Researching opportunities

Top tips for researching opportunities

You will hear us say time and again that positioning for opportunities before they come out to tender is the single biggest determining factor in winning bids and proposals.

A key aspect of positioning is to research an opportunity thoroughly. Understanding as much as possible about the prospect, an opportunity, and the environment surrounding it is vital to successful engagement.

Benefits of research 

Researching is a skill in itself that is well worth developing. It benefits us by:

  • Supporting an informed bid decision
  • Providing a basis for empathy with the client and their stakeholders
  • Helping us understand what makes them tick and what’s important
  • Helping us to shape our communications and documents for the specific buyers

Our top tips 

  1. try to understand the clients overall business drivers and the outcomes they desire from the service or product they are looking to procure
  2. gain an understanding of their definition of what a good supplier or partner looks like
  3. undertake some research on their key team members involved in the procurement and if they are an economic, emotional, or technical buyer
  4. research any influencers over the client including any consultants and if there is a procurement function involved
  5. gain an understanding of each key stakeholders levels of knowledge, capability and capacity, the key challenges or priorities they have in their role and for the opportunity
  6. understand what their hot buttons are, concerns they may have and what their view is of added value is
  7. get an idea of their perception of your organisation.

We are trying to build a picture of what is important to each of the people involved in the procurement and how they feel about your organisation.  This information will be essential during the strategy phase should you continue to pursue the opportunity.

Internal Sources 

Examples of internal sources of information may include

  • people who work in your organisation who know or have worked for the client or your competitors, including your sales lead, delivery people and the wider leadership team beyond your sponsor
  • any client account planning documentation you have
  • any previous documents or feedback on bids you have submitted to them
  • and any publicly available information such as annual reports, articles or credit reports.

External Sources 

You may also wish to meet with external people who may be able to provide insight on the client. This may include:

  • previous or similar clients
  • relevant connected consultants
  • and supply chain members who work with the client