Business Winning Tip: Capture Planning

What is Capture Planning and why do I need it?

Capture Planning is the process of identifying the opportunities, assessing the environment, and devising and implementing winning strategies oriented toward capturing a specific business opportunity. Consistently successful capture planning requires a written, action-oriented capture plan.

Most sales and marketing veterans agree that 40 to 80 percent of the time, customers decide whom they would prefer to buy from before proposals are submitted.

Capture Planning is an opportunity-specific process following the pursuit decision gate milestone that continues in parallel with proposal planning and preparation until the opportunity is awarded.

Relying on the capture plan to quickly prepare the initial proposal management plan both saves time and presents a consistent message to the customer. In the absence of a capture plan, the proposal manager starts from scratch, often with little help and under severe time constraints. A capture plan saves time and money.

What are some guidelines for developing an effective Capture Plan?

  1. Implement a capture planning discipline to capture new business more efficiently.
  2. Enhance capture planning effectiveness by aligning activities and capture plan elements.
  3. Select a compatible medium (whether text, presentation, or web-based) to develop, review, share, and update capture plans in your organization.
  4. Keep the process dynamic, flexible, interactive, and current.
  5. Maintain a balance between planning and execution.
  6. Complete the Integrated customer Solution Worksheet and the Bidder Comparison Chart—even when time is short.
  7. Gain and maintain senior management approval and support.
  8. Commit the right people to the capture team.
  9. Assign specific, measureable objectives, schedules, and completion dates to different department manager by name.
  10. Establish regular decision gate reviews to determine whether to advance the opportunity to the next phase or end the pursuit.
  11. Schedule color team reviews to improve the product—whether a capture plan, strategy, or underlying processes.
  12. Use the capture plan to jump-start the proposal planning process.

Elements of a capture plan should always include:  A thorough opportunity assessment, a competitive assessment, an assessment of our capabilities, a teaming assessment, and an initial price-to-win analysis.