You’ve done your homework on a strategic opportunity. You know the customer; you know who likely competitors are; and you know what solutions you’ll offer on the competitive bid. Now what?
Now that you have collected all of this information on the opportunity, create a win strategy based on that knowledge. A win strategy formulates your pursuit data into a meaningful win strategy that is communicated throughout your proposal.
1. Leverage your strengths: You know who is competing and you know where your strengths are. Leverage them throughout your proposal—focus on them with theme statements, callout boxes, and meaningful graphics.
2. Mitigate your weaknesses: No matter how good you are, you have some weaknesses or gaps in your solution or past performance. Demonstrate how you’ve improved performance or capability—don’t ignore weaknesses in your proposal response; the customer won’t.
3. Neutralize competitor strengths: Like it or not, your competitors might have an advantage in some areas. Try to raise the customer’s perception of your solution by elevating (honestly) your solution to be at or near your competitors’ solution. Use success stories and validate all claims.
4. Exploit competitor weaknesses: If you know your competitors have a weakness, find a way to showcase your advantage in that particular requirement or capability. Never mention a competitor by name, but use their known weakness to your advantage by stressing the importance of a capacity your competitors struggle with.
5. Focus on discriminators: Your proposal should focus on what makes you better and unique in the eyes of the customer—your discriminators. They are capabilities exclusive to you and needed by the customer. Do your homework to know what these are so you can feature them in your proposal response.
Information from your pursuit data sets the stage for a winning proposal. By considering these methods of communicating value to your customer, you increase your win probability.