DON’T do any new year resolutions!

As the new year dawns what can your tender response team do differently, to improve your bid win rates. We say, it’s equally important to identify things you will stop doing!

Here are our Top-5 DON’Ts for 2020

1. Don’t try what has not worked in 2019

If some partnerships with OEMs or contractors have not worked out despite repeated efforts, its time to start afresh in the new year. Don’t worry about the existing partners, they will eventually realize that it was a business decision. If some pricing models require tweaking or a complete overhaul this is the time to rethink. A new solution space looks attractive but you don’t have the means to pursue, give it just 20% of the resources and get going.

As humans, we are wired to follow a pattern. But if it ain’t delivering the outcomes, its time to search for options.

2. Don’t compete merely on price

This is easier said than done. L1 is generally the norm in public procurement. But several public sector organisations have adopted QCBS (Quality & Cost Based selection) for large, complex procurements. Especially where quality is important and the product/solution in consideration has not yet been “commoditized”. So, if your solution involves requirement of certain degree of skill, technology or expertise, organizations will be open to considering QCBS. Industry standard for the technical : commercial weightage may vary but is mostly around 70 : 30.

Key is to start early. Preferably before the EOI stage. And educate the customer about the benefits of this approach. Show other examples where organizations have benefitted by adopting QCBS over LCM (Least Cost method). Even the most reluctant will agree to a 60 : 40 ratio. And this can be just good enough for the better solution to come through.

3. Don’t submit a proposal without a ROI or CBA analysis

In our zest to submit a “different” or “compliant” response, we should not forget that at the core of the project is a return that the client is expecting on its investment. It could be in terms of cost savings, increased revenues, reduced churn or faster time to market.

Our bid should have a definitive ROI/CBA section where we quantify the value our clients can get if they select our bid. One organization we know had developed a BIM (Business Impact Model) approach wherein they worked with the client business team to understand the key objectives of the project and then thru its Industry consulting group create a model which showed a 3 or 5 year return. It involved having sound industry expertise and also making relevant financial, industry, and territory assumptions. BIM gave the client a good view of the approach and what they could benefit if they proceeded with the proposal. So, every time the client asks for more discount, you can point her to the ROI.

4. Don’t give same time and attention to all bids.

This should start with qualification. To a minimum the Go : No-go stage should clearly establish why we are going after this opportunity. Giving more attention to this step will help you asses the importance and relevance of the deal to the organization. And then plan accordingly. Not all bids are equal. Value, territory, industry, competitiveness, must-win. All such factors matter in determining the priority and importance of the opportunity.

5. Don’t delay digitizing your bid processes

Digitization need not be just preached. It can be practised. And what better process than one that is customer-facing and revenue-impacting. Office productivity suites have been a boon to the mankind. But for bid management, un-synchronized processes and dis-integrated data are banes. With the world going from smart-phones to smart-cities, why should bid management work on age-old tools.

Make this year count. Follow these five DON’Ts and see the results. But do it fast. As this one’s going to pass thru in a jiffy. After all its 2020 😉

Comments and observations welcome at