Bid decisions are decisions gate reviews triggered by ongoing customer or opportunity intelligence. The opportunity manager (or capture manager) along with management determines whether to advance, defer, or end the pursuit. The decision hinges on whether you have the capability or can obtain the resources to pursue and subsequently capture an opportunity that meets your business objectives.
Consider splitting the bid decision into at least three distinct milestones: pursuit, bid, and bid validation. A positive pursuit decision initiates preparation of the capture/opportunity plan. A positive bid decision initiates preparation of the proposal plan. A positive bid validation decision initiates the final proposal kickoff meeting and the full proposal preparation process.
Bid decisions are aimed at eliminating opportunities of sales leads that you have a low probably of winning (Pwin), permitting greater focus on opportunities that can be won.
Improving your bid decision gate discipline is one of the most effective ways to improve win rates.
Consider these points to improve your discipline:
- Use the pursuit decision to verify the opportunity fits your strategic direction and capability and to initiate capture planning.
- Use the bid decision to verify you are positioned to win before committing to a proposal effort.
- Use the bid validation decision to ensure show stoppers are addressed.
- Establish clear inputs, outputs, and responsibilities for each decision milestone.
- Make all bid decisions promptly.
- Tailor the process to your organization and the value of the opportunity.
- Invite the right team members to the decision gate reviews.