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You’ve just finished a hectic proposal season. You’ve stressed over compliance issues, you’ve lost sleep meeting deadlines, you’ve somehow managed to keep multiple teams on track, and you’ve fretted over every single proposal deliverable. The dust has finally settled. So now what? What you do after the proposal season can be just as important as what you do beforehand. Here are five key things you and your team can do to make the post-proposal season more productive and meaningful:
Have an internal debrief with your team—no matter what size it is. Find some time to get together and review the basics. What went well? What didn’t? Offer a safe environment to discuss your successes, things that weren’t so successful, and ideas for future proposal seasons. This doesn’t need to be a full-blown retreat; even a one- or two-hour meeting can provide an opportunity for dialogue and open the door for feedback.
Update Your Library
For every new proposal, we often find ourselves creating new text and other new content for documents, such as resumés, past performances, and items like charts or other statistical data. When things come to a standstill, remember to upload this new content to your shared drive or wherever you store proposal libraries for future use. It is helpful to put a date on the content so you can identify the most recent version of a document.
Where do your numbers fall? Where are you this season as opposed to last season? If you are not currently using any metrics for tracking, consider utilizing some.
Update your reports with data from the existing proposal season. If you are set up as most companies are, upper management will be waiting to see these results. Where do your numbers fall? Where are you this season as opposed to last season? If you are not currently using any metrics for tracking, consider utilizing some. Work with your team and discuss which reports would be the most beneficial in meeting your company goals and mission.
Remember to say thank you to your team members who have worked so hard for you, not only throughout the whole year but especially during the crazy proposal season. Depending on the size of your team and the location, the type of thank you can vary (e.g., a lunch out, a gift card, a day or two off). Use your imagination; you know your team best. And don’t forget to thank your subcontractors as well if they have played a major role. Not that every contract or proposal deserves a fruit basket, but you get my meaning. Most importantly, though, the best thing to go along with your thank-you gift is the actual message from you. Let people know that their time and effort are appreciated.
Take a Break
Many of us have periods when we are working on proposals nonstop for two, three, even four months. When you are in overdrive for that long, working long days and nights (and pulling all-nighters), you need to let yourself rest. Let yourself take the time to recharge. It may seem impossible to take a day off right away, but even the simple act of heading out from work earlier than normal can be restful for both body and mind.
Meg Whitehouse, CPP APMP, is a senior business development specialist at Evergreen Fire and Security, a Tacoma, Washington-based life safety and security solutions provider. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.