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Your capture management process is unique to your organization, company culture, industry, and the way you do business. It allows your organization to merge business objectives with business development for measurable outcomes. Some organizations get it wrong and the consequence can be worth a loss of hundreds of thousands of dollars or more. Capture management is fluid because it is tailored to your organization, so organizations that get it wrong are only doing one of two things: improper due diligence or not conducting a capture management process at all. The repercussions for both are about the same.
On the flip side, a successful capture management process is a critical step in the right direction. It can strategically increase your win rate in opportunity pursuit and enhance team productivity. Everyone is happier with more wins, smaller organizations can expect growth, and large organizations can expect cost savings over time.
Although many organizations have a capture management strategy in place, others do not, or existing capture management processes tend to stay static in approach rather than dynamic with industry or customer changes. There is always room for improvement to your capture management process, and your business development approach alike.
We want to share the top 05 ways to improve your capture management process, so you stay proactive and win more business. Demonstrate these changes immediately and over time to recognize improvements.
Establish Clear Structure for Your Whole Business Development Team
Your capture management process is meant to benefit the entire organization. The entire business development team should be well aware of the capture management process including its structure and guidelines. Often, capture managers will take ownership of developing this process and keep it to themselves or for leadership rather than ensure the proposal team and other stakeholders are also familiar.
Full understanding of the capture management process increases stakeholder transparency, as well as keeps stakeholders proactive in their responsibilities. Anticipating the next opportunity and working toward those demands is easier when you are knowledgeable of a capture management routine.
Establishing a clear structure for the whole team starts with a team meeting to discuss team needs and strategy for contract wins. After the meeting(s), the capture manager must compile input into a mutually agreed upon standard that will be shared with the whole team.
Create a Fluid Structure That can be Replicated and Adjusted to Change
Yes, the capture management process is robust and you want to be able to establish a system that can be replicated. Yet, your system should be fluid in structure so that when it is time to add or subtract a component, it can be done without having to reinvent the wheel. A fluid capture management process has guidelines and tools to support it but is not so rigid that it cannot be used no matter the opportunity-type or stakeholder requirement.
You also want to take your company’s history and growth plan into account. As things changes internally, the way you go after new business will need to adjust as well – and probably at a rapid rate.
Hold Regular Conversations with Capture Managers
Be careful of only relying on the structure of your capture management process. Your capture managers have a wealth of knowledge to share about the prospective customer, shared conversations with influential customer decision makers, and other valuable intel. Unless you have a good capture management software, capturing all that intel over a rapid pace of time can be challenging. A fluid capture management process can be adjusted where appropriate and encourages additional information at any given point.
Be sure to hold regular conversations with capture managers and the sales team to understand as much as possible about new opportunities. Every organization maintains a different volume of proposal responses and opportunity acquisition. Schedule meetings with capture managers as needed – at least once a week is a good baseline.
Leverage Technology to Improve Win Strategy
Technology helps human beings improve processes through automation and AI. The business development and procurement industry are steadily taking advantage of technology in the right ways to ensure efficiency and to cut costs. Your organization can remain ahead with technology that automates the capture management process and replicates repeatable solutions.
Your goal is to enhance processes for measurable outcomes. Therefore, take hold of the benefits in technology to give yourself a competitive edge. Software and technological solutions afford systematic ways to drive intelligent outcomes.
Start and Stop the Process at The Right Time
Business development can be a lengthy process, especially when you are proactive about building relationships with the customer. Capture management occurs just in between discovering a new opportunity and choosing to respond to an RFP. Organizations that start the process early, as in at least 06 months ahead of RFP release, are at an advantage. Proactive strategy with good lead time allows you to do thorough research, build a rapport with customer decision makers, and clarify anything about the opportunity prior to the proposal management process.
Starting the process early is just as important as ending the process at the right time. Capture management is a great way to be strategic about pursuing the right, qualified opportunities. However, it is meant to be fluid and adaptable, as well as to help you capture more business. Long, drawn out processes can serve to confuse stakeholders and focus time on qualifying one opportunity, rather than three or four good opportunities. Some opportunities require longer capture management processes such as for the federal government, but for the most part, you do not want to spend too long on that part of business development. Know when to stop the process to decide next steps.