Selectivity and Solution is Everything

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We have found two common mistakes when working with clients who deploy capture to develop and improve their win rates and growth trajectory – being intelligent in opportunity selection and co-solutioning unbeatable delivery models with the client.

Capture target selection
By its nature, capture requires focus and selectivity. Running successful capture campaigns draws in a great deal of resources from across functions, with opportunity cost involved. It is highly unlikely you will have the capacity to deploy capture appropriately for every deal you bid. We advise picking three top pursuits per year, that are between 12 and 18 months from tender, and go from there.

Selecting the right opportunities can become a political hot potato. Senior figures often back the wrong horses and very often assume capture should be for exciting new deals with new clients. I challenge them hard on this. On average, 80% of the margin of a B2B or B2G business comes from 20% of its clients. We work extensively in the key account management space to optimise and grow from that base, aiming to expand top accounts, add to the client list and deselect the non-profitable clients. But how you direct capture efforts is the next important link in the chain. If you follow the logic through, you should deploy capture on your most important rebids with current clients far more often than on new client opportunities.

There is nothing worse than being in the middle of a live bid and realising your solution is behind the curve compared to the competition. I spend a great deal of my life training people in how to write winning proposals. But it is all for nothing if a competitor can demonstrate they can save the client far more money or time, or generate other greater value that registers with the stakeholders.

The general best practices taught in the market are skewed toward bid prep as they were developed by bid writers. When actually, the first principle of capture should be to negotiate the opportunity with the client, with shaping of a competitive procurement to your advantage the fallback position. Co-solutioning with the client is a key, and often missed, step in going on the journey. If you can facilitate getting your key delivery leaders in a room with client decision makers, shaping their specification – magic can really happen. You build relationships, establish trust and shape the specification and procurement to create the maximum value for the client. Everyone wins.

Call to action
Selection and solution have a dramatic impact on win rates but much of the above is beyond the control of many in bid teams. In my view, however, the most successful B2B and B2G organisations put their bid team at the heart of their growth operating model. Building your influence and leveraging data to show how focus and solution can transform outcomes is game-changing. If you don’t work in a business that wants to hear it, perhaps talk to Martin about finding a place that does.

This article was written by Jeremy Brim.

Jeremy works with leadership teams and business owners as a consultant and advisor to plan and deliver sustainable growth through analysis and interventions across the sales cycle. Jeremy has also taken on leadership of the Bid Toolkit, bringing with him a wealth of bidding knowledge and desire to help businesses of all sizes improve their win rates.

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