Business Development for Small Government Contracting Companies


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The Government Technology & Services Coalition (GTSC) and its Emerging Small Business Group on December 16 hosted a session for small companies to learn about business development in the Federal sector. Our presenter, Tony Sacco was Vice President of SAIC and has over 40 years of experience in business development, IT systems development, integration and operations. Topics included:
>>Introduction to the BD lifecycle from a small business perspective
>>Challenges and opportunities in each phase
>>Strategies and techniques to be successful at BD

About the GTSC Emerging Small Business Group
The Emerging Small Business Group is open to GTSC members with revenue <$2.5 million. It will focus on understanding the numerous challenges of starting/growing a small business in the Federal space and marshaling GTSC’s vast resources of peers, owners, mentors, subject matter experts and online virtual tools to provide our emerging small business members the knowledge and techniques they need to meet the challenges of growing a business.

Chair: Elaine Kapetanakis, CEO, Kapstone Technologies

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  • The source selection decision must be justified from the ground up.
    The number and area of interest of the review panels is dictated by the RFP. There will be one for each major section of the required proposal.
    Each panel reads the corresponding section or volume for all proposals, and each is scored against the the standards in the source selection plan, not against each other.
    The panel’s assessments are collated and validated by one or more review layers.
    The Source Selection Advisory Council assessed the scoring and uses it to prepare a decision recommendation to the Selection Authority.
    If the Source Selection Authority does not accept the recommendation, the decision memorandum is returned to the council for reconsideration and rework.
  • Key point is that the capture manager is ultimately responsible for the oversight of the proposal development.
    Win strategy
    Problem resolution
    Proposal team tailored to the RFP and opportunity.
  • Steps
    Breakdown the RFP requirements.
    Map to outline.
    Give explicit guidance to writers.
    Use to review.
    Produce compliance matrix for proposal.
  • Steps
    Breakdown the RFP requirements.
    Map to outline.
    Give explicit guidance to writers.
    Use to review.
    Produce compliance matrix for proposal.
  • Business Development for Small Government Contracting Companies

    1. 1. 1 A Primer in Business Development with Small Businesses in Mind Tony Sacco Presented for the Government Technology & Services Coalition Emerging Small Business Work Group
    2. 2. 2 Objectives for Today  Help build the knowledge and process components to successfully bid and win jobs as a PRIME  Strategies to know when to PRIME, when to SUB  Address the BD lifecycle from a process perspective  Introduce a proven process for the BD life cycle  Address BD from a relationship perspective  Answer questions relating to the how and why
    3. 3. 3 Who am I?  Started my career as an engineer  Joined SAIC when it was a Small Business  Spent 30 years managing projects and programs  Spent the last few years supporting sales/ business development  SAIC EAGLE PM for 7 years - $1.2B in Task Order awards  Mentored over 12 small businesses  Spent 40 years developing customer relationships
    4. 4. 4 Rules of the Road  The first part of my presentation is about process- a way to conduct BD through the life cycle  The second part of the presentation is my opinions and beliefs developed over a lifetime  You are encouraged to challenge and express your own  You will learn by being interactive so please interrupt and ask questions
    5. 5. 5 Semantics  I will use the following words throughout my discussion:  Client  Customer  Buyer  Prospect  Do they have different meanings to You?
    6. 6. Business Development Life Cycle 6 Business Development for a process perspective
    7. 7. 7 Why Process? Insanity is continuing to do the same thing and expecting different results - Albert Einstein Insanity is continuing to do different things and expecting the same results - Tony Sacco
    8. 8. 8 Business Development  Business development is an art not a science, however it requires a disciplined approach implemented over life cycle for it to be successful.
    9. 9. 9 BD Life Cycle Phases  Phase 1 - Opportunity Identification  Phase 2 – Opportunity Qualification  Phase 3 – Capture  Phase 4 – Proposal Development  Phase 5 - Post Submission  Phase 6 - Post Award- Account Management
    10. 10. 10 Identification Inputs  What does your org do?:  Product  Service  What does your org want to do?  What are your organizational goals?  Account plans  Strategic initiatives and plans  Do you have targeted customers?
    11. 11. 11 Product or Services?  A Key focus of BD is to understand what you sell  Product  Off-the-shelf  Development  Service  Existing service  New service  Sales strategies are different for each!
    12. 12. 12 Strategic planning  Does you organization understand where they are?  Do they understand what they want to be?  Do they understand the gaps between the two?  Do they have a plan to fill the gaps and reach their goals?  Are they committed to the plan and willing to invest the resources to make it happen?  Without this, growing business is at best problematical!
