You want to grow the business, but...

Here are some issues raised by professional services firms… do any sound familiar?
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    Our sales teams are great at building relationships, but some of our prospects prefer 'brown envelopes at dawn'
    Sales Director
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    We burn many hours on opportunities that we have little chance of winning
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
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    The briefs we get from clients are sometimes very poor, and we never really know if we've hit the mark
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
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    What's the point of being on a panel? You chisel your rates and get the insurance cover and then...nothing happens!
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
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    We just don't 'get' procurement people. They don't think like we do, they don't talk like we do and they think price is the main element of value
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
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    We submitted a competitive proposal and then took a further haircut to win the work. In retrospect, it wasn't worth it
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
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    Most proposals seem to need fresh content to be written from scratch. I don't undersatnd why we don't have a library of content for re-use
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
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    In the past we've given competitive quotes a wide berth, due to the effort versus benefit ratio not stacking up. Now I'm not so sure...
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
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    Public sector bids require us to report on social procurement issues, and we don't really know where to begin
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
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    Our win rate is less than 33%. I don't know whether that is good or bad
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
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    We burn up so many hours on last minure panics and everyone gets so stressed, I wonder if it is all worth it
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

The business to business sales process is being disrupted

It's always been easier to retain existing customers than win new ones.

But what if your existing customers "test the market" by inviting competitive quotes instead of having a conversation exclusively with you? And what if someone from the procurement team invites you to 'have another look at your rates' or asks for a COVID discount?

It is hard to avoid the view that the B2B sales process is being disrupted, and the key capabilities that are needed to grow business now include your ability to:
select the right opportunities within your targeted market sectors
remotely diagnose the needs of prospects
match your win themes to the prospect's stated and unstated needs
communicate your market positioning to prospects
navigate the proposal process so that you avoid being knocked out
navigate the negotiation process so that you avoid the prospect claiming all the value that you create

If you want to know more about what we can do for you, and how we do it, click one of the buttons below


Seven most common mistakes

Here's some of the most common mistakes that we see in proposals made by professional services firms. Do you recognise any of them?

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    The proposal that you spent days completing is discounted as non-conforming as it failed to comply with a mandatory criterion
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
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    The content of the proposal is copypasta from a number of previous proposals, and there is no consistent message or 'red thread'
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
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    The wording of responses is "puffery"; unsupported 'salespeak' with no evidence to support the promises made
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
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    The response to the prospect's question does not directly address the issues raised because the content was copied from a similar (but different) question in another proposal.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
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    The ratio of "we" statements to "you" statements is greater than two. This means that the content is mostly about you, what you have done (or will do) than about the benefits for your prospect.
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
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    Your team are so loyal to the brand that they believe that you have distinctive and unique capabilities but do not demonstrate this capability convincingly
    Ralph Waldo Emerson
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    The request documentation included 'social procurement' questions but the response provided partial answers and was vague and high-level, and scored poorly
    Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do you know the reasons why your proposal might be judged as non-conforming?

We have created evaluation frameworks for multiple clients, so we know the criteria that may be used to exclude proposals as 'non-conforming'. Here's some trade secrets…

Try before you buy!

Why not try us out? Just send us a past (or current!) client enquiry document and we'll send you a simple diagnosis within 48 hours. You can even send us one of your own proposals and we''ll give you an honest appraisal at no charge. You can anonymise the prospect name and we don't need to see the commercials.


What have you got to lose?

If you want to speak to a human being, call us on +61 (0)3 9855 0141 or email us here