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What are opportunity plans?

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Baskar Sundaram

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In order to win more proposals, it is important to have a well-defined opportunity plan. This document outlines the steps necessary to identify and pursue opportunities. It also helps to improve customer positioning, which is an organization’s position from the perspective of a customer. The opportunity plan begins by identifying an opportunity, followed by making a bid pursuit decision and assigning an Opportunity Manager. The goal of the opportunity plan is to provide information for gate decisions, brief review teams, and create content and lessons learned.

The first step in creating an opportunity plan is to identify an opportunity. This can be done by conducting market research, speaking with customers, or attending industry events. Once an opportunity has been identified, the next step is to make a bid pursuit decision. This decision will be based on factors such as the potential value of the contract, the likelihood of winning, and the resources required to pursue the opportunity.

So how do you get started properly?

Best Practices

Gather Information

The gathering and analysis of intelligence about a customer are essential in order to create an opportunity plan. The gathered and analysed data is used to create a bidder comparison matrix that scores each potential competitor on their strengths, weaknesses as well threat level. The information gained from this allows you to document all of your opportunities or threats faced by competitors in terms of SWOT analysis. This analysis will help you score competitiveness while also highlighting any potential threats and weaknesses.

Work with Customers

To create a winning opportunity plan, work collaboratively with your customers to craft the perfect solution. Work with customers to narrow down explicit requirements and hot buttons and craft a personalised solution. The process of creating the opportunity plan should be dynamic, flexible, current and collaborative. It is also important that you are knowledgeable about your clients’ businesses in order to provide them with notional solutions which evolve as intelligence surfaces regarding their concerns or issues–the more informed we become on these matters, the better!

Develop Your Plan

Once you have the intelligence, establish budgets and resources needed for your program or opportunity. It is better to focus on improving win probability only if the opportunity is significant enough and resources are available. otherwise consider no-bidding (or switching subcontractors) instead of continuing with this project as a prime contractor.

Mock up an executive summary.

You can make the transition from opportunity plan to proposal planning through a mock executive summary. The key is identifying what’s important for your client and matching it with key solutions. Use all the information gathered thus far.

            There are many pitfalls when it comes to creating opportunity plans and one of the most common is focusing on what you want instead of paying attention to customer needs. Creating an effective opportunity plan requires collaboration with your customers, so make sure they’re included from day one.

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