    13. 13. ses ces Pro e Company Characteristics Pe opl 13 Tools, Techniques and Past Performance Vehicles Clients
    14. 14. 14 Branding  Did your prospect know your organization before you met?  Did they know your capabilities?  Do your peers know about you?  Have you established vendor/ supplier relationships?  Are you active in public forums, especially those involved in your service or product area?  Has your organization’s service or product been reviewed, e.g. Gartner Magic Quadrant?  Have you thought thru a marketing strategy and implemented it?  If not then your first call is a cold call that requires you to do your homework about the customer.
    15. 15. 15 Client Focus  How do your skills, knowledge and experiences align with a potential customer  Is your service proposition focused on mission, IT infrastructure or other support functions?  Can you address real world concerns, especially problems that this customer faces?  Can you tell a story that describes your company’s approach or other aspects that makes your service proposition unique?  Can you address lessons learned, mistakes that were found and corrected?  Can you address how your service proposition can best benefit the customer?
    16. 16. 16 How do SBs get started?  Relationships  Reputation  Uniqueness in their service offering  Technical innovation  Filling a gap; being there at the right time  Typically SBs start in a subcontractor role  No vehicles  No company past performance
    17. 17. 17 Transition challenges for Small Businesses  Startup with limited or no customer base  First prime contract  First contract with new customer  First Fixed Price or Cost Plus contract  First contract using Subcontractors  Recertification from 8a or other SB classification  Recertification out of SB designation  All require different approaches in identifying new customers, new sources of revenue
    18. 18. 18 Lead generation  Opportunity Leads:  Internal staff  Cold calls  Competitors  Trade Publications  Government Publications (e.g. FBO)  Industry Associations (e.g. GTSC!)  Networking Events  Consultants  Existing Client Relationships  New techniques/processes/products  Government policies/new administration/new initiatives  Draft RFPs/RFIs  Industry Days  Market intelligence companies (e.g. GovWin)  Others????
    19. 19. 19 Identification Outputs  Opportunity that is real and that will be funded  Customer has shown a positive attitude toward your org  Discovered that the competitive environment is favorable  No prohibitive favorite or other large obstacle  No OCI implications for your organization  Demonstrated that the opportunity is aligned with your business plans  Determined that your org has the capabilities for the opportunity  Defined that the opportunity is feasible to bid and the estimated ROI is reasonable  Documented your findings in a Opportunity Description  Plan for the resources you need to support the next phase  Received approval for resources needed to at least complete Qualification Phase (Phase 2)
    20. 20. 20 Resources Required Throughout the Lifecycle TIME Identification Qualification Capture Proposal Development Delivery
    21. 21. 21 BD Life Cycle Phases  Phase 1 - Opportunity Identification  Phase 2 – Opportunity Qualification  Phase 3 – Capture  Phase 4 – Proposal Development  Phase 5 - Post Submission  Phase 6 - Post Award- Account Management
    22. 22. 22 Qualification Inputs  Opportunity Description  Where it fits in your organization’s priority  Preliminary Analysis of:  Procurement timeframes  Customer requirements  Competitive landscape  Customer organization  Customer funding: real or wish list  Possible solutions/approaches
    23. 23. 23 Qualification Processes  Understand opportunity context  Align customers goals with internal goals  Develop understanding of customer org  Start developing a Capture Plan  Start developing and executing a Call Plan  Build momentum/enthusiasm within your org  Start understanding the competitive landscape  Address your org weaknesses and possible teaming  Start developing your win strategy
    24. 24. 24 Understand Opportunity Context  Is there a level playing field?  Customers want all viable competitors to bid on programs  Customers seem willing to make accommodations to avoid competitor complaints  Best time to influence competition is early in the acquisition stages when customers solicit and encourage comments  Customers try to determine what supports a successful program  Understand where the opportunity fits in the client’s overall organization
    25. 25. 25 Align Customer’s Goals with Internal Goals  Focus on customer issues   Assist in technical and programmatic issue resolution  Volunteer technical support   Assist in defining what is feasible Promote program As the Customer’s Acquisition Strategy/Plan solidifies   Offer initiatives (demos, etc.) that bias customer in our favor  Comment on scope of work; try to shape it to your advantage   Offer white papers on issues Assist in crafting solutions to program challenges Help customer defend plan against other agencies and/or competitors who want to take on the customer
    26. 26. 26 Understand customer organization and project stakeholders  Direct Customer and staff  Managerial and technical staffs  SETA contractors  Customer’s leadership organization  Program executive officers (PEO) and staffs  Similar directorate-level organizations  Customer procurement organization  End users and other stakeholders  Influencers  Key technical personnel  Supporting contractors  Source Selection Evaluation Board  Source Selection Authority  Congress and staff
    27. 27. 27 Source Selection Organization and Hierarchy Source Selection Authority Decide Source Selection Advisors Recommend Decision Compile and Rank SSEB Chair Management Team Past Performance Team Technical Team Security Team Cost Team SSEB (Source Selection Evaluation Board) teams typically correspond to the evaluation criteria. Score
    28. 28. Start Developing a Capture Plan 28             Opportunity overview  Discussion of overall acquisition Win strategies Procurement Schedule RFIs, RFPs, Submission dates, Award dates Your company’s capabilities and limitations  Identify internal and external teaming needs/possible partners Probable solution  Probable management (including staffing), technical, and price solutions  Possible solution-unique teaming requirements/alternative solution(s) Customer analysis  Probable decision makers, hot buttons, discriminators. budgets Opportunity Call Plan Competition analysis  Potential competitors  Incumbent influence and considerations Competitive environment  Ways to influence customer and shape in your favor Solution generation  R&D and other means to create our program solution Schedule activities with resources, milestones and dependencies Capture Team Resources and Include events marketing, trade shows, IR&D, CDR, demos, technical resources (overhead expenditures) through Post Award if possible
    29. 29. Start Developing and Executing a Call Plan 29  Components:   What you want to find out  Who to go with  When/Where  Messages/demos/ leave behinds  Stress how your solution solves their problem and show customer benefits   Who to see and why Who else would they recommend to see Every encounter should/must include:    What are the next steps When and who accomplishes them Make sure every meeting and outcome is documented!
