If you are involved in the bid management process or business development more generally, then the phrase ‘bid or no-bid’ should be familiar.
Every business that has a good bid win-rate will have good people, good collateral and a streamlined bid process. They will also have a consistent way to determine whether they will pursue an opportunity or not. This is the bid or no-bid decision process.
Making better bid decisions brings about an immediate improvement in win rate and, as an added bonus, lowers the amount of money you waste on pursuing opportunities that you have no real chance of winning.
To state the obvious, if you want to raise your win-rate then you must stop bidding for opportunities that you have little or no chance of winning. This is an area that is completely overlooked by some businesses. The need to win more contracts overrides the need to make good bidding decisions. In some cases, the desire to win any contract is so strong that decision-makers will ignore obvious no-bid indicators (such as the buyer doesn’t know our company, we know nothing about the work other than what is in the ITT and we don’t know who we are competing against etc.).
A decision matrix is a consistent and educated means of deciding whether to pursue an opportunity. You can set criteria that can be used for all bids, and attach a scoring and weighting system. Key questions your decision matrix could cover are:
- Is the opportunity aligned to core business and corporate strategy?
- Is your company known by the buyer?
- What revenue and profitability will the contract deliver?
- Have you had any input to specification?
- Is there any future business potential?
- The resource will be required to complete the bid?
Each element should be weighted and scored within the matrix, this way you will end up with a tangible score that will provide you with the grounds for an informed decision as to whether the opportunity is pursued or not.
By implementing a sound and effective bid or no-bid decision process you can improve your win-rate, save time and money within your bid function, manage resource more appropriately and, perhaps most importantly, allow you to successfully bid for opportunities that will increase sustained revenue and profitability.