Welcome to the first session in the series of the APMP Foundation Training webinars.I’m XXX and with me is YYYIn this session we will describe:why opportunity qualification is considered best practicewhen should we start qualifying how to present data at a qualification meetingwhat kinds of qualification tools can be usedAfter this theory session we will set you a practical exercise for the first e-torial.
What I’d like you to take away from this session is that “when you choose opportunities - you ask probing questions”.Firstly, ‘can we win?’ – that is, do we have the ability to deliver what the customer wants and secondly ‘Do we want to win?’ – that may seem like a strange question, but what it means is, by winning will our organisation gain some measurable benefit, whether that be financial or improved market share or some other strategic gain.
To help us answer the questions: ‘can we win’ and ‘do we want to win?’ we are going to learn the why, when, what and how of opportunity qualification.Opportunity Qualification is a continuous activity.It starts in the Opportunity Analysis phase when we work out whether this is a piece of business worth pursuing.It continues through Capture Planning which is about developing strategies for capturing a specific business opportunityand it is key to support Bid Decisions like the final Bid/No Bid decision before Proposal DevelopmentWe should start qualifying early in the sales process and if necessary make a serious decision to pursue the opportunity or to withdraw and focus on more profitable business.In order to make recommendations we need to capture essential information to help the decision makers. We shall look in more depth at the kind of information you may be required to collect and how you could present it. We shall also discuss some tools which can help us ask the right questions, get the right information about the opportunity and present it in a factual way.By the way, you’ll notice the words “Syllabus Requirement” at the bottom left of some slides. We are just emphasizing that you’ll need to know these topics well.
Qualification impacts bottom line performance.When people ask me how I often jot these numbers on a pad or a flip chart.The yellow figure is what we hope to win REVENUEThe green is what we hope to gain PROFIT or MARGINThe RED is what we need to spend to bid. I’m sure you’ve guessed that the blue box is the Hit Rate or Win Rate. In this example it’s 25%.Some companies seem happy with that until I tell them that best in class organisations routinely achieve 70 to 80% or better.Then I’m sure you’ve spotted that on these numbers the overall contribution from bidding is ZERO.We have to do better and the key is Qualification. Rigorous qualification INCREASES WIN RATES.One more win is 200,000 on the bottom line.
It is considered to be best practice because helps to identify relevant information about the opportunity, such as customer issues, the competitive environment, approaches for implementation.Think about the consequences of going after too many poorly qualified bids. These could result unprofitable business, may overstretch your resources and damage your reputation. We will certainly benefit by qualifying the business we wish to pursue.In fact, a definition of a bid is the structured method of maximising return on sales investment when pursuing a Single Sales Objective (SSO)”This prompts some further questions such as :What are the costs?What are the rewards?What are the risks?
When we bid less we can focus our effort on the desirable, winnable opportunities.We BID LESS and WIN MORE
It’s important to keep asking a few penetrating questionsAnd to answer them honestly
Like all investments, and bidding is an investment with uncertain returns, we have to ask WHAT IS THE BUSINESS CASE?
The BUSINESS CASE drives the bid.It is the justification for the costs, the risks, the time, the hard work and lost weekends that bidding often involves.It need not be a financial case, but it has to be a real one: REPUTATION, MARKET ENTRY, POSITION, whatever.
So what sort of tools do they use? Here is a selectionAworkbook is a set of templates which prompt us to gather information and evaluate it systematically. (HOLDEN Power Based Selling – Value Guide)A Lead Compatibility Grid is used to consider each new lead in relation to your recently delivered contracts. For example, are we proposing something similar to an existing market or has a new service been requested from a market we’ve never operated in before.A Bid Decision Tree is a decision support tool that uses a tree-like or flowchart type of sketch to model decisions and their possible consequences, including chance outcomes, costs and resource needs. They can help to identify a map out a strategy most likely to reach a specific goal.Checklists provide a quick way of finding out whether the opportunity and our sales team have met certain basic criteria such as: have we worked with this customer before, can we validate that the customer has funding, is this our core business.Scoring systems ask deeper questions about our bidding criteria and may require scores provided to be justified.
The checklists are often known by their acronymsEach point makes a question for the prospect.A simple checklist could be Will winning the bid be value for money?Do we have the capability to build a solution?Is there competition?How are the competition positioned?
Here is an example of a Scorecard tool as used by some of Bid to Win’s customersIt has two sections: Project Attractiveness (“Do We Want to Win?”) Our Capability to Win (“Can we win?”)Answering these questions in a team setting will enable us to qualify honestly and establish vital sales action that will improve our capability to win.The bid manager must ensure that the case owner works through this.The overall score is only an indicator. It doesn’t say absolutely go or no go and a rational decision can be made to pursue the opportunity.Use the concept of SPAD – signal passed at danger! Railway’s acronym, but the case owner and team needs to support the decision and be behind you for this to work.
