Why You Need a “Go/No Go” Process to Save Time, Money, and Sanity

Think through your current list of clients, or the kind of clients you want to work with. (In the business world, this is also referred to as a “target market” or “target audience”). How well do you know your clients? How much time do you spend researching prospective clients and how your services could assist them?

Solidifying a “go/no-go” process will streamline your organization’s ability to choose who you want to work with, why you want to work with them, and how your services are a match for their needs. In other words, this process will help your company confirm whether or not you’re in a strong enough position to win the contract. And to no-go the RFP if not.

As mentioned in the title, your time and money are two of the most valuable resources you possess. If you waste either, while pursuing work that isn’t a good fit for your business, your sanity – and profits – are at stake.

A Vetting System in Place

It’s common to want to accept every deal and client that comes along. But if you plan on growing your business in a strategic way you need to hone in on what type of client you want to work with—making sure your clients align with your target market and services and that you are well-qualified to win the work already.

As for Theme Strategic Proposals, a go/no-go process is so embedded into our sales process we don’t think twice about it as a precursor to new work. As for other businesses, a go/no-go process may be applicable if you regularly respond to requests for proposals and quotes. But, as we discussed in our last blog post on compiling a proper Statement of Qualifications, not every client that comes your way is the best fit.

Before we touch on how to create and implement this process, here are a few core components to a Go-No-Go process:

  • A go/no-go is meant to assess opportunities early in the sales process.
  • Once you receive an RFP or new business inquiry, get with your team and enact the go/no-go assessment.
  • Take time to evaluate the go/no-go assessment with your team.
  • Repeat the process with each RFP or prospective client until it’s a part of your regular vetting system in business development.

How to Implement

Getting down to brass tacks of the matter, here are three simple steps you can take to make a go/no-go process a reality in your organization.

  1. Use available resources. We recommend a sample form from the Society of Marketing Professional Services. Note: a quick “go/no-go Matrix” search on Google will lead you to similar documents, but we like the SMPS resource to start. We also recommend the wisdom from our friends at RFP360—check out their blog post on bidding the right RFPs.
  2. Start a conversation with your leadership team. Plan to create a form or questionnaire—through Excel or an online-based tool like SurveyMonkey or Typeform –  for evaluating RFPs or other work requests.
  3. Draft your go/no-go checklist. This might include client familiarity and experience, project scope and relevant capabilities, profitability and required resources, client’s decision-making process, and knowledge of decision-makers.

Consider making your go/no-go form a quantitative, points-based document so that it is an objective look at the likelihood of winning the bid. This means looking at the total cost of the bid, whether you can competitively price your bid, and the likelihood you’ll actually win the bid. (Think of your likelihood to win in terms of percentage). Lastly, keep this question at the front of your mind when approaching a new RFP: Are there technical or experience requirements that appear to be wired for a competitor? Answer this question honestly, as you don’t want to waste your time if a competitor wrote or helped inform the RFP requirements at hand.

Theme Strategic Proposals would LOVE to help answer any quick questions you have on the go/no-go process, even if it’s additional check-list items to include in your initial draft. As you think about the practicality of a go/no-go process, consider how much time and money this simple assessment could save you and your team.

We’re always a “Go” when it comes to your sanity, and if your internal team does not have much more capacity, Theme Strategic Proposals would love to assist your RFP and sales initiatives in the future.

The reason we get up in the morning is so that your team can sleep easy at night.