Free bid/no-bid decision tool

This post recommends a shareable framework with consistent criteria to help business leaders reach consensus on bid/no-bid decisions.

Consistency will also enable you to adjust your criteria and/or scoring, based on experience and to optimize your win rate over time.

Here are links to the earlier posts on this topic:

Download the tool

Download the Bid/No-bid Decision Tool in Excel format here. The tool is free for your internal use. You may adapt it in any way that suits your business.

How to use the tool

1. Customize the questions

Discuss the questions with your team. Change, add or eliminate questions until your team agrees on a set that will work for the prospects and RFPs you typically see.

When changing or adding questions, be sure to create statements that constitute “go” votes when answered “agree” (+1, +3 or +5). That way, a higher result for each answer always means a stronger endorsement for bidding.

2. Reach consensus on new opportunities

When a bid opportunity arises, complete the sheet together or individually. Always discuss questions that elicit widely varying scores. After using the framework a few times, you may decide to clarify questions that cause confusion.

Agree on the minimum score that makes an opportunity attractive. Decide how to treat potential deal blockers.

Record the scores for each opportunity for future reference.

3. Include scores from the tool as part of win-loss analysis.

Once you’ve had experience using the tool, use it when analysing your win rate and profit history on projects you’ve won. Suggested questions for that analysis:

  • How well do scores correlate with success at winning bids?
  • How well do scores correlate with profits on won projects?
  • Is there an argument for raising or lowering the threshold score for bidding?

Document your decisions

Following a process accelerates the bid/no-bid decision, freeing up precious time either to prepare the proposal to move onto other priorities. Documenting your decisions will help your team analyse results, and to fine-tune the criteria and how you apply them—resulting in more efficient bidding.

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