6 Interview Questions to Ask Capture Management Consultants

capture-management-consultant-interview-questions.jpgWorking with capture management consultants can help you prepare for new business opportunities that your current staff simply can’t accommodate. When you predict a future surge in workflow, you need a plan and skilled employees in place to handle the increased workload. Consultants offer you the flexible and expert hours you require, often at a fraction of the cost of a regular, full-time employee.

The challenge lies in finding the right prospect for your business: Which capture management consultants are the best fit for you and your company? As you search for your next consultant, be sure to ask every interviewee these six questions before signing a contract.

1. Identify Expertise

What steps will you take if we assign you this capture to manage?

Industry best practices clearly define the steps needed to take a prospect from tracking to award. You’ll want to make sure your prospective consultant is familiar with the steps and knows how to implement processes strategically.

You’ll also want to discuss the scope of their potential duties. A standard capture management process goes through several stages, including: tracking, qualification, pursuit, capture, proposal, submission and award.

If you need help all along the chain, you want to be sure your consultant can add value at each stage.

2. Improve Repeatability

How will you keep track of the information you learn and collect?

Landing the deal and winning an award is one step toward your company’s financial success . If you can’t repeat the process, you can’t depend on a consistent revenue stream. Identifying data tracking methods with your prospective consultant is a large factor in ensuring repeatability for future capture activities. It can also help with training existing employees about the subtleties of capture management.

3. Discuss Past Experience

What size deals have you managed in the past that are similar to this one?

Before making any hiring decisions, look at a prospect’s resume. This question goes into a little more depth about experience. Not only are you asking about their history of landing profitable deals, you’re also asking them to draw parallels that will help define the shape of this deal or future opportunities.

4. Define Results

How much time do you expect will be required to maximize our PWin?

Before getting into specific timelines regarding capture and award, you might want to talk about what PWin means to the candidate and how they arrive at a number. Putting objective measures in place is an essential part of generating a repeatable and successful capture process.

As part of any consultant interview, you’ll want to know how many man hours you’ll pay to get your desired result.

5. Explore Expectations

What would your first month working with us look like?

Often, the difference between a successful capture management consultant and a waste of time starts with expectations. By asking about the first month, you both get a chance to define what work you expect to accomplish and how.

Expert consultants might know government contracting inside and out, but they haven’t worked within your company’s specialty area. Discussing how you expect communication, organization and work to flow in that first month will help you determine how a consultant can add value to your capture management process.

Final Thought

Hiring a consultant can be a very cost effective way to handle surges in workflow. When new government initiatives translate into more contract opportunities, you need to be ready. Consultants act as an affordable conduit to help you to manage your current business as well as unexpected or impending opportunities.

About Skip Blackburn