when you develop your solution and create a framework.
How To Raise Win Rates Company-Wide (and keep them there)
- Jeremy Brim
Jeremy Brim talks about how you can raise win rates company wide. It is one thing to improve the win rate of a business unit or to intervene to win a single key pursuit, but it’s quite another to adopt and sustain that change across a whole business. The webinar will cover what Jeremy has found in his research and work in landing and driving momentum in raising win rates organisation wide.
The biggest factor for higher win rate trajectory in organisations is based on leadership. Leaders inspire and lead. They invest in experts and develop the middle management. Leaders are good role models.
Take time to develop your bid. All higher organisations invest in bids they can win. organisations create a purpose.organisation establishes clear set roles and responsibilities. Leader and team need to stick to the roles.Winners innovate!
Drive your business to continuously improve to stay ahead of the packAsk yourself
- can we do more?
- how can we deliver faster, better, cheaper . . .
- are there approaches, tools or technology we can take from elsewhere in the business or from partners that will deliver enhanced value?
- can we deliver added value, exceed our clients requirements?
Regular training is necessary.
Studies showed that 70% learn from on job. 20% through social interactions. 10% structured learning. This has changed to 20% from structured learning, 25% from social learning and 55% from on-the -job experience.Structured Learning
Engage everyone in the organisation. Virtual working and online assets are good ways to learn to learn. Use the latest tools and methods that suit the business.Social Learning
Mentoring and coaching is another way to engage and educate people.On-the-job Learning
Placing articles in newsletter and telling success stories are good ways to train people. Involve the senior staff. All these aspects should be implemented seriously.
Business Development Ecosystem
- Mike Walsh
APMP presents the Winning Business Ecosystem, join panelists Cori Anderson, Mitch Reed, and Mike Walsh in a panel moderated by APMP's Rick Harris to learn how the Adjacent Roles Committee developed the Winning Business Ecosystem, how you can benefit from the Ecosystem and how your company can leverage the Ecosystem to win more business.How it started?
It came out of strategic planning meeting on making APMP grow. One way was to explore adjacent roles. A took a year for the committee to develop this idea.How will it benefit APMP member and associates?
Where do people go after coming to proposal? It started from there. People can get to know the other things happening in winning business life cycle and the inter relation between the roles. These roles are critical to winning new businesses and helpful to proposal managers. It is a road map for members to see the roles and learn more about it. It is a way to move your career forward. APMP can provide better content and certification in the future and bring in more people.
It will be an app when fully developed.Ecosystem
There are various job titles available. Everything starts with the customer and surrounding it are 5 pillars of processes: technology, processes, people, governance and strategy. These are critical for running your business. Then there are various jobs and titles. There are many departments like marketing, account management, sales operations, proposal management and other roles critical to the life cycle. Its going to be all encompassing. Final product debut in Bid and Proposal Con this year.Winning Business Life cycle
Marketing/Pr, Sales Enablement, Business Relationship Development and Relation/Account Management exists even before you find a potential client. Once potential client is identified, you identify the need of the client. Then RFP is issued and the Proposal Management gets involved and this leads to oral presentations and eventually a win. But the cycle does not end there.
Then you deliver to the client. Then Relationship and account management gets involved. You collect feedback and ensure client is happy. You continue to work with clients to build the relationship. This shows how everything is related and elevates proposal function and business cycle.
Ecosystem useful to anyone and everyone.Th size of your business does not matter. It is critical to know how each department functions.This ecosystem will evolve as time goes on. Everyone in the ecosystem will soon be welcome into APMP.
Bridging the Gap Between Sales and Bid
- Chris Whyatt
Chris Whyatt will be presenting the findings from his late-2019 research into Bringing the Gap between Sales and Bid. 250 plus people across the globe contributed to the research, and 168 added invaluable comments.
A good working relationship between the sales and bid functions is critical to achieving the desired outcome. Webinar went into the details of the research and focused on the comments collected from both sales and bid professionals.
Tips on Passing APMP’s new Capture Practitioner Certification
- Jon Darby
Jon Darby provides quickfire tips to help you prepare for APMP's new Capture Practitioner certification exam.Plan
- Be clear about why want a certification.
- You will need a sponsor. You need to contact a sponsor who can vouch for your experience.
