Insights on Bids and Proposals | David Jones
David Jones of OpenGov shares his perspective on the proposal world.
How long have you been working in Bids and Proposals? 5 years
What is the most satisfying part of your job?
The most satisfying part of my job is collaborating and problem-solving with people in Sales, Marketing, and Business Development. I work with some of the brightest and proficient people I've encountered in my career thus far, and when we all put our minds together to approach a solution to a problem, oftentimes the results are very gratifying. We may not always agree on the right approach to an issue, but taking the time to hear the other person's perspective is often a great learning experience for everyone involved.
What have you done to be successful so far in your current role?
One of the things I'm proud of in my current role is that I've helped my company cut down on the number of bids and RFPs that we were responding to. Before I started in this role, our team was responding to nearly every RFP opportunity that looked like it aligned with our product-market fit. However, those RFPs rarely yielded positive results in wins and ARR for the company. It took a long time to help people understand that not every RFP opportunity is a good opportunity and that knowing when to say "No" can be a powerful tool to have. We've come a long way since then, and now we are being much more strategic when we allocate time, money, and resources to work on responding to a bid.
What is something you wish others understood about the importance of Bids and Proposals in today’s market?
Bids and RFPs, unfortunately, are often a highly political procurement game. Many buyers already have a pre-determined winner in mind, even before an RFP is issued. If you haven't built a strong relationship with the organization issuing the RFP, and if you haven't had a significant influence on the scope of the RFP requirements, you likely will not be awarded the bid. Save your company time, money, and resources for only those opportunities that you have shaped yourself, and you'll likely see an uptick in the number of wins and dollars your company is awarded.
What advice do you have for your peers in similar roles around the world?
Managing bids and proposals can be stressful, isolating, and at times even frustrating. While it can certainly be difficult to keep your head above the mounting number of deadlines, I've found that having a conversation with your internal company stakeholders is often the simplest and most effective way to solve whatever challenge you're facing. By having an open and candid conversation with your internal decision-makers and leaders, perhaps you can even dig into the root of your issues and determine why you're spending so much time on responding to RFPs rather than developing strategy on finding the most winnable opportunities. Most of the time, people want to help you. By speaking up and addressing your challenges with other people, you will likely find the solution you need to alleviate those pressures and make better decisions for your business.