This is 'how we roll', the process that we follow. Our 'playbook'. We make it simpler for simple jobs and more complex for more complex opportunities. But the core process is broadly consistent. If you want support in some stages only, we are happy to fit in with what works for you.



Go/no-go

The 'Go/No-Go' Decision is when you decide if a potential opportunity is worth pursuing.

Market intel; most organisations only respond to 65% of the RFPs that they receive


We can help you select which RFPs to go after. We have developed a simple tool to help focus on 'winnable' bids. Here are some things we consider:
How valuable is the work to you?
What is the likelihood of winning the work?
Do you have a relationship with the prospect?
Are you the third bidder, there to make up the numbers?

Third bidder syndrome; when governance requires three bids and you are selected as bidder three


We can help you spot the signs that you are a
'tender mule'; there to carry the governance load, but with no chance of winning. We speak 'procurement' and can decode the signals. As an example, if you are on a panel of suppliers, and you decide not to quote, what impact might declining to quote have on your being invited to quote in future?

Market intel; 48% of organisations lose more than six out of ten of the RFPs they bid for. Or more!

Kick off

The Kick-Off Meeting helps get everyone 'on the same page'.

Market intel; 29% of firms who submit proposals mentioned getting stakeholders to answer questions quickly as a top tip to win more business


We can help you design and facilitate a kick off meeting exploring:
What are the prospect's stated (and unstated) needs?
What are their key evaluation criteria?
How can we get beyond the shortlist?
What options do we have in terms of solution design?
What is value for this prospect?
What are the key milestones for the proposal?

Buyers buy from companies; sellers sell to people


One of the sad truths about prospects is that some of them have no idea what they are doing. We have the forensic capability to decode the level of sophistication of the people behind the RFP. There is no point proposing your premium solution to a price-focused unsophisticated buyer! We can help you match the solution to the prospect.

Aligning the bid team and the extended team is key to getting everyone on the same page. We use a SOAP (Storyboard On A Page) which helps get everyone aligned.

A key output from the kick off meeting is a storyboard summarising the key issues on a single page

Write

The proposal doesn't write itself; so we need to develop the content and write the proposal.

Market intel; while half of bidders spend on average less than two hours on each bid (really!), a similar proportion spend upwards of six days on average on each bid


Writing bids is time-consuming, and we can help extend your capacity to respond, and help you craft better responses. Do you know how evaluators score your proposal?

We do!

We have written evaluation frameworks for major public bodies and private sector clients alike. Many clients despise '
brochureware' in responses almost as much as they hate puffery. We have a simple approach to drafting responses that we call DOPE. It helps structure responses so that you hammer home the win themes that will help you get beyond the shortlist. If you want us to review some of your past proposals, get in touch, and we can tell you just how DOPE they are!

We have developed a
compliance matrix that helps:
Ensure that we answer every question
Track progress in completing the response so we meet the deadline
Ensure we hammer home the win themes
Review the quality of our responses

A key part of our solution is the red thread; ensuring that the 'win themes' that will get you beyond the shortlist are hammered home in the response



Do you 'copy and paste' snippets scavenged from previous bids? You wouldn't be alone! But pasting a response given to another prospect on another RFP may not earn you a score of 8, 9 or 10 by the evaluators of this proposal! We can help you focus the content on what will make you successful on this response.

Review

The first review considers the draft response part way through the content development

We need to ask ourselves:
Have we got answers to all the questions?
Are our key messages getting through?
How many points are we likely to score?
Are we on schedule?

We need to project manage the tasks which take the longest:
Feedback from the legal team about terms and conditions
Selection of references (and their confirmation)
Development of new case studies and/or graphics

One of the things that we can do is to develop a shadow evaluation framework; the evaluation criteria and the scoring framework. What range of overall scores would get you onto the shortlist? An overall score of 50% is unlikely to cut it. So the review needs to focus on two things:
How can we avoid be 'knocked out' by omitting mandatory responses?
Is the quality of our responses good enough?

Market intel; 62% of executives agree (38%) or strongly agree (24%) with the statement "RFPs distract from higher value tasks"


Reviews can help make sure that our messages are getting through, and that stakeholders -including senior managers- are aware of the opportunity before they are asked to sign off a completed proposal

Finalise

Finalising the response involves ensuring that the proposal is complete. compliant, consistent and competitive.

Market intel; missing contents or other non-compliance can see your proposal being knocked out!


We need to project manage completion of all the time-intensive tasks, likely to include:
Harmonising the writing style and 'voice'
Formatting the text consistently
Adding graphics
Adding appendices
Triangulating any references to make sure everything is consistent

In an ideal world, the approvers have already been briefed about the opportunity and have reserved time in their schedule for a final read though and approval.
But we live in the real world, so if that hasn't already happened, now is the time to do it!

Submit

The final phase is submission. But before we do that, we need final proofreading and sign off by approvers. We may also need to harvest content for our content library, and capture lessons learned.
We need to:
Proofread the proposal
Check that text is formatted consistently
Check that graphics are formatted consistently
Check that we have approval for pricing and from legal
Get sign off from approvers
Get the proposal in before the deadline (of course!)
Harvest new content for the response library
Capture and socialise lessons learned

Market intel: small companies submit on average 54 proposals a year, mid market firms 177, and larger enterprises 266 per annum


Whether you are submitting one, two or three proposals a week, we have a solution that can help drive up your success rate


We can help you with a range of other services, from decoding 'procurement speak' (no charge) to supporting you on 'must win' bids. But in addition we can also develop your sustainable capability in proposal management

Benchmark your current proposal management capability
Plan what is your competitive edge
Develop a response library for future bids
Equip you with a practical tool for go/ no go decision
Equip you with a practical tool to diagnose the sophistication of the prospect

Got a question that you'd like answered?

If you want to speak to a human being, call us on +61 (0)3 9855 0141 or email us here