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How to Increase Your Company’s Win Rate in 7 Proven Steps Webinar presented to APMP International February 22, 2012 Bob Lohfeld, Lohfeld Consulting Group.

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Presentation on theme: "How to Increase Your Company’s Win Rate in 7 Proven Steps Webinar presented to APMP International February 22, 2012 Bob Lohfeld, Lohfeld Consulting Group."— Presentation transcript:

1 How to Increase Your Company’s Win Rate in 7 Proven Steps Webinar presented to APMP International February 22, 2012 Bob Lohfeld, Lohfeld Consulting Group Webinar presented to APMP International February 22, 2012 Bob Lohfeld, Lohfeld Consulting Group

2 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Everyone works hard to raise the win probability of each bid. Did you know you can raise your win probability on all bids by taking certain steps? Everyone works hard to raise the win probability of each bid. Did you know you can raise your win probability on all bids by taking certain steps? Raising Your Win Rate on Every Bid 2 Higher win rates Better proposals

3 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. 7 characteristics contribute to higher overall win rates PeopleSolution ProcessProposal ToolsWork/Life Quality Decisions Company 7 Factor Assessment – 30 questions - get recommendations and compare your company to others https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HWY NW9S https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HWY NW9S 7 characteristics contribute to higher overall win rates PeopleSolution ProcessProposal ToolsWork/Life Quality Decisions Company 7 Factor Assessment – 30 questions - get recommendations and compare your company to others https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HWY NW9S https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HWY NW9S Raising Your Win Rate on Every Bid 3 Advance in your career

4 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. 7 Keys to Winning in Team Sports (and Government Procurements) 4 Every Good Coach will Tell You: 1 Recruit Great Athletes Get the Right People on the Team 3 Use the Right Tools Enhance Your Level of Play with the Right Tools 2 Have a Solid Game Plan Use the Right Processes

5 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. 7 Keys to Winning in Team Sports (and Government Procurements) 5 Every Good Coach will Tell You: 4 Focus on Coaching Call the Right Plays 6 Avoid Turnovers Every Proposal is Compliant, Responsive, and Compelling 5 Focus on Your Strategy Build a Winning Solution 7 Enjoy the Game Have Fun at What You Do

6 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Like an NFL team, you start by drafting the right athletes Aptitude: excellent organizational and writing skills Domain expertise Experience Avoid unapplied labor (slugs) Like an NFL team, you start by drafting the right athletes Aptitude: excellent organizational and writing skills Domain expertise Experience Avoid unapplied labor (slugs) Step 1: Get the Right People 6 1 Build Your Core Team Consultants used for surge and special skills Major companies use a 70/30 rule Consultants used for surge and special skills Major companies use a 70/30 rule Augment Core Team with Special Players

7 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Step 1: Get the Right People (Cont.) 7 1 Professional expertise: real consultants vs. migratory labor Recognized accomplishment: more than a business card, peer recognition as among the best Commitment to the profession: APMP certifications Professional expertise: real consultants vs. migratory labor Recognized accomplishment: more than a business card, peer recognition as among the best Commitment to the profession: APMP certifications What to Look for in Consultants “Accidental Proposal Consultant” who will do “anything for money” (AFM) between full-time jobs What to Avoid

8 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Professional Development Training: raise their level of understanding and competitiveness (do you have a training program/plan with courses identified?) Skills training: train like you play/fight/fly; train using your process and tools Professional Development Training: raise their level of understanding and competitiveness (do you have a training program/plan with courses identified?) Skills training: train like you play/fight/fly; train using your process and tools Step 1: Get the Right People (Cont.) 8 1 Train Your Team Proposals are an intellectual competition. Look at your market (SB, mid, large) and ask, “Are we smarter, better trained, and more agile than our competition?” Look for the best and brightest who can work under tight deadlines (reliable); can handle long hours under stressful situations (durable); and are smart, creative and driven to be successful (talented) The objective is not to produce a proposal, it is to create the winning proposal Proposals are an intellectual competition. Look at your market (SB, mid, large) and ask, “Are we smarter, better trained, and more agile than our competition?” Look for the best and brightest who can work under tight deadlines (reliable); can handle long hours under stressful situations (durable); and are smart, creative and driven to be successful (talented) The objective is not to produce a proposal, it is to create the winning proposal Do You Have a Team That Can Win?

