If you want them to opt-in, you need to be able to articulate what's in it for them
Giving people a chance to opt out of your process is actually a powerful tool for getting people to accept your process. When you combine it with giving people a reason to opt into your process, you have a powerful presentation that tells people they can choose either a formal process that will provide them with the benefits below but require a certain amount of discipline, or they can forgo the process in which case they will still get your best efforts. Given the choice, they almost always go for what will give them the best chances of winning.
If you choose to implement our formal process for pursuing this opportunity, you will get the following:
- Improved chances of winning. All of the goals, action items, and quality validation criteria in our process are based on being able to articulate what it will take to win. This is achieved by collecting intelligence that answers specific questions, and turning it into action items and criteria that can be used to assess the proposal. Our process structures the flow of information so that the entire proposal is built around what it will take to win and measures quality against it.
- Formal expectation management. You will know exactly what to expect at all times. In fact, everyone will know what is expected of them at all times. Your staff will know exactly what needs to be accomplished and will be able to refer to our process documentation when in doubt. Everyone will be on the same page. Literately. Roles and responsibilities, plans, action items, progress reviews, and quality validation procedures are fully documented in ways that can be followed during execution. Roles and responsibilities are not only defined at the top level, but are also addressed at the task level.
- Help allocating resources. Instead of forcing your hand, our process is designed to facilitate decision making. You decide how to invest your resources. You make the tough decisions whether to minimize staffing or invest in the win. The process shows people what needs to be accomplished. The number of resources assigned determines how much they have to stretch in order to achieve them. Once assigned, the process will help get the most out of your resources through its streamlined workflow, efficient expectation management, and quality validation.
- Opportunities for oversight. You can expect a series of readiness reviews prior to RFP release that will enable you to measure the progress towards being ready at RFP release. You will have multiple opportunities to see the direction the team is going and correct it if needed. Review goals, scheduling, and criteria are all documented. After RFP release, you will have a chance to review documented proposal plans prior to their implementation, use them to measure progress, and use them as specification to compare output against.
- Clear accountability. A by-product of well managed expectations is that participants are much more accountable for fulfilling them. When expectations are not fulfilled, it is caught quickly so that you can determine whether additional guidance, more resources, or different resources are required. By formally defining quality criteria and measuring progress, we also make proposal assessments far more objective.
- Avoidance of most problems and quick resolution of those that do occur. If your team falls behind, you will know it right away, and both you and the team will know exactly what needs to be done to get caught up. Every decision, assignment, and aspect of the proposal needed to win will be validated. The process tells people what they need to do in order to be successful before they start, and then measures their progress against it.
- Quality assurance. When you follow our process, you will know the criteria being used to define quality and how it will be validated. You will have an opportunity to inspect the Proposal Quality Validation Plan prior to implementation to ensure that it meets your standards for quality. You will also be able to confirm that the plan is implemented as promised.
- An effective workflow. The process takes everything that is needed for a winning proposal and traces them to their sources. All of the steps in the process contribute to making sure that all of the things needed to deliver the right information in the right format to win the proposal flow through the process to the right people at the right time. When people go through the process the first time, they often comment on finding a reason for everything the process asked them to do earlier and are thankful at the end when they have what they need to complete the proposal.
- Get the proposal off to the right start. By focusing on being ready at RFP release, the process stages everything needed for a quick start the moment the RFP hits the street. If you start the process late, the process itself tells you what should have been done so you can attempt to make up for lost time.
- Metrics and measurements. Our process for ensuring RFP readiness, proposal planning, and proposal quality validation is specifically designed to enable progress to be measured. By applying the process and tracking these measurements over a number of bids, they can be correlated with your win rate to determine exactly what drives your ability to win and what holds it back.
We have written these reasons based on what we know is in our process documentation. You can follow a similar approach using your own. If your process isn’t fully documented, you may not be able to use this approach. Our process documentation is available for purchase and immediate implementation to enable you to get there quickly.