- This exam is different from foundation. It is multiple choice but still different. There are assumption and reason questions. You have twelve months from booking till siting in the exam. You have 2 and a half hours. Take time to read and understand the scenario. Take time end of exam to check on marked questions. You have about two minutes per question. You have to pick the most appropriate answer.
- Read the body of knowledge.
- Sit for the practice exam and be familiar with the question types and answers.
- Proctoring is there to ensure you take the exam properly. You will need a webcam to show proctor the room. You need the right microphone, operation system and internet.
- You need to connect your experience with questions to answer.
- You need a guide to help you through and give you tips.
- Just go for it and do not worry too much. Think about why you started and stay motivated.
Debriefs: 6 Steps to Growing Your Business
- Robin Power
In this webinar, Robin Power, Santec, will explain how you can utilise debrief info to better your client relationships and win.
Conducting proper debriefs can bring about the best results. Here are the six steps you need to follow to grow your business through debrief.Debrief
Ensure you conduct debriefs for both wins and loss. Each will provide you insights on what you did correctly, what went wrong and may even shed lights on why you won the bid. All information is good.Consolidation
Consolidate the information gathered into a spreadsheet. You can score yourself based on categories such as project understanding, methodology, team composition and schedule.Analyze
By analyzing the data you can see where you have improved or gone down on.Share
Share information with key decision makers and subject matter experts who were incharge of the sections.Enhance
Take all important comments from debriefs and make a base document to help you enhance the process.Implement
Now remember to improve over time and your aim should be to improve the score of each section. Always request for a debrief.
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The Great Proposal Exhibition
- Jon Williams
Jon Williams discusses how a Great Exhibition on proposals will look like.
The Great Exhibition of 1851 was conducted during the Victorian era and it displayed various industrial products and goods from all over the globe. Six million people attended.
Now what would a Great Proposal Exhibition entail?
Jon goes into details about each unique exhibit and how it all connects to working in proposal management.
We’re on a mission to build a COMMUNITY OF 1000 BID & PROPOSAL PROFESSIONALS in the next 3 years Why?
We do it because we believe that small and large businesses—just like yours—can change the world one tender at a time.
We do it because we think tender commissioning, writing and delivering are the most challenging, interesting, and rewarding field there is.
And finally, we do it for YOU. In the end, it’s our customers who matter.
6 Keys to Managing Productive Remote Teams
- Tammy Bjelland
Tammy Bjelland, in this session, will help you identify the biggest productivity-killing mistakes that managers make when leading remote and hybrid teams. You'll also identify concrete strategies to develop trust, improve communication, align priorities, define expectations, protect your employees' time, and overcome blocks to improve your and your team's productivity.
Covid 19 has changed how we work and more people are working remotely. It is very likely that in the future at least one employee will be working remotely. Therefore, it is important to identify the keys to managing productivity in remoter teams and also to recognize the biggest mistakes in managing productive remote teams.Common Mistakes:
- Conducting too many meeting
- Poor communication
- Shifting priorities
New challenges are arising like distractions and over working .Keys to Managing Remote Productivity
- Trust and Transparency
- Align Priorities
- Protect Time
- Conquer Blocks
Build a culture that fosters honest feedback and share information consistently about wins, failures etc. Document clear expectations and make sure everything is understood. It is important to define productivity in terms of output and quality of work.
Confirm that your priorities are your team’s priorities. Have a quick meeting to discuss priorities. Provide feedback and guidance if priorities do not seem aligned. Confirm that everyone is on the same page.
It is critical that mangers find means to communicate without over communication. Be thorough when communicating. Commit to documentation so that there is always a single source of truth. Create a communication charter that indicate the different channels of communication.
Reevaluate your meetings. Time management is important. Set boundaries and stick to them. Empower people to say no. Identify blocks that prevent you or your team member from getting work done.There can be internal and external blocks. Enable your team to overcome blocks. Conduct quick check ins with team members personally.
The Four Winning Capture Competencies
- Eric Gregory
Eric Gregory, Shipley Associates, explains The Four Critical Capture Competencies . You can fail in a lot of areas in capture and still succeed, but any failure in any one of these four results in a loss.The Four Competencies needed for Capture Manager are:
- Customer Analysis
- Win Strategy Development and Execution
- Proposal Development
Most Capture Managers manage. They do not lead. Capture Manager must lead a team. A leader must create vision, develop strategy, impel action, set expectations, advance the team, inspire the members, communicate effectively and provide recognition.Successful Capture Leader..
