What inspires you the most in your role as a Proposal Manager?
The Versatility, Learning, and Uncertainty in Bid management keeps me engaged and inspires me. Enough, I was part of more than 500 bids in the past 12 years, every new RFx looks different and or unique to me. The dynamics of bid management changes with available time, resources, and skilled staff, at times, we step into the shoes every bid stakeholder to enable them to respond as per the timelines. The bid management profession gives great insights on trending technology, changing business models, and an approach to address them through an amicable solution.
Did you always aspire to be a Proposal Manager and Why? or Did you accidentally landed in this profession and How?
It was a conscious decision, and efforts made to be in bid management. I got an offer to work as an assistant branch manager in a central government bank after my post-graduation. Being an engineer, I always wish to be in a technology organization in a job role to close customer business. But did not know about the bid management role. One of my friends referred me to a sales support role in an IT boutique. Being myself, what I aspire, and my quest to learn different aspects of business in the interview got me a proposal write role. Over the decade, I gracefully transformed into a bid manager.
What tactics and strategies did you leverage in your role that ultimately led you to win this award?
A read through the RFP in customer business lenses, and market maturity to offer the IT service to the customer makes the difference. The very first step I do, after a profound reading of the RFx, is to create an annotated outline of the executive summary. I follow the CARE (Challenge Action Results and Evidence) approach to create an annotated outline of the executive summary. The process sounds simple and straightforward. But It is not easy to shred volumes RFx artefacts get the critical business challenge. I apply MECE (Mutually Exclusive and Collective Exhaustive) concept to get right. Representation of the technical solution in the business language without losing the essence, either in words or graphs, is ever challenging. I refer to the Shipley Proposal Management Guide as a handbook.
Being in a technology services company, usage of technology in bid management and proposal management is normal. The use of technology up to required areas and levels to enable a bid management process is still evolving. I used technology in two areas of bid management; knowledge management and approval workflow management initially, and now we have an inhouse tool to generate proposal first draft.
What advice would you want to give to the next-generation professionals or your peers?
Stay connected with the bid management community for continuous learning. The Bid Management profession in India is growing fast than ever. APMP India’s inaugural conference was the evident of the fact. A lot of more discussions are happening on social media, try to be an active participant.
Please give us one tip for creating a Winning Proposal?
Clear, Concise, and Complete proposals increase the probability of winning the deals. The bid manager has to orchestrate the team to get them right from the proposal evaluator perspective.
What is something you wish others understood about the importance of Proposal Management in today’s market?
Bid management is like orchestration in a symphony. Bid management is not an ancillary role in project management. The job role itself has a unique trait and attributes, which are the culmination of technology, domain, function, and professionalism. Fun, Integrity, and boldness are three values that make us class apart in our profession.
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