Have multiple capture opportunities arrived simultaneously, or are you bidding on a highly competitive government contract? You and your team may not be able to offer each capture the necessary attention, resources and/or personnel expertise, which could lead to lost opportunities.
Consider bringing in outside help, rather than pushing your team’s abilities and resources to the limit, if you find yourself in this situation. A capture management consultant will:
- Support your capture management strategy;
- Assist with proposals;
- Provide insights on clients and competitors; and
- Ultimately boost your chances of winning the contract.
The key to success, however, is knowing when you should hire a capture management consultant. Because when it comes to bidding to win federal contracts, timing is everything.
Look at Your Pipeline and Predict Your Needs
Too many capture management teams wait too long to call a consultant. Then, once the consultant arrives, he or she is left to play catch up with the process — plans may not succeed, even with the consultant’s extensive expertise, business intelligence and contacts.
When you identify must win opportunities over the next year or two, you must look at your pipeline and forecast where needs exceed staffing. This decision requires analyzing past business trends and potential upcoming contract opportunities. Outside help will come in handy, especially if you believe you’ll have overlapping opportunities that will put your team at max capacity, since spreading yourself too thin can hurt more than one opportunity. By hiring early in the process, you then have time for the consultant to get familiar with your team and build a relationship with the customer.
Consider Your Resources and Ask Yourself: Can You Do This Fairly Well or Really Well?
There is an old adage that says you can do a lot of things fairly well, but only a few things really well. When bidding for government contracts, ideally you want to make sure every opportunity has the best possibility of winning. After all, you’re spending money chasing it, and you know there’s more money to be had if you get it. Examine whether employees have the skills, resources and connections to handle all capture opportunities.
A “well-done” bid necessitates managing your sales team successfully so that you know when temporary consultants are required to share the load and offer expertise. When that surge in business slows down, you can go back to just relying on your internal sales team.
The Money Problem
Of course, tight cash flow may prevent you from hiring a capture management consultant, even if you’ve determined your workload will be high and you don’t have the staff to handle it all. Before dismissing the idea, know you can cut down costs by hiring part-time and using the consultant only when needed. Also, understand costs typically go down over time as your team’s collaboration activities with the consultant become more effective.
Additionally, given the ebbs and flows of the business, some owners mistakenly believe existing personnel will be able to handle a capture sufficiently. After all, a capture management consultant can be a big expense, with a rate of 200 dollars per hour being quite common. Holding out hope that your team can handle it all is risky. A backup plan is also important, in the event a member of your sales team leaves for another job, since bringing on another full time member takes time.
Should You Hire a Capture Management Consultant?
There are significant advantages to hiring a consultant, although the expense involved may turn you away. Instead of focusing on that high hourly rate, think about how hiring a capture management early provides needed support and ups your chances to win a big government contract. In the end, paying a consultant for help early on could equal the greatest return on investment for your company.