Winning Less Than 50% of RFPs? Here’s why…

Most of the organizations I talk with and work with have a RFP win rate of no more than 30%. That means that for every three RFPs they respond to, they only win one of them. Sounds familiar? And we all know how much effort goes into the submission of a RFP response.

Here are three reasons why your RFP win rates are so low:

  1. You respond to too many RFPs. You have no way of identifying a good opportunity vs. a bad one, so you respond to everything. I recently worked with a client to reverse this problem and the results were immediate – higher win rate, higher revenues. All because they focused on those opportunities they had the best chance of winning and that afforded the largest growth opportunities.
  2. Too many people touch the RFP response. If you mapped out all the people that contributed to the submission of a RFP response, I bet it would look like a spider’s web. There’s no way all of those people are adding value and enhancing the response. I helped a client look at their RFP response process and helped them realize that, on average, 25 people touched a RFP response. I also helped them realize less than half of those were adding any value. Submission effort went down and win rate went up after implementing some changes around this.
  3. You don’t know what the customer really needs. Many organizations read the RFP document and respond to what is asked for. Don’t let the potential customer define your solution. You are the expert. You have done this before. Ask a lot of questions. Set up a meeting to find out their objectives. This can be extremely effective when done before the RFP ever comes out. I have helped a few clients be more proactive in this area and not only did they win more RFPs, but those RFPs were bigger than originally planned because my clients engaged in a discussion with the customer around THEIR objectives. Thus, they were able to offer better solutions than what the customer had originally envisioned.

Increasing your RFP win rate requires a different mindset and approach to what you have done before. In my first meeting with one client I told them that if they wanted to win more RFPs, they had to respond to fewer of them. I thought the executive was going to kick me out of the office. 12 months later, they had doubled their win rate and grown revenue by more than 10%. That is the reason why this is so important!

Teleconference to Help You Avoid a Failing Operational Excellence Function

On November 27, I will be hosting a teleconference to help organizations achieve dramatic results through their operational excellence functions.

Whether you already have an operational excellence department and want to maximize its’ value, or you are considering starting one and want to do it right, this teleconference is for you.

Click here for more details and to register.

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – October 26, 2015
Operational transparency is just as it sounds. You provide transparency in the way you operate, both internally and externally.
Externally, the more transparent you are, the less failure work you do. FEDEX is a very externally transparent organization. If you are a customer, you know exactly where your package is at all times. FEDEX gives you a website and a tracking number and the rest is up to you. They don’t waste fielding calls from customers asking, “Where is my package?” They have put that onus on the customer and made it in the customer’s best interests because they provide real-time information about the location of the package. That is operational transparency at its best.
Internally, the more transparent you are, the less your employees take up time wondering how decisions are made. The less time spent complaining about bureaucracy. The less time being frustrated about the approval process. If you set parameters about how decisions will be made, whether those be investment decisions, strategic decisions or decisions about which ideas will be implemented, employees will not waste time asking why a decision was made a certain way. They spend less time questioning and more time doing. They self-select based on the parameters that have been communicated. That helps with retention. That helps attract better people and that helps get things done.
Rank yourself between one and five on operational transparency. Where do you sit internally and externally? Where are you throwing money away?
Looking for more insights?
Want to become more adept at Operational Excellence? Check out my new Operational Excellence program.
Check out my podcast series called Hockey Management, where I use hockey as an analogy for successful business results.
Prefer watching videos? The take a look at my short videos providing operational excellence tips.
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM

To request an interview or more information, please contact:

 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2015.

Three Reasons Why Your Customer Conversion Rate is Low

When it comes to converting prospective customers to paying customers, many organizations have a very low conversion rate. Here are three reasons why:

  1. They think all business is good business. Organizations need to determine who their ideal customer is and develop strategies to acquire them. It’s also important to stratify existing customers so you know where the best opportunities are. Most organizations put effort behind pursuing and retaining the wrong customers.
  2. They don’t take the time to find out what the customer is trying to accomplish. Many organizations are so in love with their own products that they sell the features and benefits of those products, regardless of what the customer really needs. The most successful companies find out what customers want to achieve and develop solutions to help them.
  3. Too many people are involved and not all of them add value to the relationship. We have sales reps and account managers and subject matter experts, so it is often unclear who is accountable for the relationship. There are also many situations where one or more of these roles become order takers, not actually adding any value. If any of these front line people are not helping to acquire or retain customers, why are they involved?

Why Your Operational Excellence department is failing you

Almost every company I talk with has created, or is creating, an operational excellence department. This makes me very happy. I love operational excellence and the fact that companies are embracing it’s new meaning.

What concerns me is that many of these companies are not going to maximize their results from these departments. Operational excellence is not just about improving processes or eliminating non-value added activities. It’s about identifying what outcomes you want to achieve and then figuring out the fastest and most effective way to achieve them.

The most effective operational excellence functions need to have these four components:

  1. An ability to help the organization prioritize. This might mean prioritizing strategic initiatives, projects, or even ideas. Most organizations have too many priorities and then wonder why they are not able to move forward on them. Operational excellence functions need to help the organization focus on those ideas, strategies, and initiatives that will help it move closer to its ideal future state.
  2. An ability to identify leverage points. Think of process re-engineering on steroids. A great operational excellence department will identify ways to leverage each step of a process so that things are not just being put together, but are being enhanced every step of the way.
  3. An ability to make the intrinsic extrinsic. Identifying what is working well internally and then replicating that across an organization is a skill most organizations lack. Finding and replicating best practices is one of the quickest and easiest ways to improve overall organizational performance. Your operational excellence function needs to help make that happen.
  4. An ability to identify areas for operational transparency. Every inquiry a customer makes is failure work. A strong operational excellence function will help the organization find ways to increase operational transparency with customers, thus reducing the time and effort spent on answering basic questions and inquiries.

I was speaking with an executive last week and he told me his company reduced costs by more than $500,000 when they realized the majority of customer questions were related to when customers were going to receive their order. By giving the customers access to the order flow online, all of those inquiries went away.

Is your operational excellence department finding those kinds of opportunities?

If not, then it is failing you.

Miller’s Monday Morning Message

Andrew MillerMiller’s Monday Morning Message
presented by ACM Consulting Inc.

Andrew Miller on operational excellence, strategy, life balance and everything in between

Toronto – October 19, 2015
Last week I spoke to a group of 50 healthcare innovators and providers on how to better engage in innovation. The focus of the discussion was how to build successful partnerships. Here are the characteristics that I suggested make for any successful partnership:
  • A common desired outcome/solution
  • Clear ROI for all parties
  • Proven results
  • Ability to share risk
  • Realistic expectations on timing of results

When you enter into a partnership, do you look for these characteristics?

Looking for more insights?
Check out my podcast series called Hockey Management, where I use hockey as an analogy for successful business results.
Prefer watching videos? The take a look at my short videos providing operational excellence tips.
Follow me on Twitter @AndrewMillerACM

To request an interview or more information, please contact:

 
Andrew Miller
416-480-1336
© Andrew Miller. All rights reserved. 2015.

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