10 Ways to mitigate competitive analysis risks

At the 2011 APMP International Conference, Lohfeld Consulting Group’s Managing Director Brenda Crist presented an informative session on mitigating proposal risks. Here are Brenda’s identified Competitive Analysis Risks and recommended Mitigation Strategies:

  1. You do not know the competitors or their relationships with the customer. Talk with your employees, the customer, stakeholders, users, and vendors to identify potential competitors. Determine if competitors have self-identified on market research databases.
  2. You have limited knowledge of competitors’ solutions and capabilities. Use open-source research information, e.g., Internet, news, annual reports, and professional associations, to identify competitors’ capabilities. Hire subject matter consultants who are knowledgeable about the market to describe the competitors’ capabilities. Look for job ads on competitors’ career web pages to determine the type and caliber of personnel they are looking to hire for the job.
  3. You have limited knowledge of competitors’ personnel. Use open-source research products or social media to identify competitors’ staff and their experience and technical skills.
  4. You have limited knowledge of competitors’ past performance references. Use open-source market research documents or government documents like GAO reports to assess how well competitors performed. Look for competitors’ resumes on the Internet.
  5. You have limited knowledge of competitors’ prices. Use open-source documents to determine competitors’ prices, including contracts and government documents. Use your company’s technical and pricing experts to build the competitors’ prices from the bottom up and top down.
  6. Are you able to ghost the competition with knowledge of their weaknesses? Collect information about your competitors’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) so you can effectively analysis your competitive position and ghost competitors’ weaknesses.
  7. Do you maintain a competitive analysis database or file folder system? Start collecting information about your competitors so teams working on subsequent bids can benefit from your knowledge.
  8. Are you holding competitive reviews before and after receipt of the solicitation? Start holding competitive analysis gate reviews or black hat meetings during the Pursuit Phase and after solicitation receipt.
  9. Have you obtained questionable competitive information? Use more than one source to verify the accuracy of the information.
  10. Have you obtained unethical competitive data? Contact your legal department to determine how to remedy the situation.


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Lohfeld Consulting