Always Conduct A Bid Debrief

Even When You Win

 The bid has been submitted, and it’s great news – you have won!

Although you have won, I highly recommend that you request a debrief with your client.
There is a very good chance they will be quite surprised that you want one.

Conducting a debrief is a great opportunity to gain confirmation of your understanding about what is truly important to your client. You will receive valuable feedback on what they liked, and what they didn’t like about your winning bid.

In the positive atmosphere following your win, candid comments about your team’s proposal writing efforts are more likely to happen, and these can be very useful.

Conducting a Debrief: Guidelines for When You have Won

As a winner, when you request a debrief meeting with your client, it is almost certain that you will be one of the few companies that has done so.

Your client may be a bit bemused, and certainly curious, as to why you’ve done so. Depending on your relationship with the client, they may consider it a waste of time and will want to know – now that they have awarded the contract to you – how they are going to benefit by having this meeting. After all, what difference can it make now?

Because of this possibility, it might be a good idea to request the debrief as part of an initial post award meeting. You can let them know it is part of your ongoing improvement process, and ensures you have fully understood their key issues and requirements for this procurement.

Starting The Meeting

The opening statements for the meeting can be as follows:
  1. Even though we have won, we don’t want to be complacent. We are always looking for ways to improve, to ensure we have understood your issues, and are providing the solution you’re looking for.
  2. We would like to go through those questions where we did not score so well, and understand what we could’ve done better, what didn’t we understand or provide in our answer, that resulted in a lower mark.
  3. Were some issues missed because we did not understand – what could we have done better?
  4. If we have time, perhaps we can even hear your views on why we scored so well in the high-scoring answers. Clearly these are areas that you value highly, and it is always very useful to understand why these areas are important to you. We are not taking anything for granted.

During The Meeting

Have the scores, your response and any correspondence ready to hand.

Go through the lowest scoring questions first, and take copious notes. They will see you are serious about understanding what has transpired.

As a winner, going into a debrief meeting with the right attitude, will ensure some interesting and open discussions that otherwise might never transpire.