9 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Step 2: Use the Right Process 9 2 Establish a Business Acquisition Framework That Covers 5 Stages: Business Development Capture Management Pre-proposal Preparation Proposal Development Post-submittal

10 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Defined: written and available process (framework) and instructional materials (procedures) Repeatable: the process has survived multiple acquisitions Managed: use the process to manage the pursuits and don’t manage around the process Measured: track not only your wins and losses, but also how well you carried out the process Optimized: based on results and statistical analysis, work to continually improve processes Defined: written and available process (framework) and instructional materials (procedures) Repeatable: the process has survived multiple acquisitions Managed: use the process to manage the pursuits and don’t manage around the process Measured: track not only your wins and losses, but also how well you carried out the process Optimized: based on results and statistical analysis, work to continually improve processes Step 2: Use the Right Process (Cont.) 10 2 Work Toward Building a Mature Business Acquisition Process (for Major Competitions and Task Order Responses)

11 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Step 2: Use the Right Process (Cont.) 11 A Mature Process Will— Increase efficiency (everyone knows what to do and how to do it) Reduce costs (reuse artifacts) Increase win probability Do You Have a Winning Process, or is Every Pursuit a New Adventure? Percentage of companies we interview who admit to having inadequate processes Percentage of companies that actually do anything about it 2

12 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. BD pipeline management tools include: Excel spreadsheet Deltek CRM (server or cloud) SalesForce.com (cloud) Microsoft Dynamic CRM (server or cloud) Capture Management tools: Capture Command Center (Lohfeld’s SharePoint-based framework for managing capture and proposal activities) Deltek GovWin (task order management) BD pipeline management tools include: Excel spreadsheet Deltek CRM (server or cloud) SalesForce.com (cloud) Microsoft Dynamic CRM (server or cloud) Capture Management tools: Capture Command Center (Lohfeld’s SharePoint-based framework for managing capture and proposal activities) Deltek GovWin (task order management) Step 3: Use the Right Tools 12 3 Define Your Overall Business Acquisition (BA) Lifecycle and Then Select and Use the Best Tools for Each Phase of the BA Lifecycle (Not The Other Way Around)

13 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Proposal Management Tools SharePoint (Microsoft) Privia (SpringCM) Virtual Proposal Center (Intravation) SalesEdge (Sant) Custom development Establish an Enterprise Repository with Appropriate Levels of Security to Archive Artifacts and Get Them off Your PC SharePoint (server or cloud) Oracle Siebel SAP Proposal Management Tools SharePoint (Microsoft) Privia (SpringCM) Virtual Proposal Center (Intravation) SalesEdge (Sant) Custom development Establish an Enterprise Repository with Appropriate Levels of Security to Archive Artifacts and Get Them off Your PC SharePoint (server or cloud) Oracle Siebel SAP Step 3: Use the Right Tools (Cont.) 13 3

14 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Establish 5 Special-purpose Capture and Proposal Productivity Tools Résumé database Past performance database (not the same as a contracts file) Reusable graphics library Pre-written proposal content On-line archive of past proposals Personal Proposal Productivity Tools (Microsoft-centric) Office 2010 and Windows 7, but keep other versions available for government electronic submissions SharePoint 2010 Adobe Creative Suite Adobe Acrobat Pro See Beth Wingate’s list of tools on our website Establish 5 Special-purpose Capture and Proposal Productivity Tools Résumé database Past performance database (not the same as a contracts file) Reusable graphics library Pre-written proposal content On-line archive of past proposals Personal Proposal Productivity Tools (Microsoft-centric) Office 2010 and Windows 7, but keep other versions available for government electronic submissions SharePoint 2010 Adobe Creative Suite Adobe Acrobat Pro See Beth Wingate’s list of tools on our website Step 3: Use the Right Tools (Cont.) 14 3