Bid Decisions are an integral part of any proposal management process.Here is typicalAs a bid manager you are expected
Here are some of the questions that the decision makers will probably want you to answer – so have your facts ready.Have we influenced the requirements?How well does the customer know us?Do competitors have suitable offerings?How will competitors approach this?Do we need teaming partners to share information, development costs and risks; get entry into a new marketWill winning a contract be good value for our organisation.How much risk are we exposed to.Broadly there are two types of risk – proposal risk and project/performance risk We will cover risk in more detail in a later module.When you present this information, you need to make your recommendation to bid or not to bid.Your research, your collected facts and your use of tools will all contribute.
Answer bMaybe these questions could go in the Workbook7. Which of the following is correct?a) A capture plan does not need to be written if the customer is well known to usb) Capture plans and account plans are the samec) A capture plan should be written once and signed offd) A capture plan is opportunity specific p229. Which would you NOT expect to find in a capture plan?a) Allocation of authors to sectionsb) The buying processc) The evaluation processd) Risk analysis p2434. Which is correct?a) the capture plan is written before the account planb) much of the proposal plan can be extracted from the capture planc) the capture plan should contain the bid scheduled) The gold team reviews the capture plan p26
Clarify what the end result is and refer to workbook.
Qualifying OpportunitiesChoosing the right opportunities Establishing Requirements Developing Strategy Opportunity Qualification Proposal Process Management Review Management Managing Time, Cost and Planning the Proposal Phase Communicating your Plan Quality Learning from Experience
Learning objectives: by the end of thismodule, you will know:why opportunity qualification is considered best practicewhen should we start qualifyingwhat kinds of qualification tools can be usedhow to present data at a qualification meetingSyllabus Requirement
Opportunity Qualification isconsidered best practice because:• promotes early engagement• provides the information you need move forward or withdraw• encourages competitive analysis• consider the consequences of pursuing too many poorly qualified bids
Why are we bidding? A bid has a continued business justification
Why are we bidding? A bid has a continued business justification The Business Case ‘drives’ the bid. It is maintained and monitored continually but particularly at: • Opportunity qualification • The Go / No-go decision • Bid project milestones / decision points
Winning bidders start before the RFP Herther. APMP Journal, Fall 2006
Winning bidders start before the RFP Herther. APMP Journal, Fall 2006 1982
Winning bidders start before the RFP Herther. APMP Journal, Fall 2006 1982 2006
Bid Decision and Qualification Tools Workbooks Lead Compatibility Grid Typical tools Bid Decision include Trees Checklists Scoring systems
Some commonly used checklists:SCOTSMAN MEAN ACTS Money Solution / Situation Emotion Competition Authority Only Me Need Time Ability Size Competition Time Money Size Authority Need
Sample Go / No Go Scorecard: Two parts: Project Attractiveness (Do we want to win?) Our Capability to Win (Can we win?) Completed before each review Guide to planning and tacticsQualify Early, Qualify Often, Qualify Honestly
Qualification Meetings• Qualification meetings (decision points) are integral to a good proposal management processPursuit Decision Preliminary Bid. BID Decision Submit Bid Approve Deal Close Opportunity Capture Proposal Proposal Win Case Handover Assessment Planning Planning Preparation RFQ Received• Early qualification enables focus on desirable, winnable opportunities
Data required for Qualification Meetings• Customer details and requirements• Competition details and offerings• Capability of our organisation to meet requirements• Cost of winning the business• Our win strategy• Degree of risk• The return on our investmentSyllabus Requirement
Quick Quiz Question:Opportunity QualificationWhen should capture planning start??a. Before the pursuit decisionb. After the pursuit decisionc. After the RFP is issuedd. After the bid is qualified Please select your answer in the Polling panel.
How did we do? Starting capture planning before the pursuit decision means that if the decision is ‘No’, then time and effort may have been wasted. Capture planning is about understanding the prospect, the possible solutions to their needs and the competition and using that understanding to create a plan for winning the bid. After the RFP is issued is too late to start capture planning. We need a good understanding of the prospect by the time the RFP is issued, otherwise we are not going to be in the best position to respond. Qualifying or Opportunity Assessment leads to the pursuit decision, after which Capture Planning can start.Pursuit Decision Preliminary Bid. Bid Decision Submit Bid Approve Deal Close Opportunity Capture Proposal Proposal Win Case Handover Assessment Planning Planning Preparation RFQ Received
Preparing for the eTorialThe Bid Qualification Exercise:• Review the topics ‘Bid Decisions’ and ‘Capture Planning’ on pages 18 - 26 of the Proposal Guide• Read the ManCo case study• Complete the Qualification Scorecard• Make a recommendation for a Bid Decision• Place your work in the Class Space.