Data Calls Can Make or Break You

When you are leading a proposal effort where additional companies have joined you in a team, it is crucial to receive the team members' contributions to the proposal in a manner that will help instead of hinder your race to complete the proposal. This goal of effective and efficient information gathering from team members can be achieved by a properly designed data call document.

The following are the elements of a successful data call document and their intended benefits.

Feature Benefits
All information required from team members is requested in one document only. No dribs and drabs requests are sent to team members, assuring that they are perfectly clear on all the information they need to prepare. They can consequently staff the effort appropriately. This also forces you to establish clearly what exactly you need from them and minimizes the possibility of your forgetting something.
A single POC from your company is named in the document as the go-to person for team members to call in case of questions and discussions about delivery timeframes. Team members have no excuses that sound like "Well, I didn't know who to call" or "That wasn't clear to me" or "Gee, do I need to give this to you by Friday or Monday?"
Deadlines are very explicitly stated as to when you need which piece of information back from your team members. Team members have no excuses that sound like "Gee, do I need to give this to you by Friday or Monday?"
Whether the team members are required to write narrative statements or fill tables, the data call document is produced using the same style sheet and table formats used in the final proposal document. Cuts down on the amount of formatting you need to apply to content. It prevents your team members from sending you their canned text or past performance tables that generally do not have all the elements you need for your proposal.

A tightly designed and managed data call will assure that your partners information can make it into the proposal quickly and easily. As with any effort related to proposal writing, the trick is to establish a very clear direction for your partners--i.e. specify all you need, when you need it by, how you need it formatted--before they establish velocity--i.e. start sending you a morass of information that you will need to spend oodles of time massaging or that will force you to have to go back to your team members so that they can send you the "right" information. Manage your data calls effectively, and your team members become net contributors to your proposal writing effort as opposed to just more drag on a process that truly doesn't need any more of it.

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