A quick start-of-year test of how strategically you’re operating. You’re back from the festive break. (At least, we hope you had a break, and didn’t have to work on proposals *all* the way through the holiday season). So:
Do you have a clear list of the “must win” deals for your sales team in the coming quarter and year as a whole, and are you already talking to the relevant salespeople about each of these opportunities?
The proposal centres who are operating strategically will already be clear on many of the most important deals in the pipeline that’ll need their support. There’ll be active pre-proposal planning work already underway on each deal. Looking externally, this will help the salespeople to ensure that everything possible is done before the RFP arrives to understand and shape the client’s requirements. Focusing internally, this will involve preparing the proposal team for success, and gathering preliminary content.
Sadly, too many proposal centres will come back at the start of the new year simply facing a backlog of work from the holiday season, with little or no chance to lift their eyes to the horizon. If you’re in this camp, why not fire a note to sales management, asking about their pipeline and requesting the chance to engage as early as possible to help them to win in 2009?