Bidding For Business 2011
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Bidding For Business 2011






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Bidding For Business 2011 Bidding For Business 2011 Presentation Transcript

  • What are the key qualities of a successful proposal?
      • A winning proposal must demonstrate that:
    • We understand the problem
    • We have unique insights into the problem
    • We have an excellent approach for solving the problem
    • We have very good people to work on the solution
    • The client can have confidence that we will deliver
    … meets requirements, clear and compelling, manages risk
  • What are some of the key requirements for a successful proposal ?
      • Compelling and insightful: A proposal must be compelling/compulsive/ convincing - compelling the reader to buy (failed proposals clearly aren’t compelling) - show real insights
      • Benefits-driven: Driven by the outcomes and benefits sought and desired by the client. Many proposals tend to focus on features/advantages rather than benefits matched to explicit need
      • Directed: To achieve the desired result in the client’s mind. What is the governing thought? What are the key points and ideas that you want the reader to take away from the proposal?
      • A unique proposition: What is special about our solution, our team and our organisation?
      • Interesting and easy to read: Avoid asking the reader to do too much work – will they pick it up and find it an interesting, insightful and easy read?
  • What are some of the key requirements for a successful proposal ?
      • Understandable: no impenetrable business language – jargon and business language “obscure reasoning and obliterate understanding”; avoid generic motherhood statements Terms should never be introduced without explanation (e.g. GENUS) – every single acronym should be spelled out/explained on its first reference
      • Straight forward and logical: Straightforward structure, arguments must be logical; no surprises; the proposal is not a mystery novel; it’s a disaster if the reader gets lost
      • Clear and unambiguous: the buyer (and your own implementation team!) should be able to understand what is going to happen; what is going to be delivered
      • High visual impact: Proposals should be pleasing – avoid too much dense text - white space, bullets and reasonably large text - at least one sub-heading per half page. Use diagrams
      • Avoid grammatical/spelling errors: This may be obvious but all proposals have them; use UK spelling checker – but don’t assume Microsoft gets the grammar right
  • What are some of the key requirements for a successful proposal ?
      • Compelling and insightful
      • Driven by the outcomes and benefits sought by the client
      • Directed – to achieve the desired result in the client’s mind
      • A unique proposition
      • Interesting and easy to read
      • Understandable - language and terminology
      • Straight forward and logical structure and arguments
      • Clear and unambiguous approach and deliverables
      • High visual impact
      • Avoid grammatical/spelling errors
  • What do we need to do to decide that we want to, and can, submit a proposal ?
      • Have we met the client (the decision-makers)?
      • Do we understand the buying criteria and the decision-making process?
      • Do we know the strength of the competition? (Who is currently working with the client? Has some other bidder helped prepare the invitation to bid?)
      • What is our assessment of our ability to win? (Do we have the inside track? Do we have, or can we identify a coach?)
      • Will we be able to present the proposal?
      • Do we understand what we need to do to win?
      • Will we be able to demonstrate unique capabilities/insights?
      • Have we got the resources and commitment to bid?
      • Have we got the resources to do the work if we win the bid?
      • Have we prepared a bid plan and assigned a bid manager?
      • What is our assessment of the risk involved vs the potential reward?
  • What insights can we offer that demonstrate understanding and competence ? What insights have we gained from our contact with the client?
      • Where is our added value and insights – adding value to what they have told us?
      • What clear evidence are we able to include in our proposal that we have captured and understood their issues/hot buttons?
    What additional insights can we demonstrate?
      • Can we show that we really understand their business and issues, with our insights that add value to their thinking? (Can use the SPIN Selling Framework to set out the issues and insights – see next)
      • What can we show that is special in our understanding of the problem and/or our approach and solution? (rather than just claim that it is special)
    • SPIN Selling proposes four types of questions:
      • Situation questions deal with the facts about the buyers existing situation.
      • Problem questions ask about the buyer's pain and focus the buyer on this pain while clarifying the problem, before asking implication questions. These give Implied Needs.
      • Implication questions discuss the effects of the problem, before talking about solutions, and develop the seriousness of the problem to increase the buyer's motivation to change.
      • Need-Payoff questions get the buyer to tell you about their Explicit Needs and the benefits your solutions offers, rather than forcing you to explain the benefits to the buyer. Getting the buyer to state the benefits has greater impact while sounding a lot less pushy. What these questions do is probe for explicit needs.
  • SPIN SELLING Situation questions Minimize the small talk and focus on finding background detail that can be used to make sense of the buyer's business situation. Context creates meaning. This is about understanding the wider context before you zoom into the details.  Problem questions Ask questions to uncover problems which your product can address. If you are selling tractors, ask about maintenance costs, breakdowns and so on. If you are selling life insurance, ask about how many dependents the person has. A trap here is to dive straight into presenting the benefits of what you are selling. You may know the problem, but they do not! Going straight to the sales pitch will just get you objections.
  • SPIN SELLING Implication questions Instead of telling them the problem they have (which is also likely to raise objections), the goal is now to get them to see (and feel!) the problem. By asking questions which draw out the implications of the problem, they get to feel the pain that will drive them towards your product.  For example, the person selling tractors might ask about implications of unplowed fields whilst the life insurance salesperson could carefully ask what would happen to the children if the target person died or became very ill. Need-Payoff questions Having hurt the target person with your implications, you now give them a straw to grasp at by asking how their pain could be resolved. With careful questions, you can get them to the state where they are asking for your product even before you show it to them. For example, the tractor sales person can ask how much better the tractor was like when it was new, or whether any of the farmer's neighbours have solved problems of old and problematic tractors. The insurance sales person could ask questions that build pictures of the target person's children being safe and secure whatever curve-balls the world might throw at the family.  
  • Understanding the decision-making process
      • Have we explicitly asked the client to set out the process?
      • Who will decide? How?
      • Have we asked what we need to do to win?
      • Will the client coach us?
      • Will there be an opportunity to present the proposal?
      • When we win or lose a bid, do we know why? Have we asked and been told explicitly why they did or didn’t buy our proposal? What was better about our proposal or the competitive bids? What did we or our competitors fail to do? (Clients will often view favourably a request to conduct a formal turndown review)
  • Understanding the client's buying criteria
    • Understanding of the Problem (Level of Insight)
      • Capability, Competence and Style of Sales Team (Technique/Sector)
      • Excellence of Deliverables/Outcome/Benefits
      • Level of Innovation/Differentiation in the Methodology/Approach
      • Confidence in the Methodology/Approach
      • Scope of Proposed Work Programme
      • Capability/Stature/Style of the Proposed Team
      • Price/Value for Money
      • Quality of Written Proposal
      • Quality of Sales Presentation
      • Relevant Company Track Record
      • ………… . elicit the critical criteria and relative importance