Must-Have Marketing Intelligence

How is it that some companies always seem to be in the winner’s circle while others struggle to keep their head’s above water? What do the consistent winners know that you don’t? Those of you old enough to remember Judson LaFlash will remember that one of the points he frequently made was that, ” Marketing is doing the homework and the proposal is taking the test.” What it all boils down to is that your bid/no bid decisions will never be as good or as accurate as they could be. You’re throwing away a good portion of your B&P budget and gambling with what’s left.

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Knowing your customer makes the decision to submit a proposal less of a risk. The better you know the customer the less the risk. To make an intelligent bid decision collect the following information:1. Is there a real need within the customer’s organization?
2. Has a budget and procurement schedule been approved?
3. How rigid is the procurement schedule?
4. If the schedule slips what happens to the money?
5. Who is the buyer, who is the end user and who wrote the statement of work and/or spec?
6. Who will evaluate the proposals, what is the evaluation criteria and where do you stand with both the buyer and end user.
7. What type of contract is anticipated and is there follow-on potential?
8. Who are the potential competitors and competitive teams? How do they rank in the customers mind?

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Is it necessary to have all of this information before you decide to bid? Probably not but the more you know initially and the sooner the information is refined and updated the more time you will have to make contingencies or take corrective action in your overall approach. It may also save you both the tangible and intangible costs of submitting a second rate response. How many steps would you blindly take toward the edge of a cliff in a dense fog?