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How to assess the effectiveness of your bid decision process

Nine questions that shed light on your organization's ability to win

If we had to pick one thing to change that would have the most impact on an organization’s ability to win, it would be how they approach bid/no bid decisions. If you think of them as just being about deciding whether to bid, you’re missing a tremendous opportunity, because they can have a much greater impact on how you bid, than just on if you bid.

  1. Do you know what percentage of bids you drop at each stage or do you never drop anything?
  2. Do the things you bid reinforce your strategic plans or ignore them?
  3. Do you arrive at RFP release with an information advantage or just knowing what’s in the announcement?
  4. Are you tracking metrics that can quantify what’s driving your win rate? Or are you just assuming that conventional wisdom applies to your circumstances?
  5. Do leads go immediately into your tracking system? Or do you sit on them until you know you’re going to pursue them before you make them “official?”
  6. Do you put every lead you can find into your tracking system, no matter how weak or unqualified they are, to boost your numbers?
  7. Can you articulate what it will take to win before you start the proposal, or do you just base it on what is in the RFP?
  8. Do you know your win strategies and themes before you start the proposal? Or do you struggle to define your win strategies and themes during the proposal?
  9. Do you have a bid/no bid decision, or a bid/no bid process that defines standards and has steps, goals, and criteria as well as reviews?

All of these problems are made worse by an ineffective bid/no bid process. It doesn’t even have to be broken.  A weakness on any one of these issues can be addressed by improving how you approach your bid/no bid decision process. Another way of saying this is that you can improve you win rate by focusing on your bid/no bid decision process.


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