    30. 30. Analyze Call Plan Results 30  Major Issues/Hot Buttons  End product and service  Desires versus requires  Satisfaction of their customers  Hidden agendas  Politics  Rivalries  Risks (transition, mission support, etc.)  Costs/Budgets  Internal competence  Funding levels?  Personal success  Discriminators - Customer values  What customer uses to differentiate contractors  What customer sees as related to major issues  Where does the customer envision risk and how will you mitigate it
    31. 31. 31 Build Momentum/Enthusiasm Within Your Org  Sell the opportunity within your org  Develop business case  Why you will win  What it means to win  Who is competing?  Define your needs for continuing pursuit  Capture manager  Solutions Architect, Subject Matter Expert, etc.  Senior Management Support  Proposal Infrastructure support  Define Preliminary Probability of Win (Pwin)
    32. 32. 32 Start Understanding the Competition  Real focus is on their strengths and weaknesses  Strengths    Competitor characteristics that customers value Characteristics that help competitors position to win Weaknesses    Competitor characteristics that concern the customer Competitor shortcomings that can lower their evaluation Blind spots   Look for mistakes the competition may have made in the past Their branding/image campaign to this customer  What did they do for a similar contract?  Possible teaming strategy  Tools, methods, commitments, investments, technologies, centers of excellence, etc. relevant to opportunity  Likely program manager and other key personnel  Probable general technical and management approaches and solutions  Possible program costs & competitive pricing – conduct Price to Win  Wrap/Sell rates  Labor rates and discounts
    33. 33. 33 Address Your Company’s Weaknesses & Possible Teaming  Perform preliminary requirements analysis  Identify your org’s strengths and weaknesses  Find gaps  Identify other org/teams that can fill gaps and increase Pwin  Have existing customer relationship  Demonstrated performance in gap areas  Can complement rather than compete  Take competition off the street  You have had successful teaming past experiences  Fit within your pricing structure  Who is best positioned to prime?  Conduct a SWOT analysis for your team and likely competitors
    34. 34. Teaming Strategies Exercise 34 New Service New customer Existing customer Existing Service
    35. 35. Teaming Strategies 35 New Service New customer Existing customer Existing Service Sub Sub or Prime Sub or Prime Prime
    36. 36. 36 Start Developing Your Win Strategy  Win strategy drives your pursuit  You can refine it continually through Capture  4 parts to a win strategy  What actions do you need to take to win  Who to hire; investments to make; who to team with, etc.  Identify your competitive advantage  Need to develop clear picture of what you have that enables you to deliver superior value to the customer  Create your value proposition  Need to develop a clear statement of why customers should award contract to you  Identify how you influence the customer  Includes formal/informal marketing and white papers  Continues in earnest into Capture Phase
    37. 37. Qualification Outputs 37  Drafted a preliminary Capture Plan that will support your pursuit of the opportunity, to include initial identification of internal and external team members  Discovered key customer players, agendas, hot buttons, issues, ways to discriminate among competitors, etc.  Profiled likely competitors, their motivation, and general approaches  Produced white papers to help influence customer requirements/vet possible solution approaches  Addressed your general program management approach  Determined your competitive advantage and translated it into a compelling win proposition that drives your win strategy  Conducted formal and informal marketing to shape the competition in our favor  Identified and assigned resources to lead next phases  Refined capture and proposal budget estimates for approval
    38. 38. 38 BD Life Cycle Phases  Phase 1 - Opportunity Identification  Phase 2 – Opportunity Qualification  Phase 3 – Capture  Phase 4 – Proposal Development  Phase 5 - Post Submission  Phase 6 - Post Award- Account Management
    39. 39. 39 Capture Inputs  Draft Plans from Qualification  Identified Capture and support personnel  Handoff from BD to Capture  Pbid and Pwin Assessment  Pursue gate approval from senior management
    40. 40. 40 Capture Processes  Update Qualification preliminary documentation  Refine Win Strategy  Conduct Price to Win Analysis  Refine Competitive Environment  Build Teams  Finalize solution approaches  Develop Straw man Proposal  Analyze/prepare RFI, DRFP, RFP responses  Conduct Bid/No Bid review
    41. 41. 41 Refine Win Strategy  Understand your discriminators- the parts of your solution that offer unique benefit to your customer- better, faster, cheaper, greener  Understand your weaknesses and how you intend to correct them  Develop strategy to attack your competitor’s weaknesses  Get done what you said to do to win  Win strategies must develop win themes that permeate your proposal and are the basis of “why you?”
