Yesterday we posted the frustrations that our panel of proposal professionals from around the world experienced in their roles. Today we’ll turn the tables to look on the bright side, since we also asked them to describe the single most rewarding aspect of proposals in their organisations.
David picks a similar theme: “The most rewarding aspect of proposals is the win! Nothing is more motivating that a big win from a proposal you developed…. At the end of the day, winning is all that matters – unlike my daughter’s school who believe that ‘trying hard’ is most important!)”. (Reminds me of the feedback at my own son Benedict’s first-ever school parents’ evening, that he was ‘very competitive’. Yes, and…?)
Robin picks not only “wins”, but also “win bonuses”!:
A couple years ago I got my senior leaders to agree to bonuses on RFPs that turned into contracts. This is great extra incentive to the writers. I am also empowered by my organization to give individual awards at whim and even grant up to 10% of an employees’ salary in company stock. There’s also comp time, flex time and work from home options that are very rewarding.
The culture of the organization is also key to employee satisfaction. The company is full of people that want to do their best work and the company tends to hire qualified people that fit the culture. This helps to minimize the frustration of getting subject matter expert cooperation or co-worker support.
We are also encouraged and compensated for continuing education and advancing our skills (i.e. APMP membership, conferences, courses). And we have fun! We work hard and we play hard. People ask me all the time if I have any openings in my department because we know how to have fun.I have to remind them that they also have to work their butts off, but they’ll have fun doing it. It all goes hand-in-hand with work/life balance.I want people to be passionate
about their work and happy to be here.
…knowing how much we contribute to the company’s bottom line is very rewarding from a team perspective. In 2006, RFP wins represented $100 million in new or retained revenue for our company (total annual revenue for our company is about $2 billion).
From a manager’s perspective, I find it very rewarding to watch the growth and development of the proposal specialists on my team as they move from being tactical to strategic (e.g., go from writing “compliant” proposals to crafting “compelling” proposals that really get the big picture and hone in on each client’s specific needs).
“Every proposal we get is like solving a mystery or a puzzle: Who is this company; how is our relationship with them; what are their real issues; how can we win the work; where can we get the information that needs to go into it? Solving the mystery, along with working with teams of lawyers and marketers to solve real client issues, are the most rewarding parts of proposals in my organization.”
be part of an organization that is paying close attention to the proposal process these days, which includes paying attention to the people who create proposals and the people we work with. Many improvements have been put in place lately that enable us to better perform our jobs, and the improvements keep piling up.
Our manager is very keen to the idea of the critical interrelationships between our team and the sales team, as well as others throughout our area of the business, and recent initiatives have included a push for higher quality information from salespeople before a proposal is written, as well as a more formal definition of the bid/no-bid process.
In the early hours of the morning, as you stand there in your crumpled suit, hair standing on end like some form of deviant, nothing looks as pretty as a glossy document, bound, packed, and glistening with the excellence bursting from within. Or perhaps it’s a mirage, a hallucination. After all, you’ve been there for the last twenty hours. Or maybe it’s thirty. You lost count after breaking into the cold pizza.
But when it’s reverently handed to the courier, with admonishments of ‘Be careful with it now, its very important’ and you sign that little slip, there is a deep sense of satisfaction and pride as you watch it begin its journey to the client, like watching your first born head off for their first day at school. And it feels good. You did it – you negotiated, you yelled, and sometimes you begged, but you made it!