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Deltek Insight 2012: How to Increase Your Company’s Win Rate in 7 Proven Steps


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The seven steps to raise your win probability will make you better prepared to compete at the highest competitive levels, improve your capture and proposal game, and help you plan and reduce the workload needed to create winning proposals. In this session, Bob Lohfeld of Lohfeld Consulting Group will show you how to assess your company’s ability to compete, and make real recommendations on how you can increase your business win rate. Intermediate Level.

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Deltek Insight 2012: How to Increase Your Company’s Win Rate in 7 Proven Steps

  1. 1. How to Increase YourCompany’s Win Rate in7 Proven StepsBob Lohfeld, Lohfeld Consulting GroupGC-496
  2. 2. About Lohfeld Consulting Group Follow us on Twitter: Lohfeld Consulting Group specializes in helping companies create winning proposals. As the premier proposal services consulting firm focused exclusively on government markets, we provide expert assistance to government contractors in Capture Planning and Strategy, Proposal Management and Development, Capture and Proposal Process and Infrastructure, and Training. Contact Bob Lohfeld CEO of Lohfeld Consulting Group Email: Tel: (410) 336-6264 www.lohfeldconsulting.com2 ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  3. 3. AgendaWhat really works to raise your win rate  People  Process  Tools  Technology  Leadership  Creativity  Quality  MoraleMeasuring your win rate improvement3 ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  4. 4. Focus on 7 Proven Steps To— PROPOSAL Write Better ProposalsWin More Business Advance in Your Career4 ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  5. 5. 7 Keys to Winning in Team Sports (and Government Procurements)Every Good Coach will Tell You: 1 Recruit Great Athletes Get the right people on the team 3 Use the Right Tools Enhance your level of play with the right tools 2 Have a Solid Game Plan Use the right processes5 ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  6. 6. 7 Keys to Winning in Team Sports (and Government Procurements)Every Good Coach will Tell You: 6 Avoid Turnovers 4 Focus on Coaching Every proposal is compliant, Call the right plays responsive and compelling 5 Focus on Your Strategy 7 Enjoy the Game Build a winning solution Have Fun at What You Do6 ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  7. 7. Step 1: Get the Right People 1 Build Your Core Team  Like a National Football League team, you start by drafting the right athletes  Aptitude: excellent organizational and writing skills  Domain expertise  Experience  Avoid unapplied labor (slugs) Augment Core Team with Special Players  Consultants used for surge and special skills  Major companies use a 70/30 (employee/consultant) rule7 ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  8. 8. Step 1: Get the Right People (cont.) 1What to Look for in Consultants  Professional expertise: real consultants vs. migratory labor  Recognized accomplishment: more than a business card, peer recognition as among the best  Commitment to the profession: Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) certificationsWhat to Avoid  “Accidental proposal consultant” who will do “anything for money” (AFM) between full-time jobs8 ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  9. 9. Step 1: Get the Right People (cont.) 1 Train Your Team  Professional development training: raise its level of understanding and competitiveness (do you have a training program/plan with courses identified?)  Skills training: train like you play/fight/fly; train using your process and tools Do You Have a Team That Can Win?  Proposals are an intellectual competition. Look at your market (small business, mid, large) and ask, “Are we smarter, better trained and more agile than our competition?”  Look for the best and brightest who can work under tight deadlines (reliable); can handle long hours under stressful situations (durable) and are smart, creative and driven to be successful (talented)  The objective is not to produce a proposal, it is to create the winning proposal9 ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  10. 10. Step 2: Use the Right Process 2Establish a Business Acquisition Framework That Covers 5 Stages: Business Capture Pre-proposal Proposal Post-submittal Development Management Preparation Development10 ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  11. 11. Step 2: Use the Right Process (Cont.) 2Work Toward Building a Mature Business Acquisition Process(for Major Competitions and Task Order Responses)  Defined: written and available process (framework) and instructional materials (procedures)  Repeatable: the process has survived multiple acquisitions  Managed: use the process to manage the pursuits and don’t manage around the process  Measured: track not only your wins and losses, but also how well you carried out the process  Optimized: work to continually improve processes based on results and statistical analysis11 ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  12. 12. Step 2: Use the Right Process (Cont.) 2A Mature Process Will— Increase efficiency Reduce costs Increase win (everyone knows what to (reuse artifacts) probability do and how to do it) Do You Have a Winning Process, or is Every Pursuit a New Adventure? (Reminds Me of the Movie 50 First Dates) 80% <20% Percentage of companies Percentage of companies we interview who admit to that actually do anything having inadequate about it processes12 ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  13. 13. Step 3: Use the Right Tools 3Define Your Overall Business Acquisition (BA) Lifecycle and ThenSelect and Use the Best Tools for Each Phase (Not The Other WayAround)BD pipeline management tools include:  Excel spreadsheet  Deltek’s GovWin Capture Management (server or cloud)  (cloud)  Microsoft Dynamic CRM (server or cloud)Capture Management tools:  Capture Command Center (Lohfeld’s SharePoint-based framework for managing capture and proposal activities)  Deltek’s GovWin (Contracts and Task Orders)13 ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  14. 