Proposals 101 for the A/E/C Professional

You can’t just keep your fingers crossed and hope for the best when it comes to winning work. There are insider tips and strategies all about putting together the best-possible proposal for your project pursuits. This on-demand course, taught by industry experts, provides the big picture of marketing and business development and the essential basics of Capture Planning, Tailoring Proposals, and Graphics for the A/E/C Professional.

This course is comprised of four 60-minute modules—viewing the modules in sequential order is recommended to enhance learning.

Each 60-minute on-demand webinar in this course is approved for 1 continuing education unit (CEU) for the Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) Program.


Intro Module: Get Started: A/E/C Marketing and Business Development

Barbara Shuck, FSMPS, CPSM
President, Everest Marketing Services

For A/E/C firms, marketing is more than just a proposal and a cool website or Facebook ad. And now, business development involves a variety of activities—and various staff.

No matter the size or setup of your firm, it’s time to take a look at your marketing and BD game plan. And a roadmap is just what you need to help transform your firm’s business and help with project wins

Marketing is more than proposals. This introductory module provides the big picture of marketing and business development in the A/E/C industries. We’ll dig into the definitions of marketing and business development and explore how they apply to any firm. In addition, we’ll show how the SMPS Domains of Practice serve as pillars of an effective marketing program. 

A good plan is necessarily agile, and this roadmap will help you plan, allocate resources, develop budgets, and measure performance. 

With this clear roadmap in hand, you’ll move into the next three modules of this course with improved skills to develop winning proposals and strategies.

During this 60-minute on-demand webinar, attendees will learn to:

  • Apply the SMPS definitions of marketing and business development for all types of firms
  • Sequence the three steps of business development and summarize how the SMPS Domains of Practice impact firm pursuit success
  • Apply the framework to proposals and other marketing initiatives in their firms
About the Instructor

Barbara Shuck, FSMPS, CPSM
President, Everest Marketing Services

With 25+ years working for A/E/C firms, Barbara understands the frustration of communicating differentiators and creating “why us” and “why not them” themes. At Everest Marketing Services, she uses a comprehensive suite of tools to help companies communicate clearly so they win work and attract staff to grow their business. She helps clients with internal communications and initiatives, and external efforts that win work through compelling and persuasive content and messaging.
 
Barbara is a past-president of SMPS and is currently a SMPS Foundation trustee. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts (Journalism) and French, and a master’s degree in Business, (marketing emphasis), along with expertise in sales, printing, publishing, teaching, and marketing in the A/E/C industries.


Module 1: Capture Planning

Lindsay Diven, CPSM
Senior Consultant, Full Sail Partners

Capture planning is an essential element in winning pursuits. It’s a methodical process in understanding the client and decision-makers, the potential project and opportunities, and the competitive landscape—and then turning that into a winning proposal. It often requires a full team of business development, marketing, and technical professionals.  

Much of the capture planning effort happens before the RFP is even released. An effective capture plan ensures that your business and marketing efforts align with your proposal strategy and the way you want to position your firm.  

In this session, our instructor will introduce key elements of capture planning. Participants will explore ways to develop customer-specific strategies to help foster relationships and create compelling and compliant submissions that win.

During this 60-minute on-demand webinar, participants will learn:

  • How to define capture planning and understand why it’s important
  • Key elements of a capture plan
  • How to utilize capture planning to differentiate your firm
  • How to leverage your capture team’s feedback to create successful proposals 

This program covers the basics of capture planning and is ideal for those new to business development and sales as well as experienced mid-to senior-level marketers.

About the Instructor

Lindsay Diven, CPSM
Senior Consultant, Full Sail Partners

Lindsay Diven has more than 15 years of hands-on experience in professional services marketing and business development for the A/E/C industries. Currently, she’s a senior consultant for Full Sail Partners specializing in CRM implementation, training, and strategy for A/E/C firms nationwide. She also manages Marketers Take Flight, an A/E/C-industry specific marketing and business development training website. She has extensive capture planning and proposal management involvement, in responding to government municipalities and private sector clients domestic and internationally.

Diven has served as the education and membership directors for SMPS Central Florida and serves as an advisor to the SMPS Southeastern Regional Conference. 


Module 2: Tried-and-True Tactics to Tailor Proposals

Jen McGovern, CPSM
Mid-Atlantic Regional Marketing Manager, VHB

When reviewing proposals, the selection committee only has one question: Why is your firm the best fit for our project? But as proposal writers juggle multiple deadlines--with input from many parties and a laundry list of proposal requirements-- the answer to this important question gets buried. 

It’s time to stop burying your message and start letting your main ideas shine through to strengthen your proposals. Presenter Jen McGovern, CPSM, will share best practices gained through preparing and reviewing hundreds of proposals for public and private clients worldwide. Participants will leave the webinar feeling prepared to tailor every section of their proposals, taking their next submittal to the next level.

During this 60-minute on-demand webinar, participants will understand how to:

  • Hold a kick-off meeting that sets the foundation for a strong proposal
  • Develop features, separators, and benefits 
  • Tailor each section of a typical proposal so it stands out
About the Instructor

Jen McGovern, CPSM
Mid-Atlantic Regional Marketing Manager, VHB

As mid-Atlantic regional marketing manager for VHB, Jen McGovern, CPSM, knows what it takes to put together a strong proposal. She oversees the marketing efforts for seven offices across three states and the District of Columbia, which means she has prepared and reviewed hundreds of proposals.