15 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Chose the battles you are going to win and invest appropriately Stand down on those you are unlikely to win Chose the battles you are going to win and invest appropriately Stand down on those you are unlikely to win Make the Right Management Decisions 15 Step 4: Call the Right Plays 4 Use a scorecard to evaluate bid opportunities Use a “portfolio approach” to include some lower investment, higher payoff, lower win probability bids to maximize your likelihood of achieving your revenue goals Build your “A list” of programs that you plan to bid and a “B list” of backup programs to bid if an “A list” program is delayed (always have a backup plan to make your revenue number) Measure Your Pursuit Progress and Don’t be Afraid to Shut Down a Pursuit if You are Not Making Real Progress Get a Running Start on Your Proposal Start proposal planning & development in anticipation of RFP release, not after the RFP is out Manage Your Workload to Avoid Burnout Use a scorecard to evaluate bid opportunities Use a “portfolio approach” to include some lower investment, higher payoff, lower win probability bids to maximize your likelihood of achieving your revenue goals Build your “A list” of programs that you plan to bid and a “B list” of backup programs to bid if an “A list” program is delayed (always have a backup plan to make your revenue number) Measure Your Pursuit Progress and Don’t be Afraid to Shut Down a Pursuit if You are Not Making Real Progress Get a Running Start on Your Proposal Start proposal planning & development in anticipation of RFP release, not after the RFP is out Manage Your Workload to Avoid Burnout Make the Pursuit and Bid/No-bid Decisions

16 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. 16 Step 4: Call the Right Plays (Cont.) Pursuit Decision Scorecard Blue Green Yellow Red Color code: Blue (excellent), Green (good, but could be better), Yellow (poor and needs much work), and Red (we don’t know how to begin) QUALITATIVE DECISION MODEL Pursuit Decision Factors Color Scale Assessment 1. Strategic Fit Blue 2. Understand the RequirementGreen 3. Right SolutionBlue 4. Customer Advocacy Green 5. Competition Favorable Yellow 6. Financial Objectives Green 7. Pursuit Investment Green Overall Assessment Light Green 4

17 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Winning solutions are created (engineered), they don’t “just happen” Address all requirements of the RFP (explicitly or implicitly) Link your solution to the goals and objectives of your customer Build features that will be evaluated as proposal strengths (features and benefits) and— Demonstrate high likelihood of mission success Exceed contract requirements whenever practical in a way that is meaningful to the customer “Best Informed Wins.” If you understand the requirement better than your competition, you should be able to offer the best solution Winning solutions are created (engineered), they don’t “just happen” Address all requirements of the RFP (explicitly or implicitly) Link your solution to the goals and objectives of your customer Build features that will be evaluated as proposal strengths (features and benefits) and— Demonstrate high likelihood of mission success Exceed contract requirements whenever practical in a way that is meaningful to the customer “Best Informed Wins.” If you understand the requirement better than your competition, you should be able to offer the best solution Step 5: Emphasize Creating a Winning Solution 17 5 Winning Bids will Always be “Feature Rich” with Many Strengths, No or Few Weaknesses, and Offer Low Risk

18 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Step 5: Emphasize Creating a Winning Solution (Cont.) 18 5 Do you have a win laboratory or victory lab as part of your process? Build Solution Development into Your Capture and Proposal Processes Never start writing your technical or management proposal until you’ve agreed on the solutions and features that you will showcase Agree on Your Solution Creativity may be your only real competitive advantage since today’s breakthroughs are tomorrow’s obsolete technology Focus on Creativity Capture Management Pre-proposal Preparation Solution Sessions

