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  • Writer's pictureIdeas at Dawn

A proposal manager and an SME: Fairy tale story

Getting timely responses from SMEs is key to making progress on a proposal and is a top struggle my clients have faced. 


Ensure actions match your words

Let's change perspectives. What do SMEs perceive? The feedback I have received from their end is that they feel unappreciated, degraded, and even disrespected. 


Now that we have identified the struggles, let's look at solutions that can help you as the proposal manager and your SMEs meet your expectations: 


  1. Keep them in the loop: make sure they are aware of and are part of the entire proposal process, from strategy development to submission. 

  2. Less interpretation, more clear communication: explain their role and responsibilities, what you need from them, and be clear and concise

  3. Small wins are easier to achieve: set multiple deadlines throughout the project instead of very few deadlines with lots of time between them. This will guarantee that everyone is on the same page without micromanaging


If you don't feel like remembering all of this, then please remember this

Be intentionally respectful to build rapport with your entire team. 

How will you do this? Here are a few examples that come to mind: 


  • Express your gratitude for what others are contributing to the project. 

  • Share/bring breakfast, lunch, or an afternoon coffee/tea. 

  • Avoid harsh, non-valuable criticism and be mindful of how you treat and speak to your team. 


If you're asking others to meet deadlines and stay on task, you must hold yourself accountable to the same degree. 

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