In complex sales, buyers purchase benefits, not features. They want to know whether the benefits generated by specific features of the seller’s solutions will address their issues and deliver the outcomes they seek.
Most customers begin the buying process with a maximum/minimum price range and a minimum/maximum capability range. As their understanding of price-capability trade-offs matures, their price-capability window narrows. Your objective is to accurately define the boundaries of your version of the customer’s price-capability window – the Winning Price Window – through the pricing-to-win process. Iterative
Decision gate reviews are about deciding whether to proceed, not on critiquing and refining our technical solution. The technical solution is only one facet of your complete offering. It might also include your management solution, pricing solution, past performance, quality assurance plan and transition plan. Suggest a separate review of the technical solution, and
Use precise, powerful, descriptive verbs in your proposals Avoid wimpy verbs that obscure meaning, such as allow, allow for, permit, provide, perform and ensure. Many writers turn verbs into nouns, making the sentence more distant from the reader. Replacing adjectives with verbs also makes your statements more powerful.
Many people have been told the Executive Summary should be a one-page document prepared after the proposal is written. This is unhelpful advice as executive summaries are the most important pages in your proposal. A draft executive summary should be prepared early during the capture planning or pursuit phase, well before the RFT, providing a
Customers realise that the seller’s senior managers and business development professionals will not be delivering a significant portion of the services after the contract is signed. So it is important to convince the customer that your key program people, starting with the program or contract manager, are both capable and compatible. This is especially
Decision makers are more likely to worry about risk, what could go wrong, than about relatively minor price or technical differences. Some sellers prefer to avoid any discussion of risk. They correctly see risk as negative but incorrectly avoid discussing risk because it is a negative topic. Identifying and highlighting mitigation of key project
…list the prospect’s requirements from meetings, phone calls, file notes and intelligence resources. Good Capture or Pursuit strategy attempts to position you as the best choice for a prospect or customer. Ideally you can position to win with an unsolicited proposal rather than a formal tender or bid request. Co-developing your prospect’s requirements gives you
…set an improvement target and monitor your progress towards it. Business Development (BD) capability is much more than sales training or sales process. It is a broader topic that includes Capture or Pursuit Management, Sales Management and Bid Management. Improving BD capability therefore needs senior leadership and management focus and continuous improvement. Get executive buy-in