A Series of Best Practices: 6 – Transition from Capture to Proposal

Things can get chaotic when projects change hands and new ideas or perspectives are added to the equation. The agency vendor relationship begins with the capture manager, who takes the time to establish an initial relationship with the agency. They get to know the customer’s vision, what are hot buttons, what price points they prefer, and how they like to operate.

Now we’re leading up to the transition. The agency has published the RFP, and if everything is running like it should this isn’t a surprise. The capture manager saw this coming. So a proposal manager is assigned to the RFP and in theory, the capture manager is done and can work on their next capture.

This sounds ok after all the proposal manager has the capture manager’s notes and recommendations. Everything should be smooth sailing at this point and it’s just a matter of landing the contract. Now imagine the proposal writer gets a great fresh idea and he wants to run with it. After all, he’s the master of proposal writing and knows better than anyone how to write something that will win. What could go wrong?

Except for the proposal, the manager has not spent the same amount of time with the agency as the capture guy. He may think he has an understanding with just his notes, but the room for error just got a lot bigger. If his great idea or new way of thinking goes against what the agency would want to see? Then, they won’t win the contract and the only person who might be able to foreshadow this hasn’t been involved.

So, it seems obvious that a smoother transition is necessary to ensure that the proposal is as successful as possible. To resolve this the capture guy should stay involved with the proposal as an advocate for the client, in this case, the agency publishing RFPs. Their role will be to sit on the review team and push back whenever the proposal writers move away from the strategy.

A smooth transition can help prevent bumps in the road ahead.

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