Lots of companies have pipelines that focus on quantity versus quality of opportunities. Often, business developers’ performance is measured in part by the total value of the pipeline they manage. As a result, the bid, capture, and win rates are negatively affected, because many opportunities that make it into the pipeline get minimal attention until the RFP comes out. Instead of being qualified and captured, these opportunities get “tracked.” And “tracking” an opportunity is not an adequate path of action in business development (BD) or capture.
The sheer quantity of opportunities creates too much noise that drowns out the pursuits that otherwise should have stood out. When and if they ever get noticed, the company may be too late in the government procurement lifecycle to effectively capture the opportunity that it has a higher probability of winning. This leads to subpar proposals that result either in a loss or win on price, causing project teams to struggle during contract execution.
What are the signs of a pipeline that favors quantity over quality?
- Some opportunities in the pipeline are not real. They are in the pipeline because someone found them listed as a valid pre-RFP opportunity in a paid opportunity database. However, what seems like a valid opportunity may be just an unconfirmed lead for reasons such as:
- The government had a requirement they never developed further so they no longer need that product or service.
- The government found another way to fill this requirement, and the scope got added to another contract.
- Funding may have disappeared for the opportunity and gotten redirected elsewhere. But that opportunity still appears in a paid database and still makes it into the pipeline.
- An opportunity was already awarded but it hasn’t appeared yet in the Federal Procurement Data System (FPDS).
Once an illusory opportunity makes it into the pipeline, business developers are sure to spend valuable time discussing it during pipeline meetings and accounting for it as part of the yearly forecast.
For example, we recently qualified an opportunity for a customer as part of our WinMoreBD™ support. It was a recompete of an Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (IDIQ) vehicle. Once we started qualifying this opportunity, we learned by calling the customer that it would never be recompeted. The buying organization was saddened to find out that funding organizations rarely ordered from their IDIQ, regardless of how hard the buyers promoted it. This scenario is not the only one we have encountered. Having imaginary opportunities in the pipeline is more of a rule rather than an exception.
- The company focuses more on a deal’s size rather than checking whether it is an actual fit for the company. Instead of a thorough analysis and scrutiny of show-stopping characteristics that would make this opportunity hard to compete for, the company tracks deals it has no chance of winning, at least without thorough positioning and strategy. It may also have too many unidentified gaps and spend too little effort to fill them in time for the RFP issuance and proposal submission.
- Many opportunities seem stuck in the same stage they were in when a BD person initially put them in the pipeline. In other words, they have not moved through gates past the interest/no-interest decision. They have gone stale because no one has qualified them to move into the capture process stage. These opportunities are wasted because they could have had a high probability of winning earlier with proper capture, but now they’re no longer winnable.
Let us help you wade through your pipeline using our WinMoreBD™ Federal Pipeline Support service, resulting in a quality winnable pipeline
WinMoreBD™, powered by TechnoMile’s Growth™ solution, helps you delegate time-consuming research tasks to our highly trained BD Analysts who will gather opportunity information quickly and efficiently. OST uses a proprietary method to gather opportunity data, based on our tried-and-true detailed processes and procedures. This will free up your valuable BDers and Capture Managers so they can focus on performing higher-level tasks that move opportunities forward and raise your win probability (Pwin). They can focus on positioning with the government buyers, form teams, develop and implement win strategies, and architect winning solutions. We will take care of the data and intelligence gathering part.
Our BD Analysts will identify and qualify opportunities for your pipeline. Our fixed-price opportunity identification and qualification services will support you regardless of your company size. Opportunity identification and qualification are necessary steps of the business development lifecycle to ensure that you capture and bid on winnable deals.
WinMoreBD™ Opportunity Identification includes analyzing information from multiple sources to find opportunities that fit your company early in the government procurement cycle. Our BD Analysts review target agency forecasts, match opportunities to your company’s competencies and strategic growth plans, identify opportunities using TechnoMile’s Competitive Insights™ system and several other sources, review these opportunities for fit, and present them to our clients to consider for qualification and beyond.
WinMoreBD™ Opportunity Qualification involves analytics that feed the capture plan. We create and present a report that allows you to consider a deeper level of information relevant to an opportunity so that you can make sound pursue/don’t pursue decisions. This results in having quality information that helps you run a disciplined Gate Review process.
Let us provide the information you need about the opportunities in your pipeline so that you can focus on pursuing opportunities with higher Pwin. Let us do the intelligence gathering work, thus freeing up your valuable internal resources to move the deal to the finish line.
Upcoming Bid & Proposal Academy Classes
This Government Business Development training offers essential skills in professional business development for government contractors selling services and solutions to the Federal Government. The two-day course begins with an overview of the Federal business development (BD) process and what it takes to succeed in the profession. It proceeds to the basics of U.S. Government business.
The course uses a real bid opportunity to practice all the capture steps in hands-on exercises using typical tools available to business developers and capture managers. Participants practice developing key elements of a capture plan using a capture plan template provided with the course, and brainstorm on win strategy using a case study.
This training offers valuable skills in proposal win themes development as the most important element of persuasion. As a core component of win themes development, this course also covers win strategy development techniques indispensable in government capture management. Learn the purpose of win themes, their types, and building blocks. Use them correctly at every stage of the capture and proposal process.