How Enterprise Bid Teams Can Increase Revenue Predictability by 25%

By Lisa Raftery|Oct 19, 2021

Abraham Lincoln probably didn’t have much experience with writing proposals or competing for sales. He was busy being the 16th President of the United States, abolishing slavery and delivering inspirational addresses to the nation during the 1860s.

However, Honest Abe had a valuable insight that successful organisations apply during the bidding process.

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.”

‘Bid Planning’ is a key component of a successful bidding strategy and one that will increase your revenue predictability by up to 25%, improve your competitive positioning among buyers, and ensure your entire sales team are on point behind agreed win-themes.

As part of the Orbidal Q3 Product Release, bid and sales teams now have a dedicated component in their Orbidal account, that allows them to populate competitive intelligence for each buyer and opportunity they are competing for. The Orbidal Insights tool has a suite of previous tender reports and insight that contribute to the core content of the Bid Plan.

In this blog, Lisa Raftery, CMO at Orbidal, details why an organisation should invest time in comprehensively planning any new opportunity before starting the proposal process, and examines the 5 key components that your Bid Planshould have completed before the content collation and creation process begins.

What is a Bid Plan?

A Bid Plan is a strategic plan, detailing confirmed and inferred facets of each opportunity. It is created and prepared by sales and marketing teams in the pre-sales part of the sales process – collecting all available insights and information about the buyer, their needs, their history of buying, the competition for this opportunity, and other pertinent information that can be gathered from primary and secondary research.

The goal is to create win themes for the opportunity – the alignment of your own product or service to the needs of the buyer, and your competitive advantages over other potential players in the market.

Why Should I Complete a Bid Plan?

Long before the RFP is released, buyers are forming opinions of potential suppliers. Over time, your business development team’s goal is to advance each opportunity toward a favoured (winning) position from the perspective of the buyer.

Planning your approach by researching your prospect’s needs, assessing the competition, and investing in the right opportunity pays off, both saving bid preparation time by up to 20%, increasing your revenue predictability by 25%, and positioning your company as a winner in your proposal document.

What Should Be Included in Your Bid Plan?

A Bid Plan has 5 focus areas which should be filled in on an ongoing basis ahead of an opportunity and throughout the process.

1. The Opportunity

This can be taken directly from the tender documents themselves and includes:

  • A brief summary of the opportunity / tender
  • Decision-makers – Provide any information that you have around decision-makers that may be known to you in this company or competition
  • Key deliverables – Document the key deliverables from the engagement

2. The Customer

  • Provide a brief description of the customer / buyer
  • Needs – Document the needs (requirements) of the tender as set out in the RFP (or as how you imagine their needs to be if there is no RFP)
  • Issues – Document the issues or challenges that the customer is facing
  • Biases – Document any biases that you perceived from the buyer such as a preference for a technology or type of supplier
  • Links – Add links to any documents that provide further background on the buyer or opportunity

3. Competition Using the Orbidal Insights Tool

  • Incumbent – Provide the name of the incumbent if there is one
  • Known Competitors – Provide the name of anticipated competitors
  • Unknown Competitors – Consider where might other competitors come from or whom else might potentially compete for this opportunity

4. Costs

  • History – Do you have any history or insight into pricing on this opportunity?
  • Pricing Strategy – What is our proposed pricing strategy to win this opportunity?
  • Cost of Sale – What is our anticipated commitment on time and resources?
  • Detail the number of days, total investment and your estimate of the buyers budget for the potential contract

5. Win Themes

  • Customer Motivation – What is the motivation (or expressed need/issue) that the customer needs to address?
  • Decision Criteria – What selection criteria / decision criteria does this relate to?
  • Our Position – What is our position in respect of this motivator?
  • Competitor Position – What is their USP and how can we position ourselves against it?

Spending your time sharpening your axe is an investment that successful companies make each time they have qualified an opportunity. Without this investment, your content and proposals can only hope to achieve average score of between 60-70%.

However, to ensure your proposals are reaching the winning heights of above 93%, they must demonstrate a deep understanding of the buyers motivations for the RFT, and your company must be positioned in a compelling way that makes you stand out from your competitors and convince the buyer that you have the best solution for them. The only way to fell that particular tree is with a sharp axe! Have you started sharpening your axe?

Orbidal technology embeds expert strategies and best practices to empower business to increase their competitiveness when bidding for contracts. Book a Discovery Call today and start your journey to proposal success with Orbidal.

Lisa Raftery

Senior Content Marketing


A Bid Plan has 5 focus areas

  • The opportunity
  • The customer
  • The competition
  • Costs
  • win themes

Book a Discovery Call

Orbidal technology embeds expert strategies and best practices to empower business to increase their competitiveness when bidding for contracts. Book a Discovery Call today and start your journey to proposal success with Orbidal.

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