5 tips for improving your business pipeline and bottom line

Highly profitable businesses are agile. They devote time to researching new bids and pruning their pipeline to maximize their win rate. Their bid staff keep a challenging workload, yet they have enough time to focus on each bid. Does this sound like a wishful thinking? It doesn’t have to be. Here are five tips that can help re-energize your businesses pipeline and increase your win rate.

1. Devote time to creating a realistic 3-year pipeline

Create a realistic 3-year pipeline as a baseline. Expedite your search for potential bids by investing in commercial databases, go-to-market services, and competitive analyses. Weight the pipeline with conservative bids. Allocate a smaller part of the pipeline to more aggressive bids that either need heavy bid and proposal (B&P) investment, minimize your profit potential, or focus on new customers or new lines of business.

2. Implement a status dashboard and an integrated master schedule (IMS)

Implement a status dashboard to quickly depict how well you’re meeting bid milestones such as win strategy development or customer calls. Implement a resource-loaded IMS to decide if you over- or under-allocated staff resources or need interim contract staff to fill gaps or surges.

3. Update the pipeline on a routine basis to add bids that are better placed to win

Once you set up the baseline, update it with new bids routinely to maximize your win rate. Designate full-time or part-time resources to look for new bids and prepare preliminary win rate analyses. The frequency of your pipeline update will depend on your business type, size, business, and profit goals.

4. Continually add to and prune the business pipeline

Prune the pipeline through frequent bid/no bid decisions. Implement an objective and quantitative criterion for your bid/no bid decisions, such as strategic value, likelihood of a win, operational risk, and profitability. Bids that stay in the pipeline even if they are not best placed to win waste a company’s time and money.

5. Implement a communications plan to communicate bid status efficiently

Inform staff involved in supporting bids of a bid’s status through an efficient communications workflow. Even a small glitch in communications can cost thousands of dollars in lost work hours. Build a workflow that shows when the bid is scheduled for release, when it is released, when amendments occur, when it is delivered, when it is won or lost—and the date of the win party!

By Brenda Crist, Vice President at Lohfeld Consulting Group, MPA, CPP APMP Fellow.

Lohfeld Consulting Group has proven results specializing in helping companies create winning captures and proposals.

As the premier capture and proposal services consulting firm focused exclusively on government markets, we provide expert assistance to government contractors in Go-to-Market Strategy, Capture Planning and Strategy, Proposal Management and Writing, Capture and Proposal Process and Infrastructure, and Training. In the last 3 years, we’ve supported over 550 proposals winning more than $135B for our clients—including the Top 10 government contractors. Lohfeld Consulting Group is your “go-to” capture and proposal source! Start winning by contacting us at www.lohfeldconsulting.com and join us on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

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Lohfeld Consulting