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Introducing capture management at your company

Inserting capture management between sales and your proposals will increase your win rate

When you go straight from salespeople to proposals:

See also:
Capture Management
  • You tend to get a lot of waste if the sales function doesn't pay for each proposal they request out of their own budget. When this is the case there’s no reason for them not to want to submit a proposal, no matter how low the win probability. When there is no cost, why not submit a proposal, because it might win? This approach comes at a win-rate destroying cost that sucks the life out of a company’s future potential.
  • If salespeople participate in the proposal effort, they are not prospecting. Lead generation stops when the proposal starts.
  • If salespeople are not participating in the proposal effort, your win rate will suffer from a lack of customer and opportunity insight.
  • If salespeople are participating in the proposal, they’re no longer actively developing customer and opportunity insight.

Sales is not enough for success. Having capture management between sales and the proposal keeps sales focused on prospecting while providing an improved approach to drive customer awareness into the proposal in order to maximize your win probability. Capture management provides dedicated resources to win a pursuit in between sales and proposals. But introducing capture management requires more than just hiring someone to fill the role. A lot more.

Introducing capture management requires a coordinated effort across the company

Capture management is the hardest job in the company. It requires knowing everything, which of course is impossible. To be successful, it requires a great deal of coordination with subject matter experts in every part of your company. And this requires an executive mandate as well as the ability to anticipate what capture will require over the life of the pursuit, awareness of how to access those resources, and knowledge about what information they need to get the answers needed. Oh, and it needs a budget. And oversight. And participation in bid/no bid decisions, plus the ability to get the input required from sales. In addition, the capture manager has to know how to build a proposal based on what it will take to win. This requires the capture manager to know the proposal process and what input to bring to the proposal about what it will take to win. And to herd all the cats to get everyone on board and keep them all on the same page (mixing several metaphors at once on purpose).

A professional is better than a hero

You can’t just flip a switch and have successful capture management. Even if you parachute in an experience capture management consultant, they will not be as effective as a capture manager can be in an organization that understands how to best implement and take advantage of the role. Don’t try to hire a hero. Do things professionally. A consultant might be an excellent part of the mix. But don’t expect any one person to make it all better just by showing up.

Sales is about prospecting and qualifying. Capture management is about closing in an environment where every part of the company potentially contributes to that sale closing. Capture management is for companies that bid as if their companies depend on winning, because they do.

It’s all about winning

Who is responsible for the win? 

  • Is the salesperson responsible for finding leads or closing them? If it's both, go back to the top and re-read the bullets.
  • Is the proposal manager responsible for the win? If so, then do they participate in the bid/no bid decision? What authority do they have over sales to provide the information required for winning? What authority do they have over the bid strategies?

Adding a capture manager gives you one person responsible for the win that works with both sales and proposals.

Adding capture management to a company is a far bigger change than simply hiring another set of hands. Companies adding capture management should take a moment to make sure they’re ready to take a big step towards becoming mature. Adding capture management is about adding deliberate, dedicated, focus in order to maximize your win rate. It often comes when companies realize they can double their win rate without chasing any more leads than they already have, simply by raising their win rate.

Maximizing your win rate requires a host of other improvements, ranging from lead qualification and bid/no bid decisions, to formalizing the flow of information to the proposal and the process for preparing your proposals. If you don’t address all of those issues when you add capture management to your company, then you’re just throwing bodies at the problem instead of trying to win.


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Carl Dickson

Carl is the Founder and President of CapturePlanning.com and PropLIBRARY

Carl is an expert at winning in writing, with more than 30 year's experience. He's written multiple books and published over a thousand articles that have helped millions of people develop business and write better proposals. Carl is also a frequent speaker, trainer, and consultant and can be reached at carl.dickson@captureplanning.com. To find out more about him, you can also connect with Carl on LinkedIn.

Click here to learn how to engage Carl as a consultant.

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