Can you recognize and act on 'warm' contract opportunities?
- By Robert Davis
- Nov 16, 2016
EDITOR's NOTE: This is part 2 of a three-series on recognizing cold, warm and hot opportunities. Click here for part 1.
Warm bid opportunities are the most common type of opportunities seen by companies in our industry.
I have participated in many forecast/pipeline review meetings that despite having a step or phased review process and blunt questions from senior management, most of the opportunities were ‘warm’ in nature. What are the attributes of warm bid opportunities? The company:
- Has the opportunity market intelligence information available from common market procurement subscription databases and government web sites. (So do thousands of other companies.)
- Has met with the customer to introduce the company and hopefully get meaningful input from the government concerning the procurement.
- Understands the procurement process schedule and may have a general sense of the customer’s budget.
- Has met with potential teaming partners and with expected competitors to pick-up further market intelligence.
- Has considered its Small Business approach/Plan.
- Has a sense what competitors plan to do in terms of this bid based upon the company’s informal grapevine.
- Believes it is in a position to begin Capture Management activities.
- Performs this kind of work and has the past performance credentials.
Warm opportunities are known to the company and have been tracked by the company’s business development function. The company has been collecting information concerning this opportunity for a long time. It believes it understands this opportunity and the customer’s operating environment. The company has a comfort level with this work and sees no undue risk. Seems like a solid bid opportunity for sure.
But not so fast.
How can the company actually win this bid opportunity? The above attributes, in toto, may position a company to be able to submit a plausible bid or join a bid team; they do not position a company for a win.
The odds of winning warm deals are well below 10 percent in general. If the government receives few quality proposal submissions, then the odds of winning may rise.
What can a company do to raise their probability of winning work when they are not the incumbent contractor? What can they do to gain mindshare with customers for Warm bids if it is not too late? The company needs to develop Hot bid opportunities or they will continue to react to the market.
The attributes of Hot Bid opportunities will be addressed in Part 3 of this series.
Robert Davis is a 35-year veteran of the government IT marketing and has held positions large and small firms in areas such as marketing and sales, program management, business development and market development. He is an expert in business development, marketing, and management.