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Until you are senior enough for work won on proposals to count towards your sales - what benefits do you get by doing proposals? Exposure, networking, potential staffing, am I missing anything?

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I think you answered your own question! All The things you mentioned

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Experience and understanding the money and sell side and seeing how much of a pain in the ass it is fighting for each hour people gobble up on the engagement.

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^Now, I kick ass at drafting pre-engagement project plans and budgets for proposals. Part of it is the control factor; I'm in the weeds with my seniors and associates, I hate when a budget doesn't reflect the little things we have to do.

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At least in my practice you will not get promoted to manager until you've shown you can run a proposal effort not just participate in one

Demonstrate your ability to understand and being able to articulate what your team does. Like anything else you are learning, selling is a skill you are learning now for later. You will be expected to know how to do this and will be better at it with practice. I remember the first time I was pulled onto an RFP with another senior, I was clueless on the client's "request for clarifying questions"; my peer rocked it. Partially because she was awesome, partially from experience.

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