Capture Plan

Capture Plan

In the proposal process, proposal teams know the benefits of an effective capture plan. What is capture planning? Capture planning is the process of identifying a specific business opportunity. It consists of identifying opportunities, assessing the environment, and devising and implementing winning strategies. Capture planning requires a written, action-oriented capture plan to be successful as well as a strategic planning. Seasoned marketers and sales professionals know the value of strategic planning when it comes to making a sale. That is because between 40-80% of customers have made up their minds about who they want to do business with before proposals are submitted.

Capture planning is focused on identifying and growing opportunities and is conducted parallel with proposal planning and preparation. Properly executed capture plans save time, ensure consistency and uniformity in messaging to the customer. Without a capture plan, a proposal manager is left with a blank slate with little help and often under tremendous time constraints. There are specific guidelines and best practices inherent in capture plans.

12 Capture Plan Guidelines

Below are some of the important guidelines for developing an effective capture plan.

1. Execute a capture planning discipline that captures new business in an effective manner

2. Ensure effectiveness of capture planning by streamlining activities and capture plan elements

3. Share the capture plan effectively across the organization via a consistent medium (text, presentation, or web-based). Allow key members in the organization to develop, review, and update plans.

4. Focus on keeping the capture planning process dynamic, flexible, interactive, and current.

5. Strike an effective balance between planning and execution

6. Utilize automation tools to manage the capture plan. This may include the RACI matrix in the Content Analytics Platform (CAP) which assigns key roles in a project and tracks the progress of a project.

7. Gain the advocacy and support of senior leadership

8. Engage the right people to work in the capture team

9. Use SMART (specific, measurable, actionable, relevant, and time-bound) to manage different departments working on the capture plan.

10. Establish regular decision gate reviews to gauge whether an opportunity can be moved to the next phase or should be terminated

11. Use CAP capability of Color Team Reviews to improve the capture plan

12. Leverage the capture plan to start the proposal planning process.

Capture Plan Manager

A part of establishing and executing a successful capture plan is hiring the right people. Traditionally, a proposal manager oversees the details of a proposal response and all the moving parts. Many sophisticated companies that are serious about winning business hire a dedicated capture manager. The role of a capture manager is to court and get as much information about the issuer of the RFP as possible. This provides the intelligence and background information a company needs to successfully formulate a plan. Oftentimes, a capture manager spends significant time socializing and “wining and dining” prospective clients. For any company, combining an effective capture plan with a dedicated capture manager provides a more tailored and strategic approach to tackling RFPs and winning business.

RFP Risk

RFP Risk

When a company wants to do a project, it issues a request for proposal (RFP). Whether an RFP is issued for $100,000 or $1,000,000 there is a risk implicit in the RFP process. Too often companies delay the risk mitigation process until it’s too late and open themselves up to liability. There are certain steps a company can take to establish risk mitigation as a project priority and eliminate working with any bidders that do not practice risk mitigation.

When considering a winner of the next RFP, a company should consider the following steps:

Pre-RFP

In the RFP process, good planning is the cornerstone of success. A business should invest time in planning and executing the RPF process. When adequate preparation is done, it ensures that company needs are met, the RFP aligns with project goals, and all parties involved understand the goal and expectations of the project. In the pre-RFP phase, to mitigate risk companies should gather stakeholder feedback, identify needs, and deal-breakers, and ensure that risk management is established as a selection criterion. By meeting with all the stakeholders involved in the proposal, the company gauges the need of each team based on past performance. It also gives the company a chance to learn from prior errors and omissions.

Furthermore, when a company identifies needs and deal-breakers it ensures that key items and requirements are met in the RFP. Also, when a company establishes risk mitigation as part of the selection criteria for the RFP it attracts companies with better risk mitigation strategies to bid on the RFP.

The RFP

When a company enters the RFP process, it should strive to understand a bidder’s risk management beliefs and practices exhibited throughout the RFP. The presence of certain red-flag answers could heighten the

risk on the project, so companies should tread carefully. A way to ensure that a bidder is committed to risk mitigation is to do due diligence by discussing company’s work performance, asking for documentation such as legal documents, certifications, and permits as well as checking whether subcontractors are to be hired on the project. A detailed risk mitigation strategy for the company should be outlined which includes loss prevention, insurance coverage, job safety, training, etc.