14. Step 3: Use the Right Tools (Cont.) 3Proposal Management Tools SharePoint (Microsoft) Privia Virtual Proposal Center (Intravation) SalesEdge (Sant) Custom developmentEstablish an Enterprise Repository with Appropriate Levelsof Security to Archive Artifacts and Get Them off Your PC SharePoint (server or cloud) Oracle Siebel Compusearch SAP 14 ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  15. 15. Step 3: Use the Right Tools (Cont.) 3Establish 5 Special-purpose Capture and Proposal Productivity Tools Résumé database Past performance database (not the same as a contracts file) Reusable graphics library Pre-written proposal content Online archive of past proposalsPersonal Proposal Productivity Tools (Microsoft-centric) Office 2010 and Windows 7, but keep other versions available for government electronic submissions SharePoint 2010 Adobe Creative Suite Adobe Acrobat Pro See Beth Wingate’s list of tools on our website 15 ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  16. 16. Step 4: Call the Right Plays 4Make the Right Management Decisions Choose the battles you are going to win and invest appropriately Stand down on those you are unlikely to winMake the Pursuit and Bid/No-bid Decisions Use a scorecard to evaluate bid opportunities Use a “portfolio approach” to include some lower investment, higher payoff, lower win probability bids to maximize your likelihood of achieving your revenue goals Build your “A list” of programs that you plan to bid and a “B list” of backup programs to bid if an “A list” program is delayed (always have a backup plan to make your revenue number)Measure Your Pursuit Progress and Don’t Be Afraid to Shut Down a Pursuit IfYou are Not Making Real Progress (See Color Mosaic on Next Slide)Get a Running Start on Your Proposal Start proposal planning and development in anticipation of request fort proposal (RFP) release, not after the RFP is outManage Your Workload to Avoid Burnout ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved16
  17. 17. Step 4: Call the Right Plays (Cont.) 4Pursuit Decision Scorecard Color code: Blue (excellent), Green (good, but could be better), Yellow (poor and needs much work), and Red (we don’t know how to begin) QUALITATIVE DECISION MODEL Pursuit Decision Factors Color Scale Assessment 1. Strategic Fit Blue 2. Understand the Requirement Green 3. Right Solution Blue 4. Customer Advocacy Green 5. Competition Favorable Yellow 6. Financial Objectives Red 7. Pursuit Investment Green Overall Assessment Green17 ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  18. 18. Step 5: Emphasize Creating a Winning Solution 5Winning Bids Will Always be “Feature Rich” With Many Strengths,No or Few Weaknesses and Offer Low RiskWinning solutions are created (engineered), they don’t “just happen”  Address all requirements of the RFP (explicitly or implicitly)  Link your solution to the goals and objectives of your customer  Build features that will be evaluated as proposal strengths (features and benefits) and—  Demonstrate high likelihood of mission success  Exceed contract requirements whenever practical in a way that is meaningful to the customer“Best informed wins.” If you understand the requirement better than yourcompetition, you should be able to offer the best solution 18 ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  19. 19. Step 5: Emphasize Creating a Winning Solution (Cont.) 5 Build Solution Development into Your Capture Pre-proposal Capture and Proposal Processes Management Preparation Do you have a win laboratory or victory lab as part of your process? Solution SessionsAgree on Your SolutionNever start writing your technical or managementproposal until you’ve agreed on the solutions andfeatures that you’ll showcase Focus on Creativity Creativity may be your only real competitive advantage because today’s breakthroughs are tomorrow’s obsolete technology19 ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  20. 20. Step 6: Build a Compliant, Responsive, Compelling Proposal 6Professional Proposals Are Expected to be Compliant, Responsive andCompelling and Convey Your Solution in the Most Favorable Way to Receivethe Highest Evaluation Score Make no mistakes in the proposal that cause you to lose points Make it easy to evaluate (score) The battle should be won by having the best solution—assume your competitors’ proposals will be well written! Compliant Compelling20 Responsive ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  21. 21. Step 7: Have Fun! 7People Who Have Fun at What They do AreMore Engaged, Creative, Productive and Motivated to WinAlways follow these rules:  Never criticize the person, only critique the solution or proposal to make it better  Encourage innovation, experimentation and creativity within the framework of your business acquisition process  Recognize and appreciate the contributions to success and don’t chastise those who tried hard but didn’t winA happy team builds a culture around winning andyour team can become invincible in yourcompetitive market 21 ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  22. 22. How Well Do You Stack Up? On a Scale of 1 to 4, Rate Your Company in Each of the 7 FactorsThe Graphic Gives You PEOPLEa Clear Indication of 4Where You Need to 3Focus Your Energy 4 4 2 3 3 2 1 2 1 1 1 1 2 2 3 3 PROPOSAL 4 4 TOOLS 1 1 2 2 3 3 4 4 ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved22
  23. 23. Know More with Deltek Want to Know More with Deltek? View the resources below or visit for additional information and analysis to help you find and win more government business. Team More with Deltek Free White Paper: How Prime Contractors Can Win More Business Through Effective Teaming and Partner Management Comply More with Deltek Free White Paper: Compliance 101: Understanding the Greatest Challenges of GSA Schedule Contracts Win More with Deltek Video Case Study: How Citizant Increased Their Pipeline From $250 Million to $960 Million in One Year23 ©2012 Deltek, Inc. All Rights Reserved
  24. 24. Thank You!