Research reveals: Elevate tender and proposal skills to win more
One thing that can make a significant difference in a company's success is how well they manage tenders and sales proposals.
Recent surveys and research into industry practices show us what sets the best companies apart from the rest.
Izane Cloete-Hamilton, the chief inspiration officer at nFold, shares some of these insights and offers practical tips for companies wanting to step up their game to win more business.
The importance of proactive planning
Companies that win more invest time and resources in pre-proposal planning. This allows them to understand their clients' needs better so they can assist in shaping their requirements.
As a result, these companies are better positioned to tailor their proposals accordingly, and this early engagement not only helps them position themselves favourably but also enables them to shape the decision-making process ethically.
Tip: Develop a proactive business development strategy that includes researching potential clients, understanding their pain points, and engaging with them early in the process. This will enable you to shape their requirements and increase your chances of winning the deal.
Streamlining the bid/no bid process
A robust bid/no bid process is critical for allocating the right resources to the right deals. Top-performing organisations understand the cost of tendering and have a clear and well-defined process that helps them assess the viability of pursuing a particular opportunity. This, combined with effective capacity planning, ensures that companies can focus their efforts on deals that align with their strategic objectives and have a higher probability of success.
Tip: Implement a comprehensive bid/no bid process or system that considers factors such as alignment with company strategy, competitiveness, and resource availability. Implement capacity planning to allocate the right resources to the most promising opportunities.
Investing in skilled and empowered teams
Successful organisations recognise the importance of having skilled teams that can develop compelling and compliant proposals. APMP (the Association of Proposal Management Professionals) members report significantly higher win rates and RFP revenue sourced than the average team. Teams using RFP software also report higher win rates. It shows investing in tools, and your team pays off, quite literally.
Tip: Continuously invest in training, certification and tools for your sales and proposal teams. Skilled and happy teams drive productivity, foster a positive work environment, and ultimately achieve company success.
Managing proposal content
Most organisations face challenges with managing and maintaining proposal content. Poor proposal accuracy and quality due to outdated or inconsistent information can result in client mistrust and lost opportunities. The lack of a single source of truth for content causes confusion among sales and proposal team members, resulting in duplicate efforts, further impacting the organisation's efficiency.
Tip: Implement a proposal software solution that offers content library management, streamlines managing content and assigns content ownership to subject matter experts.
Adopting a comprehensive proposal software solution allows your organisation to efficiently manage content and resources, improve collaboration, and enhance its sales capabilities.
Leveraging external support
There are many reasons why some organisations don't know how to engage consultants' services effectively, from a lack of experience managing external support to inefficient internal processes.
Not having adequate support to help with critical deals or peak workload leads to frustration, lower-quality proposals, and missed opportunities. Teams often realise they could have submitted better proposals if not for the resource limitations they faced. This is unfortunate, as bidding should be a driving force for revenue growth and job creation.
Tip: Develop a strategic partnership with external consultants or specialised proposal support firms that can provide valuable expertise and additional capacity when needed.
Establish clear guidelines for engaging external support, including criteria for when to seek assistance, the scope of work, and communication protocols. This will ensure seamless integration of external resources with your in-house teams, ultimately enhancing your proposal capabilities and increasing your chances of winning critical deals.
In conclusion, enhancing tender and proposal capabilities is crucial for organisations looking to secure new contracts and expand their client base in an increasingly competitive business environment. Companies can significantly improve their win rates and overall success by adopting the best practices of top-performing organisations, such as proactive planning, capacity management, managing pre-written content, and leveraging external support.
At nFold, we understand the importance of having robust and effective tender and proposal support. Our team of certified proposal experts is dedicated to helping clients achieve their business objectives by providing tailored solutions and support throughout the entire proposal process. If you want to learn more about how our services will help your organisation enhance its capabilities, please contact us for a no-obligation consultation. Together, we can unlock your organisation's potential and drive long-term success in winning more business.