An organisation’s ability to manage proposals increases as it adopts best practice. Reviews are used by best-in-class organisations to win business more effectively, efficiently and economically, with less risk. So how do reviews increase risk reduction?
Here is the second instalment of blogs from our partners twentysix2 ‘Using reviews for strategic advantage and risk reduction’.
Risk 1. Investing resources in bids that you can’t win.
Evidence – Win rates are < 50%; you win smaller bids, but lose bigger ones; morale is low.
Solution – Develop an effective bid qualification process and implement ruthlessly.
Risk 2. Failing to develop a compelling win strategy.
Evidence – Your proposal doesn’t make it clear why the prospect should choose you, in fact, it could have come from any one of your competitors.
Solution – Develop a win strategy focused on the benefits that the prospect is seeking which your organisation is uniquely positioned to deliver.
Risk 3. Ignoring the strengths, strategies & capabilities of competitors.
Evidence – Competitors are regularly winning business that you are better placed to fulfill and should be winning.
Solution – Recognise how the prospect perceives the strengths & potential strategies of your competitors whilst subtly drawing attention to their weaknesses.
Risk 4. Failing to communicate the win strategy to all bid contributors.
Evidence – Extensive re-writing causes delays and frustration among contributors.
Solution – Ensure bid contributors are comprehensively briefed about strategy, win themes and responsibilities before writing commences.
Risk 5. Presenting solutions based on features rather than benefits.
Evidence – Proposals, heavy on features, look similar to proposals for other prospects.
Solution – Ensure the proposal is benefit-focused, with a compelling win strategy that clearly addresses competitive issues.
Risk 6. Underestimating the financial & operation risks of the proposal.
Evidence – Proposals make promises to prospects that the organisation cannot profitably execute or that exposes the organisation to unacceptable operational risks.
Solution – Examine assumptions underlying the prospect’s requirements, the execution of the solution, and costs to ensure an acceptable level of risk and profit.
Risk 7. Submitting a proposal that lacks credibility.
Evidence – Proposal is submitted to prospect with spelling mistakes, grammatical errors and inconsistent formatting.
Solution – Allow time for proof reading and editing.
Risk 8. Not learning lessons from previous campaigns.
Evidence – Bid contributors repeat mistakes, processes are ad hoc and material is re-created from scratch. Client feedback is not used.
Solution – After submission, examine the process to ensure that it is effective and efficient. Use client feedback to enhance future proposals.
Proponents of best practice will recognise that, excluding the first which is Bid Qualification, these risks are mitigated by engaging the operational, technical and marketing teams to implement reviews.
You may have some of these reviews in place, or implement them in a different way. The same solution will not work for all organisations nor for every type and size of proposal. What’s important is knowing the quickest way to achieve the desired outcome.
Need helpith Risk Reduction?
If you want help with reviews, or any aspect of proposal management, we can show you the quickest way to make the biggest improvements; we call it, ‘taking the racing line’.
Author: Ian Sherwood CPP.APMP, Bid and Proposals Director, twentysix2
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