    42. 42. Finalize solution approaches 42  Understand program objectives  Identify operational constraints  Refine understanding of customer/ stakeholder expectations  Develop high-level operational views (system context, SLAs, risks, etc.)  Define potential solutions  Understand “as is” environment  Understand customer’s target capabilities  Develop and evaluate feasible alternatives  Define and initiate investments (if approved)  Determine customer solution preferences (if possible)  Provide technical support for Capture Team  Define technical Go/No-Go points  Identify technical resources for bid  Develop key milestone schedule  Address risks and mitigation, discriminators, etc.
    43. 43. 43 Refine Competitive Environment  Conduct a “Black Hat” Review  Quick way for good input on competitor approaches to procurement  Need participants who understand customer, this job, and competitors  Companies/consultants specialize is this service  Complete Competitive Analysis  Revise competitor’s likely approach  Develop likely competitor themes and ghosts  Determine competitor pricing  Create Detailed Picture of Competitors  Strengths  Likely approaches  Win themes  How they plan to beat You
    44. 44. 44 Basis of Estimate  Supports cost realism with rationale for:   Developing a specific estimate  Selecting a specific work history  Similarity between this job and past efforts   Using a particular estimating method Realism and credibility of an estimate Provides customer:   Cost realism justification  Basis for fact-finding and negotiation   Your understanding of the project Baseline for contract changes Provides you:  Realistic cost build-up and functional buy-in  Baseline to create budgets and manage costs  Cost amount to support competitive decisions  Baseline to manage contract changes  Basis for detailed project plans and responsibilities
    45. 45. 45 Conduct a Price to Win Analysis  Objective, independent assessment of what price it takes to win a competition  Understand competitors approaches and probable labor rates  Do a bottom up and top down analysis  Factor in customer budgets and ICGE, if known  Gives you some operating points to then decide how to price an opportunity  Price to win analysis is usually outsourced; expensive but can give you a competitive advantage
    46. 46. Develop Straw-man Proposal 46    Create WBS – the “what” of the deal Create solution approaches – the “how” of the deal Create OBS – the “who” of the deal      Mapping these three elements forms your solution framework Create Schedules – the “when” of the deal Create Basis of Estimate – the “how much” of the deal Identify Past Performance Success – credibility Create an Executive Summary – to package and close the deal that answers the question –  Why Us?  Make it available to the entire proposal team
    47. 47. 47 Analyze Final RFP when Released            Identify Surprises- If it changes much from the draft and you don’t know about it may be a no bid Define document submission requirements Summarize RFP evaluation criteria Determine problems presented by RFP Develop and submit questions to customer for clarification if allowed Refine proposal team and resource requirements Analyze requirements and finalize assignments Determine differences between draft and final RFPs and proposals Define how team proceeds from draft materials to submission Direct final proposal design activities Address issues with your team Final Bid/No Bid discussion
    48. 48. 48 Analyzing the RFP              Section A – SF 33 Section B – Pricing Tables Section C – Statement of Work, PWS, SOO Section D – Packaging and Marking Section E – Inspection and Acceptance Section F – Deliveries or Performance (POP) Section G – Contract Administration Data Section H – Special Contract Provisions Section I – FAR Provisions Section J – List of Attachments Section K – Representations and Certifications Section L – Proposal Preparation Instructions Section M – Evaluation Factors for Award
    49. 49. 49 Capture Outputs  Updated capture plan to ensure you have aligned the right internal & external resources needed to win  Gained a more detailed view of our competitors’ approaches, pricing, possible ghosts and indicators of actions they may take  Developed detailed baseline program solutions and approaches that contain your probable discriminators  Generated a win strategy that will score well against evaluation criteria since its discriminators and themes address key customer issues  Determined the pricing strategy that can win and supported that strategy with the right details  Created your proposal straw man  Received approval to initiate proposal development
    50. 50. 50  BREAK!
