Proposal teams always talk about the need to appeal to the interests of all members of the evaluation team. And, of course, said team is likely to be multi-disciplinary in nature – comprising representatives of each of the business functions with an interest in the decision and the solution.
There was an interesting illustration of this principle in a discussion recently with a senior purchasing manager. He talked about a recent evaluation, where three bidders were in contention for a particular contract. Bidder A came out clearly on top of the scoring with half of the evaluators; the other half of the team were passionately in favour of Bidder B. Needless to say, Bidder A’s fans hated Bidder B, and vice versa.
The result? Bidder C won – fully capable of delivering the solution, liked by all of the evaluators (but loved by none) – and second in everyone’s scoring… Of course, you’d really want to come top of the table with everyone – but it’s the illustration of the importance of appealing to all of the evaluators that struck me as a particularly pertinent lesson.