- Leads by example and is visible always
- Sets high expectations for the Capture Team
- Focuses every minute on increasing Pwin
- Works always from a position of knowledge
- Makes the right actions happen
- Helps the Team succeed
- Creates and executes a Blue Teamed Capture Plan
- Embraces process and discipline
- Recommends a No Bid when necessary
You have to be totally focused on the customer and solve their problem. You have to look beyond the technical problem and discover the derived requirements. Know your evaluators and decision makers.
You need to identify and contact the right people. Document key customer information. You have to be able to graphically represent what is important to the customer. Listen to customers properly. Clarify issues and be understanding.Successful Customer Analysis
- Know your friends, enemies, and neutrals
- Validate all information from multiple sources and then check again
- Know the derived requirements for the solution because you asked
- Know the major risks from the customer because you asked
- Ensure you prioritize hot buttons and other issues by customer group and individual
- Know who the drivers, influencers, and followers are
- Listen. Act.
Win strategies are action based statement. You are offer a solution to the client with the least risks and best price. Win strategies create discriminators and address the most important customer issues. Actions defined must be accomplished quickly to assess effect on Pwin. The actions must be also plausible.Successful Win Strategy Development and Execution
- Customer influenced win strategy and execution through the continuous and meaningful exchange of important information
- Documents critical action accomplishment, effect on Pwin, and required follow up for sustainment
- Focuses on 5 critical and customer validated stated or derived requirements that lead to the win
- Has true accountability with all critical actions, assigned, scheduled, and accomplished
It is the ultimate culmination of capture. The messages must reflect solution of the customer’s five critical needs. Capture manger must be a good proposal manager. Proposal quality determines customer confidence in contract performance.Successful Proposal Development
- Quality kickoffs determine success
- Team commits, or don’t play
- Capture Manager leads, Proposal Manager leads
- Plan, plan more, plan again, write
- Capture Manager selects best company Review Team Leader to run color team review cycle
- Quality color team reviews propel success and proposal quality
- Executives engage early and help guide vs late and heap criticism
A Crash Course in Orals Prep
- Rebecca Link
Rebecca Link gives tips to handle an oral presentation.
Orals provide a unique sales opportunity. It is a chance to meet the team. A chance to show capability, credibility and compatibility.Slides
Always create an outline before starting on creating the slides. Give each topic one slide and one minute per slide. Highlight RFP references and the key take-aways. Make sure you use graphics and the information on the slides are easy to digest. Your slides must be filled with content. This will help with evaluation. Have uniformity and have smooth transitions between slides.Preparing
Scripting is good for beginners. It helps them become more comfortable with the content. Experienced presenters can use the bullet points. Do not use written notes. Have it typed in. Make sure messaging is clear.
Use large clear font that can be read well. Highlight words in notes in different colours to act as a reminder for presenters and can help them emphasize a point. Use large index cards or single-sided paper. Look prepared and polished.Presentation
Rehearsals are important. Practice is important. There are video orals now, so practice on the platform you will be using. Practice in the same way you will deliver.
Make sure the background is good and clear. Think about your clothing and makeup. You must be bushiness professional. Do not fidget. Smiling is important. Making eye contact is important. Just scan the room. Tone should be formal. Believe in what you say. Practice terminology before the actual presentation.
Micro Certification Master Class
If you are a curious bid and proposal professional looking to widen your skillset then this fun learning series is for you. Each Micro certification is 1.5 hours long covers concepts left and right to proposal building – marketing, sales, capture, bid governance, pricing, contracts, sales operations, mobilisation, account management and rebid management and more. If you miss the live session, you can still access the recording
Join and get certified as Full Stack Bidder…
Introductions that Stand Out From The Crowd
- Stacey Lee
Stacey Lee in this session offers best practices for writing client-focused introductions, specifically cover letters and executive summaries.
First impressions are critical. Your introduction should stand out. Introduction should grab attention and get them hooked to the material.
Its important to make the introduction about the client. So know your client and the project. Do not use generic statements. Show genuine interest in your client. Tell them how you will solve their problem. Make the tone of the introduction based on how you are with the client.
