2020 has to be the year of Capture Management and it’s about time. You’ll hear a lot of noise about Capture this year, but what is all the fuss about?
What it isn’t
It isn’t a new tactic; it’s been about for decades. But it is still immature – nobody good at it wants to share their best practice. Most consultancies play at it and large companies treat it as IP.
It’s not solely American, though it’s often seen to be an American invention and best practice. In reality there is a difference in how deals are secured, culturally and practically, between the States and almost the entire rest of the world (who, if anything, are more aligned to UK-led thinking).
I founded my business to help organisations join the dots between brand awareness through business development and into proposals. Capture is a missing link. It’s more than just the glue that binds the hard work of marketing and sales efforts with the proposal phase. It empowers the client-facing effort with insight, arms it with bespoke valuable solutions and delivers unbeatable propositions.
Capture is the missing link
Why is it important?
There is nothing worse than a cold bidders’ conference. There are exceptions, but largely you sit there wishing they had asked you what the solution should be, because you could have done it better, faster, and cheaper – delivering greater value – if you had just got in front of them a year ago.
Worse still, if you haven’t influenced the client, someone else has. It’s a well-known stat that more than 60% of procurement decisions are made before the RFP is released. Someone in that room has influenced the procurement to suit them (and not you).
But now it’s too late. The firing pistol has gone off and you’re in a competitive race, behind the curve, and trying to polish their turd as best you can.
Successful organisations with high win rates avoid cold competitive scenarios at all costs. APMP defines how high performers develop long range, realistic, detailed plans and focus teams on driving action to move them to a favored position. I go a little further. I coach people of all seniority levels to leverage account planning and capture to land proactive propositions with clients, collaboratively engineered to solve their problems and deliver unquestionable value. The goal is to negotiate a deal, with a fallback plan of winning a tender with ease.
The ability of proposals teams to win opportunities only once they are released is limited. We safeguard our organisations from losing all the time and we may steal the odd mark with thoughtful storyboarding and writing – but there is so much out of our control. The great multiplier effect on ability to win happened weeks, months and years before the RFP. Capture eats good bids for breakfast.
Things to focus on
The biggest determining factor in win rate and growth trajectory is leadership enabling the business to differentiate, proactively position well and pursue only opportunities that it should win. They sponsor a measured approach to targeting the right business, growing accounts and securing deals far before RFP.
Your proposal is a love letter to the greater differentiated value you will create. Capture is about finding ways to figure out what value means to the client with more insight than others, and ideally figuring out the winning solution alongside them. It should be a no-brainer.
People buy people and what they can do for them. Their personal performance and bonuses depend on the performance of the people they are buying. Trust in your people is paramount in the client’s emotional and calculated decision. They need to believe your people are not just the best for the job with the right commitment and competence, but that they are people they can work with.
Grab it with both hands
Capture presents a fantastic avenue for career development and recognition for proposals professionals. Client facing staff aren’t equipped for methodically running capture initiatives. You are. It’s an open door to improving the quality of opportunities we face in the war room while growing our sphere of influence, generating greater value and being recognised and rewarded for it.
This article was written by Jeremy Brim.
Jeremy works with leadership teams and business owners as a consultant & 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.