    51. 51. 51 BD Life Cycle Phases  Phase 1 - Opportunity Identification  Phase 2 – Opportunity Qualification  Phase 3 – Capture  Phase 4 – Proposal Development  Phase 5 - Post Submission  Phase 6 - Post Award- Account Management
    52. 52. 52 Proposal Development
    53. 53. Proposal Development Processes 53  Identification and Qualification: Customer Identification, Desires and Hot Buttons  Capture: Figuring Out How to Win  Proposal Development: Preparing the Compelling and Compliant Sales Document
    54. 54. 54 Compliant vs. Compelling  Compliant  Section L and Section M  Make your proposal easy to evaluate  Compliance matrix helps  Compelling  Substantiation for every assertion  Win themes are addressed and easy to find  DRIVES HOME “why us?”
    55. 55. 55 Phase 4: Proposal Development Phase 4 Proposal J9461-BDO-105
    56. 56. 56 What about Task Orders?  Found under IDIQ vehicles  Typically competitive  RESPONSE TIME - one to three weeks  Have a streamlined process in place  Consolidate reviews  DO NOT ELIMINATE CAPTURE – Don’t waste your time and money on Bluebirds!  Very rarely a surprise to you doesn’t mean all competitors are surprised  If you are not ready to create a winning prop - No BID  Be wary of wired procurements  Work with your customer to insure they issue RFIs and DRFPs. Convince them that a accurate forecast fosters competition.
    57. 57. 57 What Comprises a Typical Proposal  Technical Volume – Your approach and solution to the RFP  Management Volume – How you will manage the solution  Cost Volume – What are your prices  Past Performance – Relevant experience  Others ?
    58. 58. 58 Proposal Organization Capture Manager Pricing Lead Proposal Manager Review Team Lead Proposal Coordinator Book Bosses / Volume Leads Resume Lead Proposal Writers Resume Writers Production Past Performance Lead Past Perf. Writers
    59. 59. 59 How Does a SB Find Resources?  Proposal Development involves specific skills over typically a short duration  How can you acquire resources:  Work DL after hours  Work everyone after hours  Outsource:  Pricing?  Proposal Management?  Production and graphics?  Writers: technical, resumes, past performance ?  Independent reviewers?
    60. 60. Proposal Team Responsibilities 60 Proposal Manager Must Do’s Understand RFP  Develop outline and allocate requirements  Enforce compliance  Keep team focused on win strategies, themes, and review team comments Manage Resources Effectively Help team members succeed Integrate Efforts of Entire Team Conduct daily status meetings Facilitate team communication Reinforce team ownership of entire proposal Maintain Commitments  Adhere to proposal contract  Enforce schedule Involve Line Management in Decision-making
    61. 61. 61 Major Team Responsibilities (cont.) Pricing Lead Production Responsible for implementing Price-to-Win strategy  Responsible for quality of final delivered product  Graphics and text processing Review Team Lead  Editing Responsible for assembling and conducting proposal reviews  Production Program / Solution Manager  Comprehensive  Responsible for proposed solution  Constructive  Technical and management approaches  Win strategy implemented into themes and discriminators  Consistent  Validation of strategy, content, compliance  Basis of estimate (BOE)
    62. 62. 62 Compliance Management  Requirements begin with RFP decomposition  Outline based on Instructions to Offeror  Every requirement mapped to specific location in outline  Writers given exact text of requirements to be covered in their sections  Guides proposal development and writing  Ensures every requirement is covered  Reviewers given same mapping as writers  Final product includes compliance matrix Customers want compliance—Answer their questions in their order
    63. 63. 63 Strategies, Themes, and Specific Sections  Strategy and Theme Development  Outlines for each volume  Features and Benefits  Selected Sections  Executive Summary  Resumes
    64. 64. Definitions BASIC THEME Major point of disclosure or emphasis or strength that supports why the customer should choose you and not your competitors (customer-driven; e.g., exceeding customer expectations) HOT BUTTON Issue or bias that can trigger an emotional response, either negatively or positively, from key customer decision makers COMMON THEME Theme that is common to all competitors (still customer-driven —derived from the customer’s requirements and wish list) DISCRIMIN- Theme that cannot be claimed by every competitor. These are contractor-driven—derived from your strengths and ATOR weaknesses (still tied to customer expectations) GHOST Theme designed to neutralize a competitor. These are competitor-driven—derived from the competitions’ strengths and weaknesses and require that you know the competition (still tied to customer expectations)
    65. 65. Discriminators Answer Two Critical Questions 65  What’s different about You? (Your Features)  Discriminators are tangible characteristics unique to a competing firm  Discriminators identify  Our strengths versus the competitors’weaknesses  Our weaknesses versus the competitors’strengths  Even playing fields – both strong or both weak  Why buy from You? (Your Benefits)  Discriminators respond to the client’s needs and issues – concerns, hopes, biases, opinions, experiences, etc.  The discrimination process helps us  Highlight our strengths  Neutralize our weaknesses  Counter the competitors’strengths  Ghost the competitors’ weaknesses  Stress low risk approach