19 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Make no mistakes in the proposal that cause you to lose points Make it easy to evaluate (score) The battle should be won by having the best solution—assume your competitors’ proposals will be well-written! Make no mistakes in the proposal that cause you to lose points Make it easy to evaluate (score) The battle should be won by having the best solution—assume your competitors’ proposals will be well-written! Step 6: Build a Compliant, Responsive, Compelling Proposal 19 6 Professional Proposals are Expected to be Compliant, Responsive, and Compelling and Convey Your Solution in the Most Favorable Way to Receive the Highest Evaluation Score

20 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. Always follow these rules: Never criticize the person, only critique the solution or proposal to make it better Encourage innovation, experimentation, and creativity within the framework of your business acquisition process Recognize and appreciate the contributions to success and don’t chastise those who tried hard but didn’t win A happy team builds a culture around winning and your team can become invincible in your competitive market Always follow these rules: Never criticize the person, only critique the solution or proposal to make it better Encourage innovation, experimentation, and creativity within the framework of your business acquisition process Recognize and appreciate the contributions to success and don’t chastise those who tried hard but didn’t win A happy team builds a culture around winning and your team can become invincible in your competitive market Step 7: Have Fun! 20 7 People Who Have Fun at What They do are More Engaged, Creative, Productive, and Motivated to Win

21 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. On a Scale of 1 to 4, Rate Your Company in Each of the 7 Factors How Well Do You Stack Up? PEOPLE PROPOSAL QUALITY OF LIFE DECISION TOOLS PROCESS SOLUTION The Graphic Gives You a Clear Indication of Where You Need to Focus Your Energy

22 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. 7-Step Company Assessment questionnaire is available at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HWYNW9S Presentation slides, scoring criteria, and graphic scorecard are on our website at your-company%E2%80%99s-win-rate-in-7-proven-steps/ More information about productivity tools can be found in Beth Wingate’s presentation: knowledge/2011/06/appmaven%E2%80%99s-secret-arsenal-tools-and-apps-to- achieve-victory-apmp / Upcoming training classes (http://www.lohfeldconsulting.com/about/events)http://www.lohfeldconsulting.com/about/events Mar 21 - Deltek Mastering Proposal Writing for Technical Professionals, Herndon, VA Mar 23 - APMP Foundational Level Accreditation Training, Springfield, VA Apr 18 - APMP Foundational Level Accreditation Training, Springfield, VA Apr 25 – Deltek Proposal Management for Government Contractors, Herndon, VA May 22 - APMP Foundational Level Accreditation Training, Dallas, TX 7-Step Company Assessment questionnaire is available at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HWYNW9S Presentation slides, scoring criteria, and graphic scorecard are on our website at your-company%E2%80%99s-win-rate-in-7-proven-steps/ More information about productivity tools can be found in Beth Wingate’s presentation: knowledge/2011/06/appmaven%E2%80%99s-secret-arsenal-tools-and-apps-to- achieve-victory-apmp / Upcoming training classes (http://www.lohfeldconsulting.com/about/events)http://www.lohfeldconsulting.com/about/events Mar 21 - Deltek Mastering Proposal Writing for Technical Professionals, Herndon, VA Mar 23 - APMP Foundational Level Accreditation Training, Springfield, VA Apr 18 - APMP Foundational Level Accreditation Training, Springfield, VA Apr 25 – Deltek Proposal Management for Government Contractors, Herndon, VA May 22 - APMP Foundational Level Accreditation Training, Dallas, TX ConclusionConclusion 22

23 Copyright 2012 Lohfeld Consulting Group, Inc. All rights reserved. About Lohfeld Consulting Group Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/Lohfeld Lohfeld Consulting Group specializes in helping companies create winning proposals. As the premier proposal services consulting firm focused exclusively on government markets, we provide expert assistance to government contractors in Capture Planning and Strategy, Proposal Management and Development, Capture and Proposal Process and Infrastructure, and Training. Contact Bob Lohfeld CEO of Lohfeld Consulting Group Tel: (410)


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