If you’re in the government contracting world, holding a training for your proposal, business development, capture, or pricing teams can be a daunting task. There are many questions and steps required before the actual training takes place, some of which include:
- Where are our biggest gaps as an organization?
- What content should the training cover?
- Who should attend this training?
- When is the “right” time to hold the training?
- Will we bring in an outside organization to lead this training or run it internally?
All are valid questions and ones each company should consider with certainty. Trainings are expensive, both from a cost and time perspective. Bringing in an outside organization to run your training may be costly, but having your employees give up a day or two of work could be even more costly. Tasks may be put on hold and deadlines could be pushed, BUT what we have found time and again is making time for trainings is well worth it. In fact, companies offering a comprehensive training program for employees experience a 24% higher profit margin than companies that do not. (Source: Association for Talent Development (ATD)) Some benefits will be seen immediately, while others will be seen down the road – regardless, your team will thank you for investing in them and their future.
Is It Time to Schedule a Training?
Knowing when to bring in an outside organization for training is key, both from a timing and skills improvement standpoint. As training practitioners, we’ve learned to read the signals and developed a list of tell-tale signs that it’s time to hold a training for your team.Here are our top 5 tips to help make that determination.
1. Stale Proposal Content
If your company consistently receives the same feedback from government debriefs, that’s a clear sign it’s time to bring in an expert to help train your staff. Debrief feedback can fall in any number of buckets, from misunderstanding customer needs and poorly defined solutions to putting together a non-compliant response – whatever the issue may be, take the government’s advice and learn how to avoid these errors in the future.
2. Proposal Contributors Don’t Know How to Contribute
Pulling billable or operational employees into the proposal process is a common practice in our industry, however most of those employees have likely not been trained to work in such roles. They are often frustrated since they are asked to contribute, but are not given the proper training and guidance to contribute meaningfully and efficiently. Giving your employees the proper tools and know-how will enable them – and motivate them to excel in tasks or sections they’ve been assigned.
3. Protecting Your Sanity
It may seem like a strange concept to protect your sanity during proposal season – but it is possible! If you find yourself repeatedly working late nights and weekends on proposals, it’s time to learn a better way. By implementing a more succinct and productive system, your schedule may look completely different. A training can arm you to do just that.
4. Setting Your Team Up for Success
At a small business, everyone should go through proposal training – including the CEO and executive team. If you’ve recently brought on new business development, capture, and/or proposal team members or have industry newbies, make sure they’re up to speed on your process and industry best practices too. While everyone may have their preferred way of winning business, it is important to get new and existing staff on the same page with proven BD, capture, and proposal methodologies.
5. Improve Your Chances of Winning
In today’s competitive climate, more and more companies are going after the same contract. While relationships and persistence are still critical for winning business, your team needs to stay on top of industry best practices to win in the federal market. Red Team’s training, in particular, considers the constantly evolving agency and acquisition landscape.
Whether it’s business development, capture management, or proposal development – bringing in training experts to address and improve gaps in your team’s skills will empower them to make changes and boost morale. If you’re currently considering proposal development, capture, or pricing training for your team, here’s a good place to start.
Still on the fence or unsure about where to start? Contact Red Team’s Training & Events Lead, Meghan Quinn, to get your questions answered.