    66. 66. 66 Themes 1. Assertion  What we want the customer to believe 1. Benefit  Why this benefits the customer 1. Substantiation  What we have to demonstrate in the proposal to have the customer believe the assertion
    67. 67. 67 Sample Theme Template  Example Theme  Assertion We are able to retain personnel in highly competitive positions  Benefit Reduced need to train new personnel means more efficient support to customer  Substantiation  Graphic providing retention statistics for past six years; focus on hard-to-find skill sets, e.g., IT, biopharmaceutical  Graphic showing how we retained 1,330 incumbent personnel at original transition of this contract from previous contractor  Graphic comparing our retention history with this customer to that for local community (or other appropriate statistic)
    68. 68. 68 Characteristics of Bad Themes  Un-validated assertions; no “because…”  Use of clichés  “Unique”  “Unmatched”  “Our proven…”  Emphasize something irrelevant to “why select us”  Claim as “unique,” but is something other bidders can claim  Wordy, rambling  Not substantiated by data or examples in different sections
    69. 69. 69 Characteristics of Good Themes  Short, tightly worded, single focus, action statement  Structure includes all 3 parts (sequence can vary)  Assertion  Benefit to customer  Substantiation  Tie to the evaluation criteria and/or hot buttons for the section where they appear
    70. 70. 70 Executive Summary Contents  Top level description of our solution/approach  Statement of high-level proposal themes  Summary of best-value case  Description of companies on team and what they offer  Compelling answer to the question “Why us?” tied to benefits to the customer  May include:  Road map to proposal  Major proposal graphics
    71. 71. The Challenge of Resumes 71  Typically resumes are most under-appreciated part of proposal response  Everyone has a resume  Just needs a little updating  Lessons Learned  Plan ahead  Do NOT employ a traditional chronological resume – tailor so that it is clear the person meets or exceeds the customer’s requirements  Do NOT rely on the person him/herself to develop the final resume – employ an expert resume writer
    72. 72. Resume Sample 72
    73. 73. Pricing Strategy 73  Try to identify customer budgets, IGCE  Understand your Basis of Estimate  Use benchmarks wherever possible  Understand your risks – price accordingly  Know the difference between Cost/Price  Don’t make assumptions for option years that may increase costs!  Attempt to understand competition price points  Review price to win analysis  Decide what profit you want for the risk you take
    74. 74. What about LPTA? 74  Typically used when commodity products or services are procured  Budget pressures forcing more wide-spread use  Strategy:  Prepare a just compliant proposal  Assess risk, understand your costs!  Consider where you can cut your price  Offer alternatives to lower your cost, if possible  Some SBs thrive in this environment, but I think to embrace LPTA is a going-out–of-business strategy
    75. 75. 75 Phase 4: Proposal Development Phase 4 Proposal J9461-BDO-105
    76. 76. 76 BD Life Cycle Phases  Phase 1 - Opportunity Identification  Phase 2 – Opportunity Qualification  Phase 3 – Capture  Phase 4 – Proposal Development  Phase 5 - Post Submission  Phase 6 - Post Award- Account Management
    77. 77. 77 Post Submission Inputs  A completed and submitted proposal  Technical  Management  Price  Past Performance
    78. 78. 78 Post Submission Processes     Preparation for/delivery of Orals/Demonstrations Respond to Customer Questions (CR and DR) Preparation of BAFO Complete negotiations  Customer  Subcontractors     Operationalize Transition Planning/startup Complete/resolve proposal promises Implement change management Start building the delivery team
    79. 79. Post Submission Outputs 79  Delivering the proposal does NOT mean “it’s all over”  You must develop convincing, compliant answers to all CR and DR  This is not the time to completely revise your solution or approach  You may be able to incorporate some updated/enhanced offerings  Implemented plans for transition and contract startup  Infrastructure, organization, and procedures to support successful negotiations are identified  Staffing/Resource Commitments  Win or lose you must move on to Phase 6!
    80. 80. 80 BD Life Cycle Phases  Phase 1 - Opportunity Identification  Phase 2 – Opportunity Qualification  Phase 3 – Capture  Phase 4 – Proposal Development  Phase 5 - Post Submission  Phase 6 – Post Award – Account Management
    81. 81. 81 Post Award Inputs  Contract Award
    82. 82. 82 Post Award Processes (Win)  Have a celebration!!!!  Ask for a debrief  Complete contract documentation  Deliver initial documentation  Finalize organization/staffing  Initiate program startup activities/infrastructure  Execute, execute, execute!  Conduct Kick-off – customers/internal and external stakeholders  Develop lessons learned – what worked/what didn’t  Remember if you fail, your customer fails  Manage for a win-win  Start/resume client account management activities
    83. 83. 83 Post Award Processes (Loss)  Acknowledge and recognize the team  Request/Attend customer debrief  Gather intelligence on the “real reason”  Review courses of action  Develop lessons learned  Demonstrate commitment to client  Account Management – uncover the next one!
