What sort of value proposition are they looking for?

This tool helps you decide if a prospect is more like Valerie Value or more like Peter Price.

But more than that it can help you to design the value proposition aligned to the sophistication of the prospect. If you are pitching to Peter Price, and your 'default' value proposition is a premium offering which offers superior value, it may be that your offer is mis-aligned to the prospect's (perceived) needs. You may be broadcasting on wavelengths that Peter isn't receiving on. IF you have a choice of offering, it may be better to strip out some value and design a bid around what Peter is looking for. Or maybe not to bid at all, if bidding with a 'cut-down' offer might damage your brand.

What follows are seven questions, each of which is scaled from 1 to 10. The more sophisticated the prospect, the higher the score. You can score the prospect by reading the three descriptions (helpfully colour-coded bronze, silver and gold) and dragging the slider to the left or the right as appropriate. The score you have selected appears on the right of the page. When you have done, the tool summarises your answers with a summary of what sort of prospect you are dealing with.

And it also suggests what sort of value proposition is likely to be more successful. Have fun!


The time to respond is short. There is no summary of what needs to be submitted in the response. It is a big job to ensure a compliant bid.

The time to respond is normal. There is a summary of what is needed in the response. There are multiple 'hoops' to jump through to ensure a compliant bid.

The time to respond is generous. There is a checklist of what is needed in the response. The bid package seeks to motivate a response (rather than demotivate)

The 'specification' is a list of requirements and is either out of date and/or written around a particular solution

The specification looks like it has been copied & pasted and raises questions that need answering before we can put in a compliant bid

The specification aligns to the prospect's needs and is easy to understand. It indicates that the prospect understands the category

There are many 'knockout' criteria in multiple places in the bid. Some are spurious and will exclude some suppliers

There are 'standard' knockout criteria most of which relate directly to the requirement and/or bid administration

The mandatories are directly related to the need and tender administration and are normal for this sector.

The non-price criteria are generic and basic and suggest that the evaluation will be mainly price-driven.

The non-price criteria are average for this category and sector. Non-price benefits appear to be valued.

The non-price criteria are comprehensive and relevant. Value is defined in terms of price and non-price benefits.

Price appears to be the main evaluation criterion.

Price and non-price criteria appear to be equally important

Price is one part of the evaluation, but there are other cost factors, too and non-price criteria are also weighted

The Ts & Cs are onerous and favour the client to the point where we need to suggest departures from the proposed Ts & Cs

The proposed Ts & Cs are standard for this category and this sector

The Ts & Cs suggest that the prospect has designed a contract to manage performance not (just) to allocate risk

Prior behaviour or other intel suggests that this prospect is unsophisticated.

Prior behaviour or other intel suggests that this prospect is representative of this category and/or sector.

Prior behaviour or other intel suggests that this prospect is more sophisticated than peers in this sector.


Valerie Score
[valerie_rating]%
Peter Score
[peter_rating]%


You are probably dealing with Valerie Value. This means that your value proposition:
must meet the mandatory requirements
can include premium pricing PROVIDED
the non-price benefits provably justify the price premium

If there are several bids which meet the minimum technical standards, Valerie will shortlist the two (or three) bids that offer most benefits for the dollar. Remember that the non-price benefits that you offer must translate into points in the non-price evaluation framework.
Stacks Image 151
In the graphic above, bids in the 'sweet spot' are:
above the minimum acceptable standard
within the acceptable benefit range
within the prospect's budget expectations

If two or more bids have about the same cost, the bids with the higher non-price benefit score will be more likely to be shortlisted. Bids above the 'value line' will always be preferred over bids below the value line. If you have a premium offering, or a 'challenger' strategy, then a value proposition in the 'sweet spot' is a great idea.

You must be able to prove the benefits that you claim. Make your proposals a puffery-free zone!
You are probably dealing with Peter Price. This means that your value proposition:
Must meet the mandatory requirements
Must be within budget AND
The non-price benefits must align with the evaluation framework

If there are several bids which meet the minimum technical standards, Peter will shortlist the two (or three) bids that offer lowest cost. Remember that the non-price benefits that you offer must translate into points in the non-price evaluation framework.
Stacks Image 159
In the graphic above, bids in the 'sweet spot' are:
above the minimum acceptable standard
within the acceptable benefit range
within the prospect's budget expectations

If two or more bids have about the same cost, the bids with the higher non-price benefit score will be more likely to be shortlisted. Bids above the 'value line' will always be preferred over bids below the value line. If you have a 'value' or low-cost offering, then a value proposition in the 'sweet spot' is a great idea.

You must be able to prove the benefits that you claim. Make your proposals a puffery-free zone!
It is not clear who we are dealing with. This means that your value proposition:
must meet the mandatory requirements
must align with whatever evaluation framework the prospect has shared
may be a 'shot in the dark'

You should rate this as a lower chance of success in your pipeline, as it is not clear what the prospect is looking for. If there are other opportunities, maybe focus on them. What does it say about your sales processes that we don't know what the prospect is looking for?
Stacks Image 165
In the graphic above, bids in the 'sweet spot' are:
above the minimum acceptable standard
within the acceptable benefit range
within the prospect's budget expectations

If two or more bids have about the same cost, the bids with the higher non-price benefit score will be more likely to be shortlisted. Bids above the 'value line' will always be preferred over bids below the value line. If you don't have an insight into what the prospect is looking for, then it will be harder to develop a value proposition in the 'sweet spot'.

Remember that you must be able to prove the benefits that you claim. Make your proposals a puffery-free zone!