Post RFP

As the RFP process draws to a close, companies should learn important lessons about incorporating risk mitigation into the big picture. Every company can become more selective in the process based on the proposals received, the answers to those proposals, and the identification of deal breakers in submissions. As a result of asking to follow-up questions, many companies realize that the lowest bid may not be always the best bid based on risk mitigation criteria. A low-cost provider without established risk management practices ends up being more of a liability with a high price tag when it comes to claims and litigation. A company must select the best provider not only based on cost and expertise but the commitment to risk mitigation.

Proposal Management Challenges

Proposal Management Challenges

In government contracting, the RFP that gets noticed is the one that wins the business. However, producing consistent winning RFP responses is not an easy feat. Even seasoned veterans in the proposal business know that the proposal management process is often stressful and tedious. Business owners need to understand the details of proposal management challenges and the solutions that are used to accompany them. As the old saying goes, “with awareness comes mastery” and the proposal managers that are prepared to overcome the challenges ahead are leading the industry.

Making Proposals Consistent

Consistency goes a long way when it comes to overcoming challenges in proposal management. This is because an inconsistent approach will guarantee inconsistent results. A proposal manager that has a clear RFP strategy in place is prepared and positioned to win business. A strategy also allows a business to recognize areas of improvement and focus on the areas of strengths when it comes to analyzing proposals. When an RFP hits the desk, a proposal response team should know exactly which steps to take at what time to ensure consistency and uniformity in response. Using a RACI Matrix, such as one generated by the Proposal & Contract Suite can ensure that roles on a team in the proposal process are assigned and everyone knows their deliverables.

Leveraging Subject Matter Experts

An RFP is a complex document that is filled with numerous questions and requirements that need clear and educated answers. Another proposal management challenge is the need to consult subject matter experts in a timely manner on the RFP. The subject matter experts (SME) should be able to provide an informative response that highlight’s your company’s expertise. These SMEs should be identified in the org chart and be available for consultation in key areas. Leveraging SME in an RFP response is a solution that provides credibility and gives RFP responses more significant expertise.

Deadlines

In the business world, time is of the essence. Unfortunately, as many proposal managers come to find out time isn’t always on your side. Working within tight deadlines can make a team stressed and anxious, a bad combination for winning business. Running out of time on proposals can also lead to mistakes and oversights. As many proposal managers know it takes many hours to manually complete a response to an RFP and one minor mistake can throw the entire response out of compliance. A good way to manage this proposal management challenge is to establish manageable deadlines. Proposal managers need to ensure that all steps are completed and reviewed before the due date. Because RFPs are complex and have a lot of moving parts, and automation software such as the Proposal & Contract Suite can help manage deadlines and team roles.

Conclusion

In the government contracting world, the road to winning business is one fraught with challenges and obstacles for the proposal team. Automation software such as the Proposal & Contract Suite can make this road easier for teams. When a team is faced with challenges such as ensuring consistency, leveraging subject matter experts, and managing deadlines introducing automation can make success easier to achieve.

Best Proposal Management Software

Best Proposal Management Software

Best Proposal Management Software

What is the best proposal management software? The kind that can superbly manage document contents and so much more with your customization.

A business proposal is the type of pitch you give to an organization when they have problems that need solving. It is your chance to show how well-versed you are about their company and tell them about some solutions from your company specifically tailored for them. Proposal software, also known as proposal management or Request For Proposal (RFP) response automation, can be used to develop responses, presentations, and proposals.

The Proposal And Contract Suite

The Proposal and Contract Suite is the CAP component that helps you prepare successful business proposals and contracts. It is comprehensive and fully customizable. With the suite you can:

Shred Your RFP

Analyze (shred or parse) your RFPs for terms such as “must,” “shall,” “will,” as well as your custom keywords or phrases. Six file types are supported.

