We routinely work with small business clients to assess and assist how they do capture. Very often, we discuss the topic of capture teams and roles. Inevitably, the question comes up as…
What factors determine who is the Capture Lead? Isn’t it always one of your resident business developers?
Business development professionals tend to assume the mantle of Capture Lead. That person might have conceived the overall capture strategy and they may very well be the appropriate quarterback. The right athlete for a role, however, is not always based on “their day job.” Rather, this is where a healthy internal debate should happen. Who is the best athlete for the match-up?
Consider the following points when you designate a Capture Lead:
- Who has the best overall understanding of the customer’s needs? Isn’t that what we’re trying to dissect and address? Those needs are driving everything in an opportunity.
- Who has the aptitude to be true to the capture strategy? We’ve all worked with absolutely brilliant people who live and breathe their subject-matter but who weren’t suited for the team leadership position. You can’t afford to invest your entire capture in someone who will get lost in the minutia of technical details. To avoid losing the forest for the trees (as well as the contract opportunity), you need a Capture Lead who can remain focused on the customer’s needs.
- Who has the humility to ask for help when they need it? Whether it’s pride, arrogance or simply a hesitancy or lack of cognizance of when extra resources and assistance are required…these personal pitfalls must be avoided by a Capture Lead. Smart leaders know when they need help and they’re never afraid to ask.
That’s an interesting list, eh? Unlike the typical method of choosing a capture lead (e.g., warm body, BD staff, once worked at the customer), these questions look incredibly like the standard traits of a good leader. That core competency, often forgotten, is especially important for the Capture Lead.
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Good luck and good hunting!
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