Four ways to determine what it will take to win:
What it will take to win will be different with each pursuit. Readiness Reviews help you collect intelligence about the customer, opportunity, and competitive environment, but you still need to assess it to determine what it will take to win. Here are four different ways to look at things to help you assess what it will take to win:
- What will it take to convince the customer to select you? What motivates the customer? What matters to them? What are their preferences? How would they like the trade-offs made? What impacts their decision making? Do they trust you? What evaluation criteria and procedures do they follow?
- What will it take to fulfill their procurement process? If they have no budget, then there is no opportunity. The same is true if they need an approval they can’t get. Even if they have a budget and approval, their process has to result in contract terms and an acquisition strategy that are favorable to you. Customers often get delayed or even stuck as a result of difficulty completing their internal procurement procedures. They may not know how to procede. What can you do to help? It helps to know their procedures for issuing the solicitation, evaluating the proposals, and making decisions.
- What will it take to design, deliver, describe, and price the best offering? When you are dealing with the details related to preparing a proposal and are dealing with things as they are, sometimes people forget how important it is for the customer to want what you are proposing. Keep in mind that the right offering has to have the right price/value trade-off from the customer’s perspective. It will help if you have sufficient knowledge of the variables to be able to price it accurately. Finally, it’s not enough to have the best offering, you also have to do the best job describing it in the proposal and the customer has to have confidence that you will be able to deliver as promised.
- What will it take to beat the competition? Most proposals are competitive. Even if there are no other bidders, you are still competing against doing nothing. Your proposal must not only be great, it must be better than all of the others. Don’t stop at compliant, keep going beyond acceptable, fly past good, and reach beyond great in order to offer the best in all ways. Everything from your offering to the presentation in the proposal adds up to a story, and the story you tell must be more appealing to the customer than the ones that your competitors tell. Keep in mind the customer has to trust you more than your competitors for your proposal to have a chance.
These four perspectives reflect the distinction between what the customer needs or wants, and what they have to do in order to make a selection. What it takes to win results from satisfying those two considerations.