Excel Templates

Templates provide flexibility. They are:

· Easy to use

· Establish consistency and uniformity

· Helps eliminate rework, errors, and the cut-and-paste method

· Shorten proposal development time

· Apply best practices

Generate A Compliance Matrix

· Use the Shipley Associates’ template or create a cross-reference compliance matrix

· Auto-populate requirement sections such as Section L

· Filter requirements

· Share your matrix with a single click

Identify and Validate Acronyms

Your documents can be quickly scanned to identify both defined and undefined acronyms, erroneously or inconsistently used acronyms, and repeatedly defined acronyms.

Compare Documents

You can identify differences between two similar documents in a side-by-side interactive window. Provides color coded displays of modified, inserted, and deleted document elements.

Readability Analysis

Determine the readability ranking of segments or paragraphs according to your business concerns.

Ensure Compliance

The critical need for full compliance can be ensured. Use the duo tools of the cross-reference compliance matrix window, which can identify neglected concerns, and the gap analysis report, which can display missing concepts.

Compare Resumes

Compare multiple resumes easily. With the Weighted Analysis/ Resumes dynamic application, you can identify what is important for the position you are trying to fill.

Customization

Each dynamic application of the CAP is fully customizable, allowing you to create your own solutions.

Conclusion

What is the best proposal management software? We believe the Proposal & Contract Suite deserves that estimation. What sets Scion Analytics’ proposal management software apart from the competitors? A chief reason is that the Proposal & Contract Suite is designed to be customizable in nearly every aspect of the platform without writing macros or code.

Proposal Management Process

Proposal Management Process

A Proposal management process is the overseeing and assisting the completion of a business proposal. The right proposal management process is essential to any successful writing effort. Yet, people often struggle to set up a system that works for them and they end up becoming frustrated with their own efforts in this area.

What Is The Proposal Process?

In the proposal process, there are three key elements:

· There is in any project the pre-proposal, or pre-Request For Proposal (RFP), work to be done

· Then various stages of review including planning and managing of the proposal development

· Then the writing of the proposal

Proposal Management Process Importance

In today’s competitive business environment, it is more important than ever to have an audit-ready process that spans all departments. It needs to get the team working efficiently from start to finish.

The proposal process is essential to the success of any project. Without it, you can expect embarrassing mistakes and wasted time as well lost contracts, which will result in frustrated employees or clients. Be sure to set up and follow a written process to ensure this success.

Proposal Management Process Steps

Successful proposals require careful planning and execution. Here are the steps you can take to ensure your plan goes smoothly:

Step One: Go/No Go Decision

Before writing the proposal, you need to determine whether the opportunity is a good fit and can be competitively met. You need to find out what game is being played. The key to determining whether your firm has a reasonable shot at winning is being able to identify which criteria needs to be met. Determine the criteria that needs to be considered for the decision. Identify who makes the decision and how soon it needs to be determined.

Step Two: Proposal Planning

Start planning the proposal development. This includes identifying both tasks and individual responsibilities, developing a strategy, a proposal outline, a schedule, and contractor/subcontractor coordination.

Step Three: Kick-Off Meeting

A kick-off meeting is a great way to gather all the people who will be involved in your project and make sure that everyone knows what needs to be done. It also helps if they are on board from day one. Discuss who will write what sections, the deadlines for them, which team members will be suggested, as well as a strategy for winning the bid.

Step Four: Proposal Development

Proposal development is about taking your outline and turning it into a sell. You have got the plan figured out, now you need to execute on all fronts: writing up what needs to be written by when and providing graphics or images for any pictures needed. It is during this process that the color team review takes place. They will review and edit the proposal itself. This step is crucial. As they say in the proposal business, “this is where the sausage is made.”

Step Five: Send Out

Determine how the proposal will actually be sent out for consideration. Will it be hand delivered? Will it be mailed?

Step Six: Proposal Close Out

Once the proposal is sent out and has reached its destination, you might think you are done. But there is more. Commonly, an electronic or paper copy of the proposal, the RFP, and any addenda is filed in the proper location.

Contract Risk Management

Contract Risk Management

The purpose of contract risk management is to minimize potential losses through effective and efficient methods. Contractual risks represent a major “blind spot” for many companies, as they do not see it coming until there is an issue with their contracts or clients.

When parties enter a contract, it is not just the terms and conditions which they need to be aware of. There are other risks involved as well including exposure for legal action in case something goes wrong with their part.

