This month we’ve focused on how to make the most of your incumbency when rebid time comes around. Perhaps the biggest single idea is to start preparing early.
It’s an obvious step—and one most teams vow to take. But between the thrill of winning and the throes of mobilization, it’s easy to put it off.
To-do list for winning your next rebid
Start on day one of each new contract to:
Find out why you won: Ask for a detailed debrief on your winning proposal and aspects that most impressed your client—and then be sure to fulfill that promise in your offer.
Get regular, honest feedback: Set up systems to gather feedback from everyone affected by your solution. If you interact with large numbers of client employees or customers, develop regular surveys or other mechanisms so you can measure and react to satisfaction indicators.
Track performance: In addition to contracted metrics, develop and track KPIs for your performance on other issues important to your client. Many teams find themselves scrambling at rebid time to assemble facts that remind clients of the “above and beyond” efforts made on their behalf. Avoid that mistake by documenting both small wins and case studies of outstanding efforts (and investments) your team made to recover from unexpected events.
Brainstorm the future: Include an agenda item for future-looking discussions in your regular client meetings. Seek opportunities to collaborate on value propositions for needed improvements. Whether or not these become part of the rebid RFP, they will provide valuable context that lets you show deep understanding of your client’s strategic drivers—information no other bidder will have.
Document, document, document
Capture all the information you gather in a rebid file. To the extent possible, note client feedback and aspirations for the future in the exact words individuals use to express them. File everything in a location the rebid team will be able to access in three or five years.