BD tips and insights

By Linda Julian

Pre-proposal due diligence

Those who’ve done it know well that while tenders, bids, and competitive proposals are great ways to win work, it’s easy to squander precious time and money on bids with limited prospects of success.

Here’s a simple framework for pre-proposal due diligence which our consultants find helpful in guiding professional service firm clients to correct judgement calls on opportunities to propose or tender.

How well we fit

  • Does what we do well match the needs of this prospective client?
  • How well do our skills fit with what they need and want?
  • How well do our people fit with the prospective client’s organisation?

Profile and relationship with prospective client

  • Do we have an established relationship with them?
  • What is our profile with them?
  • Do they already think we have the right credentials for this work?
  • Would they like to appoint us?

Competitive positioning

  • What is the competitive field?
  • Who are the incumbent providers?
  • What would we need to get past to be appointed?

Execution capability

  • If we win, can we do it well?
  • Can we deliver in the timeframe the prospective client expects?
  • Will winning this work play havoc elsewhere?
  • What risks are there to successful execution?
  • In one or two years time, would we say this was great work for us to win and we did it well?

Pricing parameters

  • What will this prospective client expect to pay?
  • At what price can we profitably do this work?
  • Do financial risks attach to this opportunity?
  • Is there a financial match between us and the prospective client?

Strategic significance

  • Is this work of strategic value to us?
  • Is it work in an area and with a client which keeps us in a place we want to be or takes us to a space we want to go to?
  • Will this work and client be attractive to our people?

Pre-proposal due diligence will help you avoid time-wasters and the “poisoned chalice” brim full of hype and enthusiasm. Best of all, when you make the “we’ll pursue this” call after this due diligence, you’ll be clear about why and be well on your way to crafting a winning proposal.

We can help, please get in touch.

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