When possible, take about your client and their problem. Be specific whenever possible. Think from the client’s perspective. Be concise and persuasive and make your winning themes easy to identify.Key Components
You need to know issues the client’s are facing. You need to then offer your solutions and the feature. Explain to the customer how your features will solve their issues. Show them the benefits of choosing you. Finally, provide proof.
You must get to know the client properly and identify issues beyond what is mentioned in the RFP. Know all the major issues and address them.
You need to set yourself apart from the competition. Be different from the competition.
Quantifying benefits is the best option. Put the benefits first then explain in details.
Show the client that you can actually deliver a point. Give the client the comfort that they will get what you promise with specific examples.Layout and Formatting
It is a great opportunity to use graphics and capture their attention. Getting attention is key. Follow the RFP instruction. Use relevant photos. Be bold and use coloured text. Use your company logo or brand name. Avoid generic photos. Use flow charts.
How Do You Write to Win?
- Anya Zhuravkina
Anya Zhuravkina talks about writing to win by sharpening up your words to make every word count in life and in business. Being simple, clear and effective will take you a long way.
Proposal Managers Unsung Heroes
- Karthik Koutharapu
Karthik Koutharapu, in this session, will walk you through some scenarios on how and what Proposal Managers accomplish while working on complex deals.
He uses the example of a proposal manager called Mr.Star and discusses the various dilemmas a manager faces regularly.
Hidden Keys to Proposal Success
- Jeremy Glover
Jeremy Glover discusses ways to improve your proposal skills. He discusses six different phases:Positioning, Pursuit, Capture, Proposal, Planning, Preparation, Delivery, Post Submittal and the strategy to be used in each part of the process.
Risk - The Neglected Evaluation Criteria
- Neal Levene
Neal Levene, Siemens Government, talks about risk management. Risk is one of the major things that customers focus on when evaluating proposals; however, it is under considered during proposal preparation.
Within each opportunity there are risks that need to be mitigated. Risk is a chance of loss, danger or injury. Proposals are evaluated based on value, price and risk. Value is what the customer gets. Price is the cost of the value.
Your entire proposal gets shredded by the evaluation team into a list of strengths, deficiencies, weaknesses and risks. From evaluation perspective, the rest of the document gets left behind.
Risk is an element that unnecessarily impedes the ability to achieve program objectives within defined cost and schedule constraints. Every risk is caused by a corresponding weakness.Proposal Risk Identification
Evaluators spend time identifying risk. Some are risk element inherent in the proposal. New risks might arise from inconsistencies and discrepancies between various
suppliers’ proposals. Risks are also signaled by any unsubstantiated representations made in any your proposals.Need to show ability to
- Anticipate and manage change
- Improve decision making
- Lower cost through preventive actions (nonreactive)
- Realize opportunities to customer’s benefit
- Establish broad awareness of uncertainty of outcomes
- Act upon the transformations taking place in business environment
- Support organisational agility and resilience
You can address the risk in management section and the technical section. As you model your solution you need to plan a risk management strategy.Risk Management Flow
- Identify risks
- Perform qualitative risk analysis
- Perform quantitative risk analysis
- Plan risk response
- Monitor and control risks
A good risk definition will have a cause, risk or uncertainty and the effect or possible result. You should analyse the risks based on probability of occurring, impact on cost and schedule and the correlation between risks.
You can avoid a risk, transfer it, mitigate or accept the risk entirely. You can even mention the risks you avoided in the risk section and explain certain decisions you made. Addressing risk effectively is a discriminator. If you do it well it will set you apart from the competition.
How to Save One Hour Every Week Proofreading
- Daniel Heuman
Daniel Heuman discuses ways to make proofreading easy and simple through the use of PerefectIt.
You spend time proofreading because you have to. There are software that can help you. PerfectIt is the solution. It is widely used throughout the sector.
It is an MS Word add-in and consistently checks for errors. It is used in major organisations globally.You can customize it and build it to your style. Remember that APMP members get a special discount.
Baachu Scribble is Trusted by 300+ Bid Professionals and Companies like
Quick Compliance Checks for Government Contracting
- Lisa Green
Lisa Green talks about quick 3, 5, 7 Minute compliance Checks.3-MINUTE CHECK
- Is your company in good standing?
- Do a business search on the Secretary of State website.
- Is your company in good standing?
- Is your company registered in the required municipality or state?
- Is your company in good standing?
- Is your company is registered in the required municipality or state?
- What’s the relationship between your company and Company B?
