Problem/Solution - Bid Decisions

Problem: You’re responding to a lot of RFPs but not winning much business.

Many companies believe that casting a wide net and submitting proposals for every opportunity that comes their way will increase revenue. However, this is not the case. Responding to every RFP can spread your resources and proposal team thin, leading to poor proposals and less business overall.


Solution: Instead of wasting time and resources on anything and everything, hold bid decision reviews to determine which opportunities can be won. Choosing not to bid on opportunities with low probability of winning (PWin) allows you to focus on those you are more likely to win.

There are three bid decisions vital to screen potential opportunities: pursuit, bid, and bid validation.

The Pursuit Decision verifies the opportunity fits your strategic direction and capability. If your review concludes in a positive pursuit decision, your company is ready to initiate capture efforts. Create a checklist unique to your organization that includes pursuit decision questions like the examples below:

  • Is the opportunity within our business area?
  • Does the opportunity fit our strategic plan?
  • To what extent are we known to the customer?
  • Is there an incumbent? Are the incumbent or others already favored?
  • How will the opportunity affect our existing business, positively or negatively?
  • What are the risks of bidding? Or not bidding?

The preliminary Bid Decision verifies you are positioned to win before committing to submit a proposal. How successful were pre-proposal capture efforts? Review your company’s Pursuit Decision checklist questions and add the following to it during the preliminary bid decision review:

  • To what extent have we influenced the customer’s requirements?
  • Does the customer rely on us for input and help?
  • Do we know the competitors and their likely approach?
  • Are there any surprises in the draft requirements? Do we know why?

The Bid Validation Decision is the final occasion to review the opportunity and ensure “show stoppers” are addressed. These include changes in requirements that you cannot meet, unacceptable terms and conditions, unreasonable schedule, or reliable information that the selection is pre-determined.

Holding bid decision reviews for each opportunity is one of the most effective ways to improve win rates. Bid discipline can double or triple win rates, so customize and incorporate bid decision reviews into your organization’s business development process.