Bid Management, being a Sales Support function, most of the Bid Managers receive RFXs from Sales Teams with a message “We have a very good relationship with the customer and we will definitely win this bid”. Sometimes this is true but not always. Being Bid Managers, we need to take a step forward to evaluate in our own style to decide whether we are in or out.
We know well about Sales and Marketing Principles. We read enough about Outbound and Inbound; Product Centric, Customer focussed and people centric approaches. We tried best our luck in Reactive and Proactive Bids. We remember we buy only trusted; verified; tested; branded; recommended; well known; well familiar products/services but forget to consider these factors while selling our own products/services. Now the time is to decide what works and what not.
When I receive RFP, I myself ask the following questions to decide whether the game is mine or am I trying my luck in some others’ game.
The answers make me decide to go or no go.
- “How early I got connected with customer?”
- “How good I am at engaging the customer and attracting them towards my Products/Services”
- “How best is the intelligence I have on Customer’s Pain Points/Hot Buttons?”
- “How ready I am with my Solutions exactly addressing their Hot Buttons?”
- “Am I following Inbound Approach or Outbound?”
- “Will this be a Proactive bid or Reactive one?”
Once I get positive answers for the above, I move on asking myself few more questions such as:
- “Am I prepared well for Bidding?”
- “Do I have right resources to bid?”
- “Did I understand the competition?”
- “Can I compete with competitors?”
- “Did I understand all contractual level Terms & Conditions?”
- “Did I assess all risk factors and can mitigate properly?”
- “Can I execute the project if I win?”
- “Do I know Price to Win?”
- “Can I make profits?”
- “Does Prospect have pre-approved budget?”
Finally, I ask myself
“Can I win this bid?” or “Am I just dreaming to win?”
The above questions make me evaluate the bid in winning point of view, gain confidence and if get most positive answers, I move on further. Though this appears ideal and not possible every time, it indicates me whether I am stronger or weaker in the game.
Long back, I received an RFP and was told that was a much focussed strategic bid targeting a Govt. Department. I came to know that a core team was formed three years before release of RFP to make a prototype. Sales and Technical teams were connected with customer around 4years before release of RFP. Complete information on the requirements was taken from customer well in advance. Technical teams precisely knew the Hot Buttons. Product Prototype was almost built matching the customer needs by the time we received RFP. Also knew that our technical teams helped the customer in writing RFP technical requirements. Before release of RFP, the game was over. The prospect knew us, trusted our product and we became preferred vendor before the game started. We bid and we won.
About the Author:
Sr. Bid Manager
Venu Manohar is a Bid Management professional holding APMP Certification with hands on experience in winning bids, making organisations win bids, setting up of Bid Management practice in various organizations.