Today’s corporate governance and regulatory environment demands that management demonstrate adequate controls over all functions which impact financial reporting including contractual relationships. More efficient contract processes can be an important way for companies to make their business better.

Contract Risk Management Benefits

Here are some key benefits deriving from better contract risk management:

· There will be a consistent appreciation and understanding of the contractual liabilities throughout the company

· Corrective actions and process improvements will be identified

· With the validation of controls across the contract portfolio, there is enhanced corporate governance

· With detection of overpayments to suppliers as well as underpayments from contractual arrangements, there results tangible, direct cost savings and other revenues

· Addressing risk and insurance with a proactive response

· The entire organization sharing greater awareness of contract risks

· Both insurance procurement and optimum insurance program are aided

· Both decision-making on risk transfer and risk financing options are aided

Contract Risk Management Examples

Understanding The Risks Inherent In Contracts

You should always carefully review the contract before signing it, because an unqualified contractor could expose your organization to financial risks. Here are four things to consider:

· Who pays when something goes wrong?

· What happens when contractors are hurt on your property?

· Be cautious of Hold Harmless and Indemnity clauses

· Seek legal guidance for any doubts

Designing Risk Solutions Covering Financial, Insurance, And Internal Controls

Internal controls are the policies and procedures that financial institutions establish to reduce risks and ensure they meet operating objectives. The board of directors has a responsibility for internal control programs. It makes sure these operate effectively by monitoring them regularly or when there is not enough time from day-to-day operations activities.

Implementing Robust Contractual Risk Management Processes

The task of contract risk management is an essential step for any business to take before entering into a long-term agreement. This process forces the parties involved in negotiations or contracts with one another to estimate their legal exposure. It makes them consider how much could go wrong if something does happen and what would be lost as the result. The time invested should also factor into this estimation since it will require more work on behalf of both sides.

Conclusion

Corporations have a lot more contracts to worry about than just exchanging goods. A company will sign multiple legally binding agreements to document all the intricate details related to business exchanges. This is due in part because they are entering into so many of these kinds of transactions constantly. They need something that can be enforced by law like an enforceable contract instead of just relying on personal responsibility or mutual agreement between parties.

What Is Customer Relationship Management?

What Is Customer Relationship Management?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) manages the relationship a company has with customers or potential customers regarding all aspects of sales, marketing, and service-related interactions. CRM helps manage all Web, email, telephone, mobile apps, chats, and marketing items. It is often used by both Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C) companies.

The development of CRM systems in the 90’s and 2000’s has made it possible for businesses to centralize all customer data. This centralizes things like emails, mobile phone records (including texts), notecards with contact information. Before the development of CRM, all these data were scattered in different forms. With CRM, everything is stored on one centralized database, which can be accessed quickly by business owners or managers alike.

The idea of customer relationship management is to have an organized centralized database with all the information about your customers. This can include everything from their contact details or what they buy frequently, and then use this data for targeted marketing campaigns.

A Typical CRM Strategy

A CRM strategy can help businesses with these objectives:

· Unifying sales, marketing, and customer service silos

· Gaining a 360-degree view of prospect and customers

· Better service and loyalty customer retention

· Attracting new customers and gaining new business

· Existing campaigns or initiatives are evaluated

· Increased profits

· Decreased customer management costs

Components Of CRM Software

A successful CRM software connects your company’s various departments to provide a comprehensive platform for data input and management.

Here are the key components:

· Lead Management

A list of prospective customers, their relevant demographic information, and interaction details plus tools to collect this information.

· Pipeline Management

A visual display of potential sales and contracts in relation to how close they are to being actualized. The location of a customer or prospect can be manipulated by the user within their pipeline as they advance from one stage into another.

· Campaign Management

A record of all marketing activities, including email and social media.

· Documentation Management

Stores all relevant documents. The files include RFPs, contracts, invoices, and other paperwork.

· Analytics

The best company is one that has strong analytics. It is important for a business to have good information about its customers and what they want. This can help craft insightful reports from this data to make an impact towards its success.

· Automation

The benefits of automation are many. Automation performs manual tasks without human intervention. Examples are email campaigns and customer service chatbots.

· Integration

Integration can be used to connect your CRM system with third-party applications that collect more data or do specialized operations. This ensures you are getting all the information out there.

