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Capture manager

The Capture Manager takes a lead that has been identified and qualified, and wins it by being the driver, the leader, and the decision maker

Key responsibilites include:

  • Capture Managers must not only sell to the customer, but also must sell internally to gain support and resources for the pursuit.
  • A Capture Manager must know about the customer, the opportunity, the scope of work, project management, budgeting, pricing, contracting, proposal writing, and how to obtain, allocate, and steal resources within the company.

Congratulations!  You have the most challenging job in winning new business.  It is also the most important.  A Capture Manager has all of his or her eggs in one basket, being dedicated to the pursuit of a Must Win opportunity until it is awarded.  If the Capture Manager is not dedicated, then they may be pulled in too many directions to give the opportunity the attention it needs.  If it is truly a Must Win opportunity, then it deserves to have at least one person dedicated to its pursuit, and that person is the Capture Manager.  If you aren’t dedicated, then you’re being pulled in too many directions and can’t give every opportunity the attention it needs.

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Capture management

The Capture Manager will take over a lead that has been identified and initially qualified.  You should immediately qualify it yourself, and continue to do so every day.  Is it real and is it worth investing in its pursuit?  Sometimes the best thing you can do for your company is to terminate a pursuit rather than to invest further in it.  The sooner you kill an opportunity that is not worth pursuing, the easier and better it is for the company. When you are asked to be the Capture Manager for an opportunity you should not say “yes” until you have considered everything above.  Do not play unless you know you can win.

Initially, the Capture Manager works in partnership with the Business Development Manager who identified the lead.  When the RFP is released, the Capture Manager works in partnership with the Proposal Manager who will lead the effort to develop the proposal document.  Throughout the pursuit the Capture Manager is responsible for making sure that the right intelligence is collected so you can make informed strategic and tactical decisions.  This does not mean the Capture Manager collects it by himself or herself — it means the Capture Manager must lead the effort and ensure the team gets what it needs.  The Capture Manager is responsible for obtaining the resources to complete the proposal and for deciding what to propose.  The Proposal Manager will assist by defining and administering the proposal process.  But the process will only be successful if the company brings the right information and resources to the pursuit.

To obtain the resources needed to capture the opportunity, the Capture Manager must take advantage of everything he or she knows about the company and the people who work there.  This is where the Capture Manager must be able to persuade internally — the Capture Manager must convince people that the opportunity is worth the effort in order to get the right people assigned.

The most important thing the Capture Manager does is make decisions:

  • What should the win strategies be?
  • What should the approaches be?
  • What should the pricing be?

Be decisive.  Many teams go wrong by taking too long to make key decisions or worse by waffling.  The Capture Manager must lead the team to make decisions, validate that they are correct, and then stick to them.

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