2. Do we have corporate commitment?
“This is our main thrust.”
“This is a must win.”
People in GovCon repeat this over and over again. And oftentimes— it’s a lie.
When they don’t commit resources, it’s a lie.
When management doesn’t pay attention to the capture effort and stays detached, it’s a lie.
When they are too busy, it’s a lie.
When they have a hundred other “main thrusts” and “must-wins–all with the same low priority, it’s a lie.
For successful capture efforts, corporate commitment is essential. Even if your capture is not the most important opportunity in the company, you still need corporate commitment to succeed.
Teams win an opportunity, not just the capture manager. You need 100% backing from leadership to bring the right level of attention and focus to reviews, and provide the needed resources.
If you want to win, stay laser-focused on securing corporate commitment throughout the capture and proposal effort, and move your opportunity to the top of the priority list.
3. What is the timing of this opportunity?
Companies who fail to engage early enough in the government procurement process are far less likely to succeed. For strategic capture efforts, you engage a capture manager a year to two-years before the RFP. This gives you ample lead time to develop customer intimacy, help shape the RFP requirements to your benefit, and begin to identify fundamental elements of your solution including potential teammates.
Don’t wait until the RFP is about to come out to start your capture efforts or, worse —after the RFP is already out.
All too often, companies waste time chasing “pop-up” opportunities because they feel they are “qualified” to respond. But in this hyper-competitive environment “being qualified” simply isn’t enough. This self-defeating bidding behavior is rarely successful. In the long-term it robs companies of their ability to capture opportunities that are one or two-years out in the horizon.
4. Do we have the appropriate resources to respond?
The most successful capture managers surround themselves with a team of A-players.
They don’t think they can do it alone. They don’t pretend they can do it alone.
We need all the business development managers, solution architects, proposal managers, proposal writers, graphic artists, price-to-win strategists, competitive intelligence strategists, pricing strategists, pricers, contracts managers, subcontracts managers, subject matter experts and more… And they need to be GOOD…
The capture manager is like a conductor—orchestrating all the players and their individual pieces and ensuring everything comes together—much like a symphony.
Just like you never see the conductor jumping into a chair to fill in for the violinist during a symphony, the capture manager should not be “doing” an individual team member’s job.
You also never see a violinist drop the violin and start playing saxophone in a symphony, because they are short one saxophone player.
If you’re a capture manager and you want to win, you need to insist on getting an experienced, capable, and complete team.