Audio Tip: Positioning to win

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This month, capture and proposal development expert and columnist for Washington Technology magazine, Bob Lohfeld, offers tips for positioning your company effectively by asking the right questions.

Ever wonder why some companies appear to be the odds-on favorite to win a contract?

Positioning is one of the fundamental steps in capture management. A well-orchestrated, pre-RFP ritual goes on long before a procurement is released for bid. Throughout the positioning ritual, companies aim to be viewed by the customer as one of the small group of top contenders for award.

A positioning score card is a useful tool to assess how well you are positioned. A typical scorecard measures the effectiveness of your positioning campaign. It describes each positioning objective and the criteria used to assess how well you achieved each objective.

Here are the basics to include on your positioning scorecard:

  • Do you understand the requirements and objectives?
  • Have you established your company’s credibility and interest?
  • Have you previewed your preliminary solution with the customer?
  • Has the customer accepted your win strategy (technical, management, past performance, teaming, and price)?
  • Have you influenced the solicitation?

You can add additional objectives, such as risk, past performance, teaming, and so on, based on your specific circumstances and the competitive field. If you can’t show that you have accomplished each positioning objective, you have work to do. If you run out of time to do the required positioning work, it is likely that others are better positioned in this race.

Your goal should be to position your firm as the top contender. Proper positioning lays the groundwork for a win well before the acquisition takes place and makes you a partner in the acquisition development. If you help define the battlefield, your odds of winning increase.