Congratulations—you’ve won the contract!
Everyone is busy. The transition and operation teams are focused on start-up and finding ways to optimize profit. And the business developers are working on winning the next piece of business.
Contract renewal is years away and pretty much off the radar. But now is the best time to begin preparing for a successful rebid.
Plan for rebid success
Doing some or all of the following to improve your chances at rebid:
- Involve sales in implementation: If you’re not the incumbent, invite the business developer to transition team meetings to provide customer perspective and continuity—and to help deliver the smooth, trouble-free transition you promised.
- Nominate and empower an internal client champion: Designate a member of the operations team to proactively follow up on outstanding problems and expedite/escalate internally before they damage the relationship.
- Follow up on hot button issues: Did your proposal identify and offer to address specific hot button issues? If so, will your operations plan fulfill these promises? Check every three months for evidence and confirm progress with your customer.
- Log efforts to resolve issues: Multi-year contracts inevitably include performance lapses. Set up a real-time process to track timelines and investments made to correct these problems. This will enable your rebid team to demonstrate speedy and successful issues resolution without consuming precious time reconstructing the facts.
- Gather evidence of improvement initiatives: This is similar to the item above. Document improvements you make, both internally and client-facing, so you can include success stories in the rebid.
Depending on your organization’s incentives and culture, acting on some or all of the above ideas will prove more or less challenging.
Like many smaller, private companies, C2C focuses on protecting client relationships, even at the expense of maximizing profit on each project. If your fulfillment teams are incented to wring every cent out of every contract—and/or if job rotation means others will deal with the rebid—your path will be more difficult.
Ask yourself these two questions
When convincing others (or yourself) to strike an appropriate balance between contract profitability and client retention, ask:
- Will taking even some the simple steps above improve our chances at rebid?
- If yes, how do the additional effort and any costs involved compare with those required to replace this contract?