One of the most important things any business development group can do to improve their proposal win rate is to maintain sales message continuity between their pre-RFP selling effort, their proposal, and their post-proposal presentations.
Unfortunately, this doesn’t always happen.
Too often, the proposal team writes an effective proposal and the seller gets invited onsite to deliver a presentation. Then, inexplicably, the salesperson takes back control and dismisses the proposal development team, “Thanks for the help with the proposal, but I got it from here.”
This is a common practice, to be sure, but it’s not a best practice. In fact, it doesn’t even make sense. If the proposal advanced the sale to the short list, shouldn’t the proposal team that wrote it be at least minimally involved in helping prepare the presentation? Common sense and an interest in continuity says they should.
The sales team and the proposal team should not be two separate groups working independently, they should be one integrated, unified team working together towards a common cause. This best practice ensures continuity of the sales message from the pre-RFP selling phase to the post-proposal presentation phase.
David Seibert is a professional salesperson and consultant for businesses that respond to formal procurements in non-federal markets. Dave publishes a comprehensive curriculum of online, self-paced proposal training classes, delivers onsite and online proposal training programs for dedicated proposal teams, and provides proposal and business development consulting services for businesses that want to improve their win rates.
Dave is founder and president of The Seibert Group, a proposal consulting and training organization serving businesses that sell to other businesses, A/E/C firms, schools, and to state and local governments. Dave authored the popular proposal book, Proposal Best Practices, is active with the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP), and is a member of the APMP Speakers Bureau. You can contact Dave at [email protected].