The first step in creating any process is ensuring repeatability. Anyone can luck into success once, but being able to keep the momentum going depends on having a tested process in place that works. Your opportunities will change every year, but your analysis of those opportunities should remain the same. Because the same questions come up for every capture, you should store key information and analysis.
Store the Important Information
During every capture, the Capture Executive must find out specific information from the same sources. Over the two-year capture process, you will generally ask the same 100 questions for every potential contract.
What to Ask
From the government agency, you want to ask questions like:
- What contract vehicle will this come out under? You need to be able to help the agency representative understand which vehicle works best for them (of course, guide them to select one that you are on) based on the type of work begin requested and to use the best competition (of course, you should list the competition that you generally beat).
- Is this a small business set-aside? What categories? If this is a small business set-aside, you’ll need to ensure your company meets the requirements and adjust your competitors list to compensate.
- What type of solution are you looking for? The type and scope of the required deliverables may impact your interest in a specific contract.
- What is the most important need you have? Identifying critical needs helps you shape the deal to play up your strengths.
- What other contractors do you like? What contractors don’t you like? Why? The more information you have about what the client is looking for in a contractor, the more you can frame your service offerings to overcome objections.
- Has the incumbent done a good job? How is their management, pricing and service? Incumbents often have an advantage when it comes time to bid on a contract. A big part of capture management is identifying contracts where the incumbent failed to deliver to the Government’s expectations or needs.
Each of these questions will help you narrow down the focus as you gather information you will use to craft a proposal later. You need to know every detail of the deal and shape your response appropriately. The challenge lies in knowing what questions to ask and when.
Learning When to Ask
By compiling all of your capture information in one place, you can quickly grade performance. The more information your Capture Executive has collected, the more likely you are to win the bid. Track your captures to see how well each one is doing using our CaptureExec software.
This software gives you a platform that gathers all of the information on every capture in the pipeline. When you can see what deals are most complete and which need more work, you can better decide where to focus your efforts. A quick grade is the easiest way to separate out your best-qualified leads from those that need more nurturing. An objective grading process is a big part of what makes a capture management process repeatable.
Deciding to Close
Over time, you learn the questions you need to ask, so it is time to take a look and make some decisions about which opportunities to pursue. Diluting your effort might result in a slew of almost-deals when a little focus could help close several. Identify the opportunities that are most likely to win and work on these first.
Knowing when to walk away from an opportunity is the foundation for success on the deals you do choose to pursue. Objective and measurable scoring methods are the best way to avoid the trap of chasing after a capture there is no possibility of closing.