A frequent writer and presenter, Jen is president-elect for SMPS DC and a member of the SMPS Marketer Editorial Committee. She achieved her CPSM designation in 2015.


Module 3: Easy Ways to Use Graphics in Proposals and Presentations

Karen Kurta
Owner, Karen K Photo

Let's face it, nobody looks at a proposal or presentation and says "Yay, it's all words!" Yet most of the time we use pages of text or wordy bullets and wonder why our message gets lost. Visuals resonate with people, and using graphics as well-thought-out ways to convey or enhance your message is key to keeping your audience engaged.

You don't have to be a graphic designer to use graphics effectively in proposals or presentations. There are many simple, yet effective ways to visually enhance your marketing materials. All you need is a little creativity.

From developing tag lines and infographics to using photos and charts effectively, we’ll examine graphic tools to create better marketing materials. Using real-world examples from proposals and presentations, this session will explore creative alternatives to traditional text and bullet points. We’ll even cover tips and tricks for those with no graphic design help.

During this 60-minute on-demand webinar, participants will learn: 

  • Why visual communication works so well
  • The types of graphics that are most effective and how to use them to support your message
  • Different ways of conveying information in proposals and presentations
  • How to easily build simple graphics
  • Resources and tips and tricks for inexpensive stock fonts and graphics
About the Instructor

Karen Kurta
Owner, Karen K Photo

Karen is a photographer, graphic designer, and visual marketing specialist with over 12 years of experience in professional services industries. She’s the owner of Karen K Photo, helping people and businesses improve their image to boost their marketing efforts and make a lasting impression.

A three-time marketing excellence award winner, Karen excels in assembling complex pieces into concise and cohesive marketing materials. For eight years, she managed complex proposals and developed presentations, graphics, collateral, advertising, and project photography for two global construction firms. She was most recently a senior graphic designer for Cushman & Wakefield—a global commercial real estate firm—where she provided graphic design, photography, social media, and marketing support for over 40 brokers in two markets. She is known for efficiency, creativity, and the drive to continuously improve her skills.

Karen is a member of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), Professional Photographers of America (PPA), and the Professional Photographers of Central Florida (PPCF).

Lindsay Diven, CPSM

Senior Consultant, Full Sail Partners

Lindsay Diven has more than 15 years of hands-on experience in professional services marketing and business development for the A/E/C industries. Currently, she’s a senior consultant for Full Sail Partners specializing in CRM implementation, training, and strategy for A/E/C firms nationwide. She also manages Marketers Take Flight, an A/E/C-industry specific marketing and business development training website. She has extensive capture planning and proposal management involvement, in responding to government municipalities and private sector clients domestic and internationally.

Diven has served as the education and membership directors for SMPS Central Florida and serves as an advisor to the SMPS Southeastern Regional Conference. 

Karen Kurta

Owner, Karen K Photo

Karen is a photographer, graphic designer, and visual marketing specialist with over 12 years of experience in professional services industries. She’s the owner of Karen K Photo, helping people and businesses improve their image to boost their marketing efforts and make a lasting impression.

A three-time marketing excellence award winner, Karen excels in assembling complex pieces into concise and cohesive marketing materials. For eight years, she managed complex proposals and developed presentations, graphics, collateral, advertising, and project photography for two global construction firms. She was most recently a senior graphic designer for Cushman & Wakefield—a global commercial real estate firm—where she provided graphic design, photography, social media, and marketing support for over 40 brokers in two markets. She is known for efficiency, creativity, and the drive to continuously improve her skills.

Karen is a member of Commercial Real Estate Women (CREW), Professional Photographers of America (PPA), and the Professional Photographers of Central Florida (PPCF).

Jen McGovern, CPSM

Mid-Atlantic Regional Marketing Manager, VHB

As mid-Atlantic regional marketing manager for VHB, Jen McGovern, CPSM, knows what it takes to put together a strong proposal. She oversees the marketing efforts for seven offices across three states and the District of Columbia, which means she has prepared and reviewed hundreds of proposals.

A frequent writer and presenter, Jen is president-elect for SMPS DC and a member of the SMPS Marketer Editorial Committee. She achieved her CPSM designation in 2015.

 

Barbara Shuck, FSMPS, CPSM

President, Everest Marketing Services

With 25+ years working for A/E/C firms, Barbara understands the frustration of communicating differentiators and creating “why us” and “why not them” themes. At Everest Marketing Services, she uses a comprehensive suite of tools to help companies communicate clearly so they win work and attract staff to grow their business. She helps clients with internal communications and initiatives, and external efforts that win work through compelling and persuasive content and messaging.

Barbara is a past-president of SMPS and is currently a SMPS Foundation trustee. She has a bachelor’s degree in Communication Arts (Journalism) and French, and a master’s degree in Business, (marketing emphasis), along with expertise in sales, printing, publishing, teaching, and marketing in the A/E/C industries.


Each 60-minute webinar in this course is approved for 1 continuing education unit (CEU) for the Certified Professional Services Marketer program. 

Key:

Complete
Failed
Available
Locked
Intro Module Evaluation Survey
SMPS actively uses feedback to improve programming. We appreicate your feedback! You must register to access.
Module 1 Evaluation Survey
Please complete a brief evaluation of this program. You must register to access.
Module 2 Evaluation Survey
Please complete a brief evaluation of this program. You must register to access.
Module 3 Evaluation Survey
Please complete a brief evaluation of this program. You must register to access.