Examples Of CRM Software

CRM tools are more popular than ever, with cloud-based CRMs being the most recent trend. These Web-based solutions allow sales teams to access customer and lead information from any device, in any location, at all hours of day. Major CRM software vendors include:

· Salesforce

· Hubspot

· Microsoft Dynamics

· Zoho

· SAP

· Netsuite

· Oracle

· Infusionsoft by Keap

Artificial Intelligence In Business Development

Artificial Intelligence In Business Development

Artificial Intelligence (AI) in business development is a powerful tool that can be used to boost revenue, improve customer experience, and increase productivity. The use of this technology will not only help a company grow but can transform how it operates daily.

Why Companies Should Use Artificial Intelligence

Modern business processes are characterized by a high level of complexity, involving tasks that are stressful and inefficient to be carried out by humans. In today’s world, data has become an integral part for companies looking at strategies which can lead them towards growth through data-driven insights.

The need for businesses to understand their customers’ needs and preferences is invaluable in today’s business world, where fierce competition can make or break them. Using AI with software that automates processes, companies can improve productivity while reducing operational expenses –all without sacrificing quality of service.

Examples Of Artificial Intelligence In Business

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is the new data. AI has been around for decades. It is only recently that we are seeing its applications in business and industries across various sectors such as finance, healthcare, or manufacturing.

Here are some examples of businesses using AI:

Customer Service

AI in business is not just about replacing humans with robots. AI can also make customer service easier for customers by providing them real-time responses to their questions and complaints. It can reduce costs of staffing on the front lines at companies like Amazon who uses chatbots instead.

Business Intelligence

Marketing insights are providing companies with the tools they need to be more successful. With these new ways of thinking, it is easier than ever before for marketers and their teams alike. Implementing this information into marketing strategies can not only help understand customers better but also create tailored experiences that will make every customer feel like an individual.

Personalized Marketing

With data obtained from the online activities of customers, companies can now use AI to predict and target who will buy a particular product. This helps marketers reduce marketing costs at once.

Product Recommendation And Predictive Analytics

Customers are more likely to buy from a company that knows them well. That is why companies like Netflix and Spotify use AI for recommendations, so their customers will keep coming back. Spotify, Netflix, and other companies utilize AI to keep users entertained. Spotify uses AI to recommend songs that listeners may enjoy based on their preferences for music-related activities such as listening or watching videos from YouTube.

Natural Language Processing

Companies are using AI to generate automated business reports and carry out sentiment analysis on people’s perceptions from various online comments and tweets. With the AI tool of Natural Language Processing (NLP), companies can use sentiment analysis to understand how customers feel about a company’s products and services.

Conclusion

The potential for Artificial Intelligence (AI) is limitless. It is time to make the most of this revolutionary future by embracing AI in all aspects. Mentioning a few benefits or outcomes from AI will not cut it anymore. Business leaders need an understanding that encompasses everything these technologies can do if they want to stay ahead.

Text Mining Examples

Text Mining Examples

As the amount and relevance of unstructured data increases, so text mining is a necessity. Applications like Risk Management Software have improved profits thanks to text mining’s ability to advance our understanding about risks associated with cybercrime or financial issues.

Text mining is a technique that can extract useful information and knowledge from unstructured text, such as business deals or customer reviews. Unstructured data is simply content that is not yet neatly placed into a spreadsheet format. Text mining is being used in large organizations to discover insights about trends within their data sets.

Text Mining is an innovative technology that can help organizations. The following ten text mining examples give you a glimpse into its potential for the future:

Risk Management

With the rise in concern over cyber-attacks, it is more important than ever to protect against risk. One way that this can be done successfully is by using text mining technology which identifies potential security threats. It analyzes vast quantities of documents and data streams that are stored electronically or on paper together with information sources such as images or sounds.

Knowledge Management

Rather than trying to find information in a sea of documents, knowledge managers use software that searches texts for keywords and phrases. This allows them to quickly sift through large volumes of data with the goal being that of product development.

Cybercrime Prevention

The anonymity of the Internet and many of the communication channels allows opportunities for cybercrime. Text mining coupled with anti-crime applications are making an impact on Internet-based crimes.

