Make Smart Bid Decisions




Making smart bid decisions can be hard for many companies because it is so difficult to ignore the sunk costs that have gone into a pursuit. However, smart executives will not discount the opportunity costs of developing and submitting a proposal with a low probability of win.

Remember to reassess the bid decision once the RFP is released and, if necessary, during key proposal reviews. Critical questions to ask include:

  • Does the opportunity fit your business plan?
  • Do you have an excellent customer relationship?
  • Do you understand the customer’s goals, issues, and requirements?
  • Do you have/can you get the people to support the requirement?
  • Do you have the required experience/past performance? Can you team if not?
  • Do you have the required corporate commitment and resources?
  • Do you have a committed proposal team? Can you augment your staff with consultants if not?


With a live RFP, if the answer to any of the above is NO, you should think long and hard about whether you should really be pursuing the opportunity at hand. In addition to lowering your overall win rate, consistently pursuing opportunities with low probabilities of win is an ineffective use of resources, which can burn out your staff, lower morale, and result in increased proposal staff turnover.

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