Capture Planning

Capture planning is the process of identifying opportunities, assessing the environment, and devising and implementing winning strategies oriented toward capturing a specific business opportunity. Consistently successful capture planning requires documented, action-oriented capture plans. While the length, complexity, and format may vary, a documented plan offers reviewable evidence of the quality of thinking of the planners and soundness of the plan.

Most sales and marketing veterans agree that 40-60 percent of the time, customers decide whom they would prefer to buy from before proposals are submitted. The aim of capture planning is to position the customer to prefer your organization and your solution to the exclusion of competitors, or to at least prefer to do business with your organization prior to proposal submission.

The primary audience for a capture plan is each person who will manage, approve, or execute the plan, the proposal, and the resulting contract.

A good capture plan will be realistic and specific, detailing the objective, action, responsible individual, timing, and frequency of review.

Consider these things when developing your capture plan:

  • Implement a capture planning discipline to capture new business more efficiently.
  • Enhance capture planning effectiveness by aligning activities.
  • Select a compatible medium—whether text, presentation, or web-based—to develop, review, share, and update capture plans.
  • Keep the process dynamic, flexible, interactive, and current.
  • Maintain a balance between planning and execution.
  • Even when time is short, use a customer analysis tool to define issues and influence the requirements and a bidder comparison tool to measure the strength and effectiveness of your positioning.
  • Gain and maintain senior management approval and support.
  • Commit the right people to the capture team.
  • Assign specific, measurable objectives, schedules, and completion dates to individuals, by name.
  • Establish regular decision gate reviews to determine whether to advance the opportunity to the next phase or end the pursuit.
  • Schedule color team reviews to improve the capture plan.
  • Use the capture plan to jump-start the proposal planning process.

Want to learn more? Check out the updated Shipley Capture Guide available for pre-order now!