Problem/Solution—Our Strategy Isn't Working


Problem: Our strategy isn’t working. By the time the proposal is finished we just hope it was enough to win. 

Solution: Don’t use hope as a strategy. 

Most of us understand that hope is not a good strategy, but don’t know how to put good practices in place. 

To win business most effectively, align your business, market, capture, sales, and proposal strategies and tactics. Misaligned strategies reflect in your proposal and prompt customers to doubt your messages. To craft and present an aligned message, all members of the selling and proposal teams must agree to use a common process and common definitions. 

In opportunity planning, you plan and take actions to convey information that persuades each customer to prefer, or at least minimum, favorably regard your organization and solutions. Your persuasive actions might comprise white papers, presentation, meetings, site visits, demonstrations, and media buys or events. 

The proposal strategy articulates exactly how you will explain your benefit and value to the customer. Convey identical, align information in words, text, and graphics. Hence, the proposal strategy evolves from the capture strategy. 

All strategies must align to create a cohesive strategy that gives the customer what they need. This ultimately gives your company what you need to win. 

Not sure if your strategy is a winner? Honestly ask yourself these questions: 

  • What does it take to win in our competitive environment?  
  • Do we know our competitors? 
  • Do we know our competitors’ strengths and weaknesses? 
  • Do we know how we are perceived in the market? 
  • Do we know how the customer perceives us? 
  • Do we have the methods, tools, infrastructure, and personnel necessary to build a culture of winning? 

On top of this list of valuable questions, make sure you’re prepared to align your strategy to these three concepts: Issues, Motivators, hot buttons. 

Issues are the customer’s concerns—the worry items that keep the customer awake at night. 

Motivators are the objectives that the customer is trying to achieve. 

Hot buttons are a consolidated set of issues and motivators, preferably two to five items.  

Once again, hope is not a winning strategy. Find out what your customer needs, align your strategy to benefit them, and position your bid accordingly.  

Do more than just hope.