TArticles tagged with: customer requirements

Strategic differentiation with a customer focus

Highlight real differentiators to emerge as a leader

I recently worked on a proposal that required – not an executive summary – but an introduction that called out the vendor’s differentiators. Perhaps one of the hardest aspects of our industry is coming up with real differentiators to cite in our proposals. In his book, “Collapse of Distinction. Stand out and move up while your competition fails”, Scott McKain suggests we spend too much time trying to duplicate and outdo our competitors. When we compete rather than emerge as a differentiated leader in our field, we are driven by the competition and not by the customer. McKain says that to have an advantage, we must pay more attention to what the customer wants than to what the competition is doing. Has this happened in your organization? The competition creates a point of distinction, so you duplicate it and try to do it even better. Each competitor introduces incremental changes … Continue reading Strategic differentiation with a customer focus

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10 Ways to mitigate pursuit phase 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 Pursuit Phase Risks and recommended Mitigation Strategies: Is the bid a strategic fit for your company? If no, consider not bidding. Do you understand the customer’s requirements? Use the time during the pursuit phase to learn more about the customer’s requirements. Do you know who constitutes your competition? Use this time to learn more about the competition through open-source documents, employees, partners, vendors, and hired consultants. Do you have advocacy with the customer? Use this time to introduce your solution to the customer and demonstrate how it will benefit operations. If you are the incumbent, demonstrate how you add value to the customer’s current and near-term operations. Make recommendations for improving long-term operations during the course of the contract. Does the bid meet your company’s … Continue reading 10 Ways to mitigate pursuit phase risks

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10 Ways to mitigate proposal solution development 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 Solution Development Risks and recommended Mitigation Strategies: Does your solution meet the customer’s requirements for usability and navigation? Confirm that your company understands the user’s requirements for usability, navigation, and responsiveness. Test the solution to verify it meets the customer’s requirements and adds value to operations. Does your solution incorporate the customer’s required business logic? Test the solution to confirm it contains the business logic or rules needed to validate the customer’s data and system integrity. If needed, redesign the solution to fit the customer’s requirements. Explain how your solution will accomplish the customer’s requirements at best value and build advocacy. Does your solution provide a scalable, flexible, and available architecture for meeting the customer’s requirements? Gain an understanding of the customer’s current architecture and … Continue reading 10 Ways to mitigate proposal solution development risks

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