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Information is King
While gathering intelligence about the customer and competition, the importance of being thorough cannot be stressed enough. Pursuing an opportunity mandates collecting as much information accurately. A complacent approach has no place while collecting information for a proposal. However, it is easy to focus on the wrong things. As much as a proposal is not won because of what you know, it can easily be lost because of what you don’t.
Understanding, analysing and collecting information about the customer is key. You need to understand the customer, their issues and priorities. If your customer knowledge has significant gaps, it will shake the confidence that your customer will have on your solution and service. It will cast a shadow on your abilities, skills and past performance.
Building your Capture Plan
When evaluating your progress towards the completion of a capture plan or a proposal, follow this approach:
- Start with what you don’t know. Knowing what you don’t know is the sensible step towards a complete proposal.
- Ask yourself questions that seem impossible to find answers to – Does the customer like the current provider? If they do (or if they don’t), what is the reason? Who are the competitors? What are their strategies and pricing?
- Run through your networks, both internal and external and see if you can find answers. You will be surprised how much information is actually publicly and freely available.
- Make unanswered questions a priority. Seek those answers. Learn from past proposals. Which unanswered questions costed you the bid? Which answers sealed the deal for you?
- Use feedback to ensure effective capture plan processes are in place.
With a zest for continuous improvement, the enigmatic recipe for creating winning proposals will be closer.