Exploring this Job
Individuals considering a career in proposal management should cultivate their interests in business and economics. Depending on their interests, they might also focus on various trades. Get involved in school and civic clubs, taking leadership roles when possible. Participate in organizing school events, such as fund-raisers or food and clothing drives to learn what it takes for a group of people to achieve a goal. Attend grant writing seminars to learn how to collect information and write proposals effectively.
Proposal managers coordinate an organization’s proposals. They manage the entire proposal process from beginning to end, including reviewing, preparing, and presenting proposals to potential clients. Their roles often combine project management and sales. They often travel to visit clients and customers and may negotiate agreements, assist in implementing contracts, and bring their company up to speed on client expectations when work begins to fulfill a proposal.
When companies or organizations receive a request for a proposal, called an RFP, the proposal manager develops a plan for the potential client that shows how the company may meet their needs and why they are the best suited to do so. At the same time, they must balance how the proposal will allocate resources to ensure a profit for the company.
Proposal managers review requests for proposals. The first step in this process is ascertaining their customer’s expectations, budgets, and deadlines. A key part of their job is making sure the proposal falls within their clients budget and planning requirements. They carefully read and consider the RFP to achieve this. Once proposal managers know this they begin the proposal process. This entails developing a plan which outlines each stage of the work, deadlines, costs, potential obstacles, and other important considerations.
Proposal managers typically work with teams. Different aspects of a proposal are provided by individuals or departments that are part of the team. These might include researching, writing, editing, and illustrating a proposal as well as providing cost estimates, scheduling, and risk analysis. In some instances, the proposal manager may hire subcontractors or experts to assist with the proposal.
A great deal of the job is supervising the proposal project team. Proposal managers schedules the work of creating the proposal, assign priorities, identify tasks, and oversee the process. They review and revise the written content of each page of the proposal as well as the aesthetics. As the proposal progresses, they check to make sure it meets the client’s requests as stated in the RFP. Managers then work with the proposal team to make any corrections or revisions.
In some situations, the proposal may simply be mailed, e-mailed, or sent via messenger, but in others, the proposal manager and members of the proposal team schedules meetings with the potential client to present and explain the proposal in detail. During these meetings, the proposal manager "pitches" the proposal to the potential client, answers questions, responds to concerns, and attempts to get the proposal accepted.