11 MAR 21
Building a Winning Culture: Notes for Senior Executives

A contract winning culture comes from the top. Does your future business winning team – more informally known as your bid team – know and understand your perspective on each opportunity from the outset? Or do they find out at the final review, when you bring up things they’ve missed? Or perhaps it’s somewhere between those two extremes. It’s clear the former is the strongest model when setting out to win.

Two people with two laptops on a timber table with a notepad writing notes on it

At BiD Masters, we know that leaders are key in successfully winning future business. The leadership structure is designed to provide a team with the benefits of wisdom and experience from the outset. But is this what most leaders do?

When an opportunity is presented, how do you decide whether or not to pursue it? Is the decision objective or subjective?

What may appear to others to be a subjective decision is often an analysis carried out internally, based on knowledge, experience and business acumen. Often, however, leaders are too busy to explain the logic behind the conclusion or perhaps don’t see the need. There are benefits to be gained, however, when the entire team understands the what and why.

As part of the BiD Masters’ REWARD® toolkit, we have produced a simple Pursuit Tool to analyse and score each opportunity based on the key drivers:

  • Knowledge and understanding of the customer and their explicit and implicit requirements
  • The offering to meet their needs, technically, programmatically, commercially and financially
  • The resources and expertise available to prepare a high-scoring tender
  • Knowledge of other bidders likely to compete for this opportunity.

The method of scoring is structured to drive a definitive decision. This provides a clear summary of the logic for the decision that can be shared, ensuring no-one is left wondering why.

Male standing side on, placing coloured post its on a whiteboard

Having decided to pursue the opportunity, the senior executive’s key role becomes to advise and guide the team to maintain focus on:

  • The high-level solution and its benefits
  • The organisation’s performance track record to use as evidence
  • The commercial and financial appetite.

The Pursuit Tool can then be fleshed out to become the Capture Plan, in which senior executives have three primary roles to play:

  • Communications with stakeholders
  • Intelligence gathering
  • Shaping the offering

By the time the RFP/ITT/ITN is published, the bid team is fully prepared to write the response. Early engagement has significantly increased the win probability and reduced the workload of the team, making winning future business more fruitful and cost-effective.

Of course, the alternative is to wait until the final review, tell them what they’ve done wrong and drive a manic last minute rewrite. The choice is yours.