During the busy summer season, the challenge often lies in trying to balance summer schedules with prioritizing your opportunity pursuits, while trying to make smart bid decisions. At Red Team, we help our clients make strategic bid decisions and are selective with the projects we work on. In the interest of helping companies make smart bid decisions during the busy season, here are some tips for your consideration:
1. Only pursue an opportunity when it meets your strategic plan.
All too often, companies make poor pursuit decisions and don’t stick to their strategic growth plan. We advise companies to stay committed to their corporate objectives, growth accounts, and targeted contracts. Sticking with your plan will enforce the strategy you’ve established and demonstrate to your staff you are committed to a focused growth.
2. Make sure you know the customer.
It is not enough that you have a solution that addresses the SOW. You must bring some intimacy, knowledge, or understanding of the customer’s environment, preferences, objectives, challenges, and goals. Your approach needs to be customized to hit specific customer expectations while addressing the evaluation criteria. If you don’t have this, ensure your key personnel or teaming partners can contribute that information. The government will not give you strengths for solutions or discriminators that are not specifically tied to their objectives.
3. Agency-specific past performance is not enough.
Take a step back before pursuing a large or complex task order you previously were unfamiliar with. While you may have past performance inside that agency, it may not be enough to merit pursuing a large or complex task order. Before making the decision, answer the following questions: (1) Why would the government select us over the competition? (2) How strong is our relationship with the customer? (3) What do we bring that no one else brings?
4. Do not hesitate.
Make sure you take the time to assess the opportunity. Do it now. The biggest mistake you can make is waiting for the final RFP to drop and you’re left playing catch up to prepare the proposal. Delaying will ensure a lesser quality proposal while putting you in a competitive disadvantage. Assess your win probability now and decide to either pursue or pass – if you decide to pursue, allocate the necessary resources to start preparing the response.
5. Set expectations with your proposal team.
Give fair warning to your staff to let them know if you’ll need their help on the upcoming proposals. There is nothing worse than surprising your employees with a work schedule extending into the weekend, evenings, or worse yet, cancelling their vacations. Start communicating potential workloads now, including the residual benefits and rewards if they contribute, to help with a busy season of proposal activity.