    84. 84. 84 What to Ask for in Debriefs  What did evaluators like or dislike?  Where we COMPLIANT?  Where perceived risks addressed?  Was our technical approach clear; risks addressed and mitigated?  Was our management approach, including key personnel and schedule, appropriate?  Were our staffing, startup and transition plans comprehensive and did they address risk and mitigations?  Did we score well in past performance?  Was our price competitive?  Request to have the debrief face to face
    85. 85. Account Management 85  Separate from Program Management  Account management = Relationship management  Care and feeding of the client  Maintain contact with all external stakeholders  Identify new hot buttons/concerns  Know what is going on in your clients organization  Support/defend program  Monitor performance and customer feedback  Work the next opportunity  Update and maintain in your Account Plan
    86. 86. 86 Elements of a Good Account Plan  Client facts – org, mission, strategic vision, etc.  Client movers and shakers  Major problems/major initiatives  Budget and funding forecasts  Time Phased Opportunity scale  Your strategic vision and roadmap for the account  Call plan  Resource requirements-people, technology, tools  Accuracy and currency
    87. 87. 87 Post Award Outputs  Account Management  Account Management  Account Management  Start the BD process over again  Updated Account Plan  And as a sidebar – Deliver what you promised!
    88. 88. Summary Business Development Process 88 Opportunity Identification • Decision to Seek Opportunity Opportunity Qualification Capture • Opportunity • Pursue– Selection Review No Pursue Review Proposal PostSubmission • Proposal Readiness Review Key Gate Reviews that move opportunity from Identification (Phase 1) into Proposal (Phase 4) J9461-BDO-102 PostAward
    89. 89. 89 Resources Required throughout the Lifecycle Identification Qualification Capture Proposal Development EXECUTION     TIME Knowledge Solution Pwin
    90. 90. 90 Summary of Leadership Roles  Sales/BD “owns” the client relationship  Capture “owns” wining the opportunity  Solution Architect “owns” the technical solution  Proposal manager “owns” producing the Proposal  Book Bosses “own” their volumes  Program Manager “owns” the delivery team Winning an opportunity is a TEAM effort
    91. 91. 91 Span of Leadership Roles
    92. 92. 92 Process Summary Insanity is continuing to do different things and expecting the same results - Tony Sacco Develop a process that works for your organization and commit to continuous improvement while maintaining awareness for your team
    93. 93. Business Development from a relationship perspective 93 Customers don’t buy from someone they don’t trust
    94. 94. 94 BD is a Process and Not an Outcome  TEXTBOOK DEFINITION: “BD is a series of planned activities designed to develop awareness, credibility, perception of quality, and belief that your organization is the right one to satisfy their requirements”  There is no single magic activity that will convince your customer to buy from you. However, when properly leveraged and executed, BD can pave the way for establishing a relationship with a new customer.  Example: You see a dozen commercials for a car but you probably wouldn’t buy that car just because you have seen the commercials. Conversely, when you are ready to buy a car, would you buy one you have never heard of?
    95. 95. 95 Business Development Occurs in 3 Phases 1. Marketing  Focuses on finding a qualified prospect - a client with money who plans to spend it on services we can provide  This includes  Understand with your value proposition  Understanding long term business strategy  Identifying leads from conversations  Exploring and Qualifying business opportunities  Developing Capture strategies
    96. 96. 96 Business Development Occurs in 3 Phases 2. Selling and Capturing  Focuses on converting the qualified prospect into a client  This includes:  Understanding buyer needs in depth  Performing a competitive analysis  Knowledge of what you sell  Developing discriminators and win themes  Vetting the proposed solution options  Influencing the customer on why you  Closing the deal!
    97. 97. 97 Business development occurs in 3 phases 3. Post Sales- Account management  View the client as an organization  Understand strategic and tactical goals  Find the organizational thought leaders  Go beyond addressing your capabilities  Identify where the skeletons lie  Address/ monitor current business and customers  Maintain your account plan!
    98. 98. 98 Market Analysis – Where are you? and where should you grow? Existing Client New Client Existing •Highest ROI •High Probability Work New Work •Lowest ROI •Low Probability
    99. 99. 99 Building, Maintaining and Expanding Client Relationships – the Key to Effective BD  Building Relationships   Maintaining Relationships   To sell additional work to current clients People do business with people they trust.     To stay positioned for opportunities with past clients and industry contacts Expanding Relationships   To sell work to potential new clients (prospects) People do business with people they have a trusting relationship. And relationships are built over a period of time. Relationships are not built by marketing calls or Industry days. AM should be the coach, mentor and cheerleader to inspire your organization to create and keep customers.
