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How to Implement Color Team Reviews at any Resource Level

Have you been interested in implementing a Color Team Review System but never had the resources to establish the entire program? Read on to learn how to implement the Color Team Review System at any resource level.

The Color Team Review System, a best practice proposal management tool, is a powerful system that the best-performing companies utilize to increase their win percentage. But despite its benefits, the Color Team Review System is a time and labor-intensive system that can feel unwieldy to implement in the middle of the never-ending proposal grind. Luckily, you don’t have to implement the entire system to access some of its most significant improvements and insights.

If your company would like to incorporate some element of the Color Team Review System but can’t afford to implement all of it, we recommend prioritizing the following reviews, in order of their importance.

The Four Most Important Color Team Reviews to Incorporate, In Order of Importance

1. White-Glove Review

Ever heard the horror stories of proposals deemed non-compliant because of a missing form, an absent signature, or a missing answer to a technical requirement? We have too. The White-Glove Review keeps your proposal from joining the horror stories and ensures you have a chance at winning business by satisfying compliance.

The White-Glove Review is a final compliance, grammar, and formatting check of the proposal before submission. A resource other than the primary author should be responsible for the review. The reviewer should compare the proposal against the requirements of the RFx to ensure compliance. They should also give it a full read to catch grammatical or formatting errors.

Importantly, this is not a review to check for major issues in the proposals. This is meant to catch small, immediately fixable mistakes just before the proposal goes out the door. A White-Glove Review is essential to every proposal’s success.

2. Blue Team Review

The Blue Team Review can be essentialized to a review of the win themes. Turn the Blue Team Review into a one-hour meeting with key stakeholders to brainstorm, review, and finalize win themes and strategy for the proposal. The session should end with the proposal manager creating a formal document stating the key win themes and strategy.

This stage is all about having a clearly defined proposal strategy. At its most essentialized level, it can be performed in about an hour. Still, it will have a massive impact on the proposal copy, providing the key themes and differentiators that will set your proposal apart.

Students are taught never to write an essay without a thesis. Proposals should be the same way. Confirm your proposal strategy and central themes before spending hours writing the proposal copy.

To learn more about how to develop win themes read our blog post, “Make Your Proposals Pop: How Win Themes Make Your Proposals Stand Out.”

3. Green Team Review

Proposals must be priced competitively to win. The Green Team Review is the pricing review.  Those in charge of pricing should review the proposal to ensure that it reflects the competitive pricing strategy and that the pricing is broken down in a manner that is compliant with the requirements of the prospect.

At its best, the Green Team Review confirms that the proposal’s pricing reflects the Price to Win Strategy, which was determined earlier in the process. For more information about implementing an effective Price to Win Strategy, read our blog post, “What is a Price to Win Strategy?”.

4. Red Team Review

Don’t want to wait until the proposal debrief to understand your strengths and weaknesses? The Red Team Review helps your team understand where to improve before you’ve already submitted the bid.

The Red Team Review is designed to emulate the customer’s review process. Red Team Reviewers, typically Subject Matter Experts in the company, will evaluate proposals based on the prospect’s published compliance and scoring criteria. Red Team Reviewers are responsible for highlighting areas that could threaten compliance, weak win themes or proof points, and confusing copy. The Red Team should return to the Proposal Team a fully scored proposal, so the proposal team can strengthen areas where they didn’t score full points.

Typically, the Red Team Review should be completed at least a week before the ship date, so the proposal team has enough time to incorporate the edits.

Putting it All Together

Don’t let the depth and breadth of the Color Team Review System scare you away from it altogether. The Color Team Review System can be broken down into its constituent parts and implemented piece by piece at your pace and comfort. By working to adapt the biggest advantages of the Color Team Review System, you can quickly bolster your proposal process with some quick and easy wins that will improve your efficiency and increase your win rate.

Download the Guide to Modern Proposal Management eBook to Learn More

Want to learn more about how the best-performing companies optimize win percentage, reduce stress, and capture more revenue? This eBook breaks down the best practices of the most successful proposal management functions and translates them into useful insights for companies of all sizes.

Download The Guide to Modern Proposal Management eBook to learn four key strategies to help you win smarter:

  • How to Implement a Disciplined, Documented Proposal Qualification Process
  • How to Design & Implement Win Strategies to Capture Business
  • How to Run a Color Review System
  • How to Track the Most Impactful Proposal Metrics

Download the eBook