It’s Time to Stop Procrastinating
Does your company have an Opportunity Management System? Now is the time to fine-tune your BD pipeline for the new year. While having a passion to build your company is your most important asset, you need good tools to work with. If you have ever purchased any type of off-the-shelf software to help you manage your business, you likely quickly realized that one solution does not fit all. It simply cannot. Many of us have experienced the frustration of trying to make canned solutions fit our accounting, purchasing, and property management practices in order to satisfy Government RFP requirements. While we may need to change business practices to satisfy Government requirements, no one should need to do so in order to satisfy their solution vendor. The same is true with Opportunity Management Systems.
While the basics of establishing the BD pipeline are similar from one company to another, pipeline management approaches and priorities vary. Company A may have long-established ties with several customers where no effort is necessary for deciding whether to bid the Government RFP. Perhaps Company A’s only real concern is whether there is enough forecasted revenue to sustain the company’s current level of operations and how much is being spent in the capture lifecycle. Company A likely does not need a highly complex set of data.
Company B, on the other hand, maybe extremely growth-oriented and have an extremely large pipeline. Company B is constantly pursuing new business opportunities and places heavy emphasis on a prioritized pipeline. Company B requires its Opportunity Management System to ensure formalized gate reviews to determine which opportunities to focus resources on. There are, of course, countless variations of these examples. The point is, one size does not fit all. If you are in the market for an Opportunity Management System, here are some things to add to your list of desirable features:
- The Government Business Opportunity search is seamlessly integrated with pipeline management.
- The ability to manually create opportunities for Multiple Award Contract Indefinite Delivery/Indefinite Quantity (MAC IDIQ) Task Orders (TOs) and public sector opportunities to your BD pipeline.
- 90% of the data fields that you need to review and report on should be standard with the Opportunity Management System right out of the box.
- It should provide powerful, easy to use filters, and reporting features.
- The capability to easily and intuitively customize the Opportunity Management System to include data fields important to your company.
Opportunity Management System Customization
If you are looking at an Opportunity Management System, don’t box yourself in by purchasing a solution that you can’t customize. You have spent years developing a BD methodology that fits who you are; you need a system that supports how you do business. If all you get is what comes out of the box, or if it’s difficult to customize, you’ll find your weekly pipeline meetings more about the shortcomings of the Opportunity Management System than about your BD pipeline. Naturally, if you spend hours on hold trying to reach a customer support team to accomplish customization, that’s not good either.
The ability to customize your Opportunity Management System should be intuitive and simple. It should:
- Provide administrative controls to ensure that only your account managers have command and control of these fields.
- Organize your custom content into categories and set up a display view that works for your information.
- Allow your proprietary fields and data should be made visible only to the users who need to see the information, and not to all your teammates and collaborators.
- Be versatile regarding what type of data fields are added — You should be able to set up many field types, such as text, dates, formulas, tables, etc.
- Be able to link to values, both from the out of the box numeric field types and any previously added customized fields when you set up a formula.
Below is an example of how fields are established in Capture2Proposal for customization:
Formulas can be tricky if the software is not both user-friendly. Team Capture2 took this into account when they developed the user interface for adding formulas. As you can see, formulas in C2P can be created in seconds by dragging and dropping the fields needed into the formula box. The following illustrates how easy it is to use the PWin tool in C2P to determine the weighted revenue value of an opportunity based on the expected award value.
Regardless of the Opportunity Management System that you choose, do yourself and your company a huge favor early in this New Year and choose one. Not only does it make pipeline management easier it also saves time and improves your BD pipeline’s effectiveness. Using the right Opportunity Management System can result in winning a contract that is worth far more exponentially than what you pay for the tool.