Method in the Madness: Step 2 of 7 of the SMARTER™ Methodology

by Monday 25th September 2017Blog

What’s the most important thing any business must do every day, regardless of size or sector?



HR and people?

For me and every other organisation I can think of, it’s the ability to generate revenue that sustains the business.

The good news is that this is really quite simple because there are only three ways an organisation can do this successfully: by growing the numbers of customers you have; by increasing the number of transactions your customers make; or by increasing the size of those transactions overall.  That’s it.  Whatever your business does. Whatever sector you operate in.  Whoever your customers are.

It follows then that the centre of any business therefore needs to be effective business development, right?

Whether your organisation makes this goal the focus of a Sales, Capture or Business Development team, it is essential that everyone is working towards advancing all business opportunities toward commercial realisation.  The function of your bid team has an important part to play in this of course: by helping you be seen by your customers as the most favoured organisation for their needs, for your particular product or service.

I’m sure most people reading this would agree then that defining, documenting, and implementing an effective, sustainable way of doing this would be a key part of strategic planning for any business.

Alas, you’d be surprised how many I see that do not.

And anyway, how many of us bid and proposal professionals see whatever process you have immediately going out the window the minute that Invitation to Tender lands on your desk with a 30-day response deadline?

We should be Bidding SMARTER™ than that. The old adage really is true: if you plan to fail, you fail to plan.  And never was a truer word spoken than in the context of bidding.

To prove this, I often ask my clients to undertake a simple playing card sorting task under time pressure and in teams.

Almost always, participants initially approach this as a race against the clock, failing to even think about strategy or assigning roles among them.  But when I assign additional planning time at the start, the teams significantly outperform their initial go, even when considering the additional time I forced them to take at the beginning.

So, what can we take away from that task for our day jobs in managing bids and proposals?  For me, it’s the obvious parallels between the way I often see clients kick starting their bid processes – somewhat scattergun, somewhat without a plan, just in a panic and keen to get started immediately without clearly assigning roles, responsibility and a clear process.

When we are up against the clock, of course it can be tempting to just hit the ground running as fast as we can.  But both science and psychology have both proven time and time again that where we have a plan in advance we are able to complete a task in the shortest possible time to a much higher standard.  On top, you spare yourselves a load of unnecessary effort and time wastage.

A defined Business Development Lifecycle like Intellitender’s, broken down into phases, with Key Milestones, Gateway Decisions and Reviews and a series of systematic actions and steps mapped against it will help you to plan bids and write winning tenders in a repeatable, sustainable way.  I guarantee you will see higher win rates, lower overall business development costs and higher productivity and morale across your teams to boot.

If you’d like to receive a free copy of our 30-step end to end process to get you started or see how your processes compare, then just drop the team at Intellitender HQ a line!


Intellitender Limited is a boutique bid consultancy that supports organisations like you to bid better, improve tender win rates and ultimately deliver long term competitive advantage. Intellitender deliver a range of business-winning solutions to our clients, including helping organisations to design and embed best practice bid processes.

Our Bid SMARTER™ methodology is patented seven-step process that underpins the ways in which we help our clients bid better, improve tender win rates and ultimately deliver long term competitive advantage.  The SMARTER™ model spans the whole business development lifecycle, building on internationally recognised bid best practice and the foundations of consumer psychology.

Intellitender has an industry-leading tender success rate of 87%.  How can we help you Bid SMARTER™?

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