We have an idiom in the UK that one should:
“look after the pennies, and the pounds will look after themselves”
It struck me recently that the opposite probably holds true for proposal centres.
Looking after the pennies? That suggests that your senior management are continually looking to shave money from your proposal operations. It’ll be an uphill battle to secure investment (”travel’s frozen, we’ve needed a new printer for months, and we can’t get funding for training”). It’ll all be about improving efficiency, rather than effectivess. Your energies will be diverted away from trying to win, in favour of trying to economise, to cut corners and to “make the most of a bad job”. And the quality of your proposals – and hence your win rates – will inevitably be being compromised.
You need to find a sponsor who “looks after the pounds, rather than worrying about the pennies.” Focus your senior exectives on the revenue (and margin) improvement opportunities that will derive from improving your proposals, rather than on the penny-pinching. They’ll probably only need to win one extra deal per year to pay back any investment you could dream of requesting.