Customer Care Service

Many customers are now using text analytics software to improve their experiences with the help of various sources. These may include surveys, trouble tickets, and customer call notes. These sources are valuable information that can be used by companies for better quality service delivery and faster resolutions.

Fraud Detection Through Claims Investigation

Text analytics is a tremendously effective technology in any domain where most of the information may be found as text. Insurance companies are taking advantage of it by using this kind of research. It combines results from mining through texts with other structured data to prevent frauds and efficiently process claims.

Contextual Advertising

Digital advertising is a new and growing field for text analytics. Unlike cookie-based approaches, contextual advertising provides better accuracy as well as preserves the user’s privacy.

Business Intelligence

The decision-making process is a delicate balance between strategy and analytics. The large companies use text mining for this because it helps them make quick decisions on data volumes that are too broad or complicated to analyze traditionally.

Content Enrichment

Text analytics is the process of discovering information from texts. It can be used to enrich content, provide tags for organizing, and summarizing available information in a scalable way that makes it suitable for many purposes.

Spam Filtering

Email is an effective, fast, and affordable way to communicate with your customers. But it does come with its downside: spam. Today’s issue of email service has led Internet providers increasing their costs for managing these emails as well as updating hardware and software. Text mining techniques can be implemented towards improving statistical-based filtration methods.

Social Media Data Analysis

Social media has been one of the most important sources for businesses to gain intelligence on how their customers feel about them. Companies are using prolific social media data to better understand what people want and need from a brand or product they may be considering to purchase. This includes things such as text analytics, which can analyze large volumes of unstructured texts to extract sentiments, opinions, and emotions regarding brand products.

Unstructured Data In Government

Unstructured Data In Government

Unstructured data that is gathered by the federal government is becoming a huge challenge to manage for easy accessibility. Data is becoming more and more important in our daily lives. It can be found everywhere, from social media posts to blog entries. All sorts of unstructured data are just waiting for someone who has the know-how on how best use them. But there is one problem: there is not really any good way of organizing this information.

Unstructured data is any electronic file that does not land in a structured platform, such as a database where it is easy to organize and access. Government centers are full of unorganized information collected from outside sources like social media posts or blog entries along with images and videos.

The Air Force collects a lot of data while its planes fly. Sensors record weather information, the aircraft collects GPS mapping data, and onboard systems track operational performance. Usually, this kind of raw material would come in an unstructured form. Different disciplines have their own storage silos.

Challenges

There are many challenges to harvesting and managing unstructured data efficiently.

Files are collected from outside sources such as social media and blog posts along with images or videos for easy organization to facilitate access. There can be several different ways files might get recorded though. Some agencies will set up their system so they can capture those unstructured categories inside a database, making them easier to sort and search through. Otherwise, the data will be siloed and made inaccessible.

For decades, the amount of unstructured data has exploded. Now, agencies are struggling to keep up with it all. There is a lack efficiency in their management practices because they are not fully utilizing current platforms like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML). These

technologies can help with this information overload by identifying patterns or trends on high volume levels.

The data growth in the datacenter is also being driven by several new initiatives, such as the Internet of Things (IoT) and AI. This spans across the edge-core-cloud.

The need to store large amounts of data led to the evolution from simple storage into more complicated systems. Agencies used stacked appliances and then silos to manage all this new influx –but at what cost? It increased costs while decreasing efficiency.

Benefits

There are many insights to be gathered from unstructured data using smart practices with the right tools of AI and ML.

Using a data lake, a government health agency could store X-rays so that ML can associate common characteristics of bone degeneration or disease development. This would lead to faster diagnoses because they are less likely to miss rare diseases if there is evidence for it already within their database.

Using the unstructured data of marine biology from vessels’ traversing, the Navy is working on a better coating for its ships. This will keep them from rusting or degrading. They need to get the most effective design and creation models. And they need to understand what marine life these vessels move through with regularity.

Sensors on the farm pick up humidity levels or the pH balance of the soils to enable better planning for suppliers and supply routes.

Conclusion

Although the vast majority of data is unstructured, much insightful benefit can still be gathered from it. It requires human ingenuity using the right processes and the right tools such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).