If your immediate reaction to an unsuccessful bid is to say: ‘next time we’re going to have to work much harder’, you may be missing the point. Why should trying harder to do the things you are already doing be any more successful? Working harder also means more time, more cost (see above).
How do you know if you’re any good?
A low win rate suggests you’re not doing something as well as you could be. For presentations, preparation and practise are essential – but it helps if you prepare and practise to do the right things.
How good is your process?
Do you focus too much on the mechanics of the process?
Are you too internally focused?
Should you try something different next time?
Sometimes it helps to bring out the real issues. One client I worked with had a senior manager convinced he was an ace presenter. After a bit of prompting one of his team suggested that his belief in his presenting skills meant he tended to ‘wing it’ on the day and sometimes miss important points. An external presence provided the catalyst for this type of frankness.
An external resource will also look at your next business opportunity with different eyes. When I try to understand what your client is looking to achieve it can help you ask questions and identify issues that you are sometimes too close to see. I see this happen time and time again.
Investing in external support can also add energy and focus to the team: ‘we’re going all-out on this one’ rather than ‘here’s another one we probably won’t win’.
The other point is about expertise. I can never know your business as well as you do. But I have made a methodical study of effective presentation and bid preparation skills and processes over many years.
Making use of that expertise to get a fresh perspective on your bids and tenders might be worth thinking about.
Hugh Graham, This Bid Coach
If you'd like to talk about how you can improve your success rate for bids and tenders call me on 01963 240555 or email firstname.lastname@example.org