Capture planning

Recent posts focused on business development, including understanding the prospect and developing value propositions. This post recommends you go a step further and develop a capture plan—especially for highly attractive opportunities.

The aim of pursuit is to position your company favourably with the prospect and to ensure your proposed solution addresses the prospect’s needs and hot button issues. The question is: How do you organize and manage the pursuit process?

Develop a capture plan

Capture plans are opportunity-specific strategy/action documents.  They use information from the account plan to create a roadmap for pursuing an opportunity. They also provide half or more of the content for the proposal plan (see Figure 1).

Figure 1: A capture plan guides and documents the pursuit process and provides input to the proposal plan.


Typical capture plans include information about the:

  • Opportunity: What it is, strategic importance, requirements and implementation schedule
  • Prospect: Economic buyer, technical buyers, user buyers, other influencers, evaluation team members, broader power structure, hot button issues, satisfaction with current provider, attitude towards our company
  • Competitive position: Strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats, likely competitors’ offerings, our relative strength on key requirements/issues, prospect relationships with key competitors
  • Solution and pricing: Probable offer, pricing strategy, performance relative to requirements, value engineering opportunities, risk pricing
  • Pursuit strategy: Win strategy summary, pursuit team alignment with the prospect team, call plan, intelligence requirements, solution development, communications

These categories are flexible. Decide on components that suit your industry and business category.

As you execute the capture plan, develop a matrix of how you and your competitors score on the key requirements and issues. Be realistic about your chances, so you can make needed adjustments and make a clear-eyed bid/no-bid decision.

The payoff

A detailed, regularly updated capture plan will improve your ability to target and benefit from pre-RFP pursuit efforts. In our client work, we see a wide range of preparedness when RFPs are issued. Clients with disciplined pursuit practices, supported by robust capture plans, routinely beat those without.

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