'Tis the Season: 4 BD Tasks We Recommend You Do Now in Preparation for the New YearDec 13, 2022
‘Tis the season… for people to go on vacation and projects to slow down. Like any other industry, the federal contracting industry starts the holiday season around Thanksgiving and returns to normal after the New Year. As we all know, productivity tends to slow to a crawl during that period. So, if you find yourself with a little more time on your hands this holiday season, we encourage you to take this opportunity to prepare for Annual Year Quarter 1/Fiscal Year Quarter 2 by establishing and/or revisiting your company’s 2023 Business Development (BD) Plan.
Here are four tasks we recommend you do now as you prepare for 2023:
1. Scrub Your Pipeline
The first thing we recommend you do before the New Year is go through your 12- to-18-month pipeline and check if expected solicitation dates have changed. It’s also important to check if the set-aside status has changed, if the work is being recompeted on a different contract vehicle or as a separate task order, and if the work has been cancelled altogether. If you do find changes, it’s important for your BD team to assess how these changes will impact your goals and what actions you need to take to adjust.
2. Offer Workforce Development
If you’re lucky enough not to have a proposal on your plate this holiday season, take this time to train your internal team on sound BD practices. If you’re a smaller company or a relatively new company, your BD team might not have a very strong BD process in place or the bandwidth to implement it. Looking back on 2022; at any point, did you find yourself in a “nightmare” proposal scenario that you would like to avoid next year? If the answer is yes, then a little bit of training goes a long way, and this is the perfect opportunity to complete it. It is very likely that your team also doesn’t want to keep repeating the same mistakes and enduring the same headaches. Bringing in an outside expert who can help you identify the blockers helps everyone and is also a strong signal to your employees that you are willing to invest in setting them up for success.
3. Conduct Supporting Research for Company Goals
Somewhere around now and the start of the year, your leadership will hand you a list of goals for the company to pursue in the coming year. Once you know what you’re expected to do next year, the question becomes *how* are you going to do it? A good BD strategy session should help you determine the goals. Before you sit down to strategize, you should prepare for that meeting by conducting supporting research. Say for example that your company wants to on-ramp to a new GWAC in 2023. Does your leadership team understand the onboarding requirements and deadlines? Or maybe your company wants to expand its business into a new market. Have you conducted an initial market assessment to understand the contracting activity and the competition? Have you identified any potential barriers to entry? Now is the time to prepare for those questions by doing the research that will help you establish a plan of attack.
4. Review Your Capture Plan and Update Your Call Plan
Even if you’ve put together a solid capture plan over the past few months (or years), when was the last time you reviewed it? Has anything changed? Are there immediate actions you can take at the start of the year to engage with your customers or industry partners? If the answer is yes, then you will most certainly need to build or update your call plan. Call plans are an important part of business development—they ensure you don’t let people forget you—but to be effective, they have to be strategic, and they do require some preparation. This is something that shouldn’t be overlooked, and the end of the year is a great time to prepare them, even if you just create a solid starting point and adapt it based on your meeting results. And what better way to start a conversation than by wishing your industry partners and customers happy holidays? It’s the professional thing to do and the perfect opportunity to discuss new business ventures.
Preparation is key to success in this industry. By taking on these four BD tasks now you are ensuring you’ll be better positioned for success in 2023.
Regardless of the season, if you simply don’t have the bandwidth to perform these tasks internally or you want an expert to facilitate the work to ensure your team is learning sound BD practices, we can help. Trident Proposal Management has a team of capture managers, coaches, researchers, and analysts across a globally dispersed team who can help you scrub your pipeline, facilitate a capture strategy session, help you update your call plan for 2023, and/or conduct research in support of your 2023 company goals.
Trident also offers several 1-hour training sessions that can help with your team's BD processes. We offer training courses for all levels of proposal mastery, from "What to Expect When You're Expecting a Proposal" for beginners, to Grey Team discussions for advanced solutioning on specific topics.
To learn more about our market research, coaching, and capture management services, visit our website.
If you’ve already done all these things, we applaud you for being ahead of the game. It looks like your 2023 BD Plan is in good shape. Don’t forget to communicate your plan across the team to ensure everyone understands what they are expected to do and by when.
On behalf of all of at Trident, we sincerely wish you happy holidays and a prosperous New Year!
Written by Alexis Romero
Alexis is our Business Intelligence Lead, a capture and proposal expert, and an orals coach at Trident. She brings extensive experience in defense contracting, proposal management, business and pipeline development, orals coaching, and UX/ UI strategy to our clients. Based in San Diego, she supports clients around the world as part of our globally dispersed team.