I’ve been doing a lot of demos for GoNoGoPro the past couple weeks, and the demos have led to some awesome questions about the RFP decision-making process.
Whether formal or not, all firms go through some sort of a process to decide which jobs are worth pursuing. During one of the demos, we had a long conversation about what criteria were the “right” criteria to use for the firm’s decision and why we chose the ones we did for GoNoGoPro.
After a great discussion, and a little further reflection, I thought it made for a nice post to explore the criteria that are worth making your decision on.
I think of the process in the following tiers:
Filter criteria – Filter criteria are simple and generally have “yes or no” answers. These criteria should be easy to communicate, so that if any one person in the firm served as a gateway for new opportunities, they could easily rule things out.
Filters likely do not have any bearing on the client’s decision to hire you, they are more about your internal goals. These would be statements such as, “We only pursue jobs over a million dollars.” The client isn’t going to make their decision to hire you based on this, but you would filter a lot of jobs out based on this. Client type or target market may or may not be a filter criteria as well, it just depends on the rigidity of your firm’s marketing and business development strategy.
Client-focused criteria – Client-focused criteria aren’t always so easy to answer, but they can be. An example of a client-focused criteria would be, “Have we worked with the client before?” The answer to this question factors into the client’s perception of you. As the old saying goes, “It’s not who you know, but who knows you that matters.”
Client-focused criteria are what GoNoGoPro is based on. Filters come and go, and may change based on your marketing strategy or business plan. Client-focused criteria are what the experts write about in almost every issue of SMPS Marketer.
Now, what’s worth measuring? Pretty much any data that isn’t ruled out by your filter. Even if the contract amount isn’t a part of your evaluation, it does make sense to track it and observe patterns and hit rate over time. The better your data, the stronger your filters become.
Strong filters mean less time reviewing opportunities that shouldn’t make it in your inbox in the first place!