RFP Analytics: Understanding RFPs beyond wins and losses
- Nadia Ayub and Margaret Klein
Nadia Ayub and Margaret Klein of Change Healthcare talk about data analysis.
Change Healthcare Enterprise Proposal Team combined RFP data for each of the business units and developed a reporting framework with the purpose to discover new trends and inform sales strategy. They are now discovering multiple avenues of insight helping pave our way into learning the powers of RFP analytics. They have encompassed three years of RFP data, and are excited to study and understand larger trends, forecast sales targets, predict demand, and even discover product prospects. They shared this framework in this webinar.
Virtual Team Superpowers: Content, Context, Colleagues, and Leadership
- Dr. Christopher Wells
Dr. Christopher Wells, in this session, will discuss the four connections that will equip you to thrive as a distance team member or leader.
Many new opportunities are arising these days because of the working from home. New opportunities require new competencies. You need new ways to find and share information. There is a need for cultural navigation. You will be forming relationships and building trust through different ways.
When working from distance there is an opportunity to lose productivity and chances for conflict. There will be issues regarding leadership collaboration. Mostly training is not provided for working in this new environment.Content
Content becomes a successful project differentiator. Having the right content can make a big difference. Content gives you the opportunity to be a visible contributor. All business success relies on having the right content.Context
How people interact is all part of the context. It is part of the culture of your organisation. There is also an existing culture that was there before you arrived. Context means paying attention to the details. See how people collaborate and resolve conflict. The goal is to seek balance within the context.Trust
It is based on expectations and how other people interact with you. To build trust you should initiate conversation. You need to respond promptly. You should deliver what you promised. Always treat others as equal.Connection to colleagues
Connection is about building the sense of motivation, satisfaction and attitude. Staying connected is important and you should show support and appreciation. Treat others’ time with respect and pursue richer interactions.Leadership in Distance
Reinforce company values through leadership and interactions. Reach out to team members. Be visible to leaders. Demonstrate your expertise and knowledge.
You will be an unstoppable force if you develop on these four connections.
Developing Killer Win Themes
- Bruce Morton
Bruce Morton of 2 Oceans Consulting will provide key insights and actionable concepts for developing Comprehensive & Compelling Win Themes, which are a key element to winning.
Comprehensive and Compelling Win Themes are critical to winning. Win Themes should be developed early and be part of the Blue Baton that is handed by the Capture Manager to the Proposal Manager.Win Themes Too Generic
Win Themes are too generic, not comprehensive, and/or not compelling. Generic win themes are points that most competitors claim. Its often reused material. Opportunity specific win themes are unique to your company and your team and it is specifically created for this opportunity.How to Create Compelling and Comprehensive Win Themes?
Develop and list win themes by all the key points like technical, management, schedule, transition, start-up,best value etc. Explain how you are unique or different.List Win Themes in black font. List Potential/Desirable Win Themes in blue font and take subsequent action to make them reality.
Use “Our Team” instead of “Our Company” because your team includes experts, consultants or could have certified people from small businesses. Explain to the customer who we are teamed with and why.
Explain your compelling story and provide evidence and show that you can do better than your competitors. Write value propositions from the customer’s view. Change perspective from ‘we’ to ‘you’. List benefits instead of features and inform them what they gain.
Inclusion and Belonging in Proposal Teams
- Ceri Mescall
Ceri Mescall shares ways to encourage inclusion and belonging in your proposal teams.
Inclusion and belonging are key aspects of building high performing teams. All of us want to work in proposal teams where we and our colleagues do not feel like outsiders.Time Zones
Many proposal teams are now spread across time zones. Arrange meetings at a time that works for most time zones, and understand that there will always be an element of compromise needed .Be mindful of public holidays. Ask people to put their working hours in their email signature, especially if they work shift patterns. Add time zones to your contact sheet in your proposal plan. Finally, give team members in other locations as much time and attention as you do for someone who works in the same office as you.Languages
Help those for whom English is a second or other language to keep pace with calls or meetings. Avoid jargon, slang and idioms. Use simple, straightforward language, just as you would in a proposal.
Recognize people’s contributions but also communicate the impact that those contributions have on the success of the team. Create a safe space for people to learn and make mistakes. Provide feedback to those that you are working with, but also encourage them to provide you with feedback. Take the
time to remember the correct pronunciation of a person’s name.Paths to a proposal role
When recruiting, interview candidates that have transferable skills. Consider implementing a proposal apprentice scheme to recruit at the proposal coordinator level and mould people.
