How to Prevent Short-Term Thinking from Hijacking 'Bid, No Bid' Decisions
It can be tempting to allow short-term thinking to over-influence pursuit and "bid/no bid" decisions, neglecting the bidder's longer range goals.
So, in the interests of ensuring priority is placed on identifying and pursuing the opportunities and bids that most directly support an organisation's bigger picture objectives,I'd like to make this suggestion to senior executives in B2B organisations:
It may be useful for board report contributions from sales divisions to include a specific underlying rationale for the pursuit of any contract or project above a specified value.
I recommend that these written contributions be formulated to, very specifically:
(a) Demonstrate the connection between the prize in question and corporate-level market growth goals;
(b) Outline a holistic indication of the cost (both soft and hard) of pursuing the piece of business;
(c) Provide a realistic comparative projection of its ROI, and
(d) Provide commentary on any sacrificed opportunity cost resulting from other business not pursued or from which focus or resources were withdrawn.
Again, clarifying and articulating corporate and business development goals helps ensure priority is placed on identifying and pursuing the opportunities and bids that most directly support those bigger picture objectives.
Also, periodically (if not regularly) checking in with sales and business development teams (at all levels) to ensure the higher-level imperatives and objectives are reflected in the trenches (and in bidding endeavours), helps ensure the organisation stays aligned from top to bottom.