Challenges abound during these times! Its easy to get bogged down with the overall gloom and uncertainty. Wanting to take care of all things that may go wrong may seem eminent.
However, It’s important to stay focussed on things that matter!
The role of sales and bid team in these trying times is all the more important. For their organizations, they are akin to the health, civic and police personnel who are working tirelessly for the benefit of the entire society. Unless the bid team wins bids, nothing else can move within an organization – no new projects, no procurements or salaries. So indirectly, the responsibility of the entire organization and its the employees lies squarely with the sales and bid team.
The first priority therefore should be to focus more sharply on the opportunities on hand. New opportunities may get delayed. Those bids which are already been submitted will get decided in due course. So, what remains are the ones which are in play. This is where the sales and bid teams need to demonstrate intense energy and smart thinking to make the deal come their way.Instead of collating the response, spend more time analyzing past data. Identify your weak spots against the competition and the possible alternatives. Study partner solutions and see if you can spring a surprise element in the bid. Winning the ongoing bids will go a long way in determining how this year will unfold for your organization.
In achieving this aim, you may come across multiple obstacles due to the current situation. Most of which can be classified into:
Without the above two working well, your best efforts may come undone.
First let’s talk about decision making. Is this a Go OR No-go bid? Which changes need to be made to the technical solution? What different price scenarios need to be developed? Are we going to submit deviations? These and more such points require leadership involvement and discussions. The access to decision-makers, senior leadership, and BU/department heads however is going to be inconsistent. Data gathering and Information sharing is also going to take more than expected time.
Having a single repository of bids which has reliable historical data can help. So that the bid team and the decision makers can take decisions from a common set of information. However, most companies struggle to put data together. Some do attempt but give it up mid-way due to multiple formats/templates, inconsistent data definitions, and missing data. This robs them of the opportunity to derive meaningful analysis and take informed decisions which could directly impact the deal outcome.
Collaboration is at the heart of developing your bid response. However today, you can’t just walk-upto someone and nudge him/her to accelerate the task. Most team members will be working on multiple bids at any given point in time. How do we know where things are not proceeding, where they need to be escalated?
In a recent webinar we polled the audience to ask what were the most common challenges they faced during bid submissions. The top-3 were:
1. Doing multiple revisions of the bid docket
2. Tracking the progress of the ongoing bids across team members
3. Synchronizing changes across various team members
Underlines the point..doesn’t it? Without proper collaboration even decision-making will get slowed down.
Thankfully there are multiple online-meeting, chat, video-calling tools available today which can help improve collaboration. It may not be possible to club all the collaboration by bids, but still a lot can be achieved. And as long as you have enough Wi-Fi you should be good to go.
Want more tips to win bids and increase your chances of being L1? Read the 11 practical tips shared by industry stalwart Manoj Chugh during his recent webinar alongwith Pricebid.co.
The second critical thing in today’s times is the old adage – cash is king. Never was it more important than in today’s times. Thus, making timely collection of EMDs and BGs becomes very important. Even in other times this is not easy, with customers taking their own sweet time. But now we need to be extra proactive in ensuring we are not leaving any stone unturned. Set alerts in advance and have a systematic and disciplined process of follow-up. Synchronize your efforts with your sales/ collections team so that the customer feels the professional pressure and reduces the delays. Don’t be ashamed at being pushy, simply coz returning that money is the customer’s responsibility. And getting it back in time, is the sales and bid team’s.
Put blinders so that you are laser focussed only on these 2 things – Winning the opportunities at hand and collecting the bid money from your clients. Nothing else matters more!
Comments and observations welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org.