This can often include candidates who do not have a university degree. Meet with candidates that have worked as proposal freelancers or contractors. Ask your new hire’s opinions on processes and approaches.Levels of seniority/experience
See beyond levels. Ask people for their insights and listen actively. Give people the opportunity to be more vocal within a safer space. Involve people in decision-making. Make learning and development inclusive. Pair up different teammates for different proposals and projects so that they benefit from different experiences and social styles.Social styles
Recognize your own unconscious bias towards people with a similar social style to you. Be versatile when communicating.Working patterns
Proposal teams can focus on being supportive by not disturbing the person on their days off. The person taking the time off can make an extra effort to communicate progress and status updates, and flag anything that might need to be dealt with in their absence.Personal responsibilities
Get to know each other better on a personal level. Research the employee benefits your organisation offers and make your team aware that they are available.
These are some ways you can make your workspace more inclusive.
Proposals - Beyond the Administrative
- JoAnna Howell
JoAnna Howell’s session will be about key process areas that help move your proposal organisation away from the administrative and towards the collaborative
Proposal as an administrative tool can be effective. But as a collaborative function of the sales cycle will reap more benefits.As an Admin Model
Your response will include a large amount of boilerplate. Your process will include minimal pre-RFX planning. Proposal professionals will be engaged at RFX release and not before. Solutions will be roughly determined later on and strategies might nit be well defined.As a Collaborative Model
Proposal professionals are engaged before RFX release. They will be engaged in strategy and planning discussions and help in shaping requirements. The responses are highly customised and customer focused. The solutions will be well documented and are strategies are clear.Shifting
Here are areas you can involve proposal professionals:
- Blue Teams are designed to discuss and review capture strategy. When proposal professionals are involved here they attain more information on RFX and competition.
- Black Hats is designed to assess what your company scores against the evaluation criteria. It involves SWOT analysis
- Successful storyboarding session will help professionals create a plan for each important section.
- Pink Team conduct the initial structure or compliance check. Having a Pink Team allows for collaboration.
- White team or lesson learned is a great opportunity for proposal professionals to provide insights and plan strategies.
Look for ways for early involvement that helps in knowledge sharing and strategy building.
WBVE Closing Session
- Mike Walsh and Rick Harris
Winning Business Virtual Experience (WBVE) has come to an end after who whole days of webinars, presentations and fun filled activities. APMP’s Chair Mike Walsh and APMP’s CEO Rick Harris are here to wrap up the first-ever APMP Winning Business Virtual Experience, and they are gives away prizes.Coming to an end
The event has come to an end after two days. There were over 1000 participants. All these presentations will be available for 30 days. It was a great opportunity for learning new things. Many people behind the scene who worked tirelessly for this event.WBVE Palm Awards
These awards are given to four exceptional sessions. This award will be displayed near their session within a wreath. The winners were:
- Hidden Treasures: Mining for Employees that Help You Sparkle
- Pre-mortems – the Dark Side of the Win Strategy
- Inspiration and Diversions from SMA
- Recruiting the Next Generation of Proposal Professionals
The participants will have to answer the questions and send it in chat box and the winners’ next APMP certification will be paid by the company. The three questions were:
- What is APMP’s largest chapter?
- What is APMP’s newest chapter?
- What is APMP’s newest certification programme?
Three winners were selected and they will be send links for the certification.Final prize
It is gift card for 500$! All participants were asked to type in any number from 1 to 500 and the person who made the closest or right guess would be given the gift card.It was fun filled and wonderful closing session to a great virtual event. APMP thanks all the participants and presenters.
All good things must come to an end. APMP’s first ever Winning Business Virtual Experience (WBVE) has come to an end after two whole days of presentations and fun-filled sessions. Each session was interesting and interactive. Despite current situation, this virtual platform was a great way for learning and connecting with new people while staying comfortably at home. Looking forward to the next WBVE.
Inspiration and Diversions from SMA
Presented by SMA, Inc., featuring entertainment by Justin Keats, Michael Yoder and Collin Moulton
A huge thank you again to Rick, Peter Frank, CP APMP, Kelsea Watson, CF APMP, Julia Duke and everyone else at APMP involved in organising this hugely successful event.
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