    100. 100. 100 Face-to-Face Meetings – the best way to get information  Clients are the best source of accurate information   They can provide information that outsiders cannot   They are the closest to the daily shifts of the opportunity Their body language is often just as important as what they tell you The client representative you meet may have one or more “buyer roles”   End User  Supporting organizations   Decision maker Contracts/Counsel The role of the client representative impacts  The type of information you obtain  The slant on the information provided
    101. 101. Make a Better Marketing Call 101  During exploration, the focus of your marketing calls is on:  Building relationship with the client   Gaining information for decision making Initial meeting:  Have a good “elevator speech”   Bring SMEs to help establish credibility   Choose a subject or issue your client raised Address how you worked the issue in the past, and lessons learned Always, Always set up for the next call  Offer to have special planning or brainstorming session and bring in other experts; act as the “trusted advisor”  Bring in an expert for a session on “Where is the Technology going?”  Create a follow-on need by discussing your client’s future vision and strategy, and by solving root problems rather than symptoms
    102. 102. 102 Elements Of a Good Elevator Speech  Who you are and what is your organization  What your organization does  What differentiates you from the competition  How can you help your customer  Keep it crisp  Or in other words: How do you offer value, benefit to the client and quality?
    103. 103. 103 Understand the client’s needs – so you offer the benefits they want   Uncover the client’s real needs, wants, and desires – many of which may not appear in the upcoming RFP Start with the qualities the typical client usually wants  A relationship built on trust, founded on chemistry and rapport, characterized by understanding and assurance  Confidence in our willingness to serve them – to put them first, be there when they need us, answer unanticipated questions  A solution to their problem that is faster, better, cheaper, safer and greener  Expertise and providing the right people at the right time Innovation  The above five qualities are a given – in addition to the above there may be other driving wants and needs and desires that may need to be met – Find out what they are and address them in your proposal
    104. 104. 104 Government is Risk Adverse!  Clients, especially Government clients, are risk averse  They choose the path of least resistance  They don’t want to fail  Ever heard the term –You can’t go wrong with IBM!  You must demonstrate why you are the low risk solution  You must demonstrate how you identify and manage risk Clients will always choose the organization they trust will deliver what they want/need/require If they don’t have trust in you they won’t have trust in your organization
    105. 105. 105 Be Mindful of Ways to Influence the Procurement  Use calls to help SHAPE the requirement  Present your views on what it will take to make the program a success  Link your views on success to your unique qualifications  Influence evaluation criteria to play to your strengths  Influence the procurement methodology – e.g. best value vs. lowest cost technically acceptable bidder  White papers that address aspects of your approach  Identify and reach out to as many stakeholders  Effective responses to RFIs and draft RFPs can also build positive perceptions … and dramatically affect aspects of the final RFP (proposal format, scope of work, evaluation factors and weights)
    106. 106. 106 Rhetoric Quiz  Name the last five Heisman trophy winners  Name the last half dozen Academy Award winners for best director  Name the last four CIOs at DHS  Name all the hopefuls that ran in the republican primaries for the 2012 Presidential election  How many gold metals did USA win in the London Summer Olympics?
    107. 107. 107 The Point  These are no second-rate achievers. They are the best in their fields.  None of us remember the headliners of yesterday.  The applause dies. Awards tarnish. Achievements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.  What can you do for your client’s to solve their problems now and in the future – is what really counts!
    108. 108. 108 Rhetoric Quiz - Two  Identify a teacher who inspired you in high school  Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time  Think of a boss who motivated you to achieve  Name someone who made you feel appreciated and special  Think of five people you enjoy spending time with
    109. 109. 109 The Lesson in BD  The people who make a difference in your life are not the ones with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.   Customers do not care what you know until they know that you care. Customers do not care what you know until they know that you care.  People like to do business with people who care. People like to do business with people they trust. People give business to people who help. People give business to those who follow through and deliver.  Example – My High School Science teacher  If you understand this, you will be successful in Business Development.
    110. 110. 110 Secrets to Success in Business Development           Do your Homework- Know your client’s business and problems they are having Have Face to Face meetings with your client Listen, Listen, Listen Know what you are selling Be realistic on whether to sub or prime Know your competition and your discriminators Be genuine in caring about your client’s needs Test out approaches/solutions with your client-help shape procurement to favor your approach Respond to the formal RFP with a compelling, compliant and value solution/ approach Never give up!!!
    111. 111. 111 Contact Information  Tony Sacco  Project Insights LLC  Email:  Cell: 703 919-4111  Government Technology & Services Coalition 