Posts Tagged ‘Bid Support’

Guest Blog – Gaining A New Perspective on Bids

Thursday, April 18th, 2013 by Simon<

We’re damned proud of the impact our sister company, Sales Engine, has had on the bid success of companies large (nay, huge) and small.

Over the last few years they’ve honed and toned their approach and recently launched their very successful “Bid Perspectives Model“.  We thought it churlish not to invite them along as part of our Guest Blog week to share a little more about this recipe for bid success.

We hope you agree…

The world of bids is a complicated and often head-ache inducing one. There are many moving parts, stakeholders to consider, and plenty of well thought-out messages needed to ensure that a bid stands out from the rest.

Done right, it’s a beautiful amalgamation of selling, design, copy-writing, presentation and lots and lots of strategy.  Done badly and it becomes a time consuming, costly and diverting mess.

To address this and bring some order to the potentially chaotic world of bids, we’ve created the Perspectives Model.  As with all very clever things, it’s remarkably simple on the outside but gets a little more complex once you get into it.  To keep things palatable, we’ve broken down the entire bid process into three key perspectives:

 

Bid Strategy

The quality of the initial strategy and your first approach to the bid will ultimately inform the presentation structure and will also determine your overall chances of success.  Building a strong foundation, and being crystal clear about why you’re bidding and how you can win is at the core of success when it comes to both pitch presentations and bids

To achieve this, we challenge the standard corporate approach that tends to bog down most bid teams.  We’ll bring in “tame” procurement experts that work alongside our experienced sales professionals to act as critical friends/devils advocates and generally shake things up.  From this point, the strategy can start to form or, occasionally, end up being judged a “no bid”.

 

Bid Creation

The creation phase is about getting a perspective on how to ensure the strategy plays out into the physical document.  On top of ensuring that the message comes through loud and clear as well as dotting all the I’s and crossing all the T’s in terms of completing the bid questions, we need to also focus on maintaining the consistency of tone and design.

Headaches which once existed for a single salesman can now be delegated to a specific Sales Engine guru for that task.

 

Bid Coaching

The presentations our customers need normally come at the end of weeks of sales effort. If things have gone well, they are often asked to present their proposition.  Previously calm and rational professionals can turn to jelly overnight when faced with the prospect of presenting in front of an audience of procurement experts.  As such, we have a process of support and training to not only calm the nerves and clarify the communication but also help the presenters to control and guide the audience in the direction identified way back at the Bid Strategy phase.

The Perspectives Model was born out of years of working across of range of sectors.  We’ve learned a fair few things along the way and have created an eBook that highlights the Top 7 lessons that all bid teams need to know.  Drop us a line for a copy.

Share

And So To Bid…

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012 by Simon<

We found ourselves in an unusual position a couple of weeks ago – we were asked to respond to a formal RFP from a huge Global business we’d not had the pleasure of working with before. This is a relatively rare occurrence – most of our business comes from existing customers, word-of-mouth referrals, our website and via our marvelous telemarketing bod, Clare.

Now, I like to think I know a fair bit about the whole process of bid response. I’m actively involved with our sister company, Sales Engine, who do this sort of thing day in, day out for companies large and small (Eyeful works closely with them to develop and design their customer bid presentations).

I’ve always been assured by Sales Engine’s MD, Steve Robinson, that the creation of a really outstanding response document is a bit of a “black art”. Over the years, he’s built a team to manage the whole process, even pulling in a couple of “tame ex-procurement directors”. With this in mind, I called in a couple of favours and got the team to review the RFP.

This is where it got interesting on a personal level

Here at Eyeful, we’ve worked hard to understand the value we bring our customers and our position in a rapidly growing marketplace.

  • We know our USPs and the benefits they bring.
  • We know how our pricing compares against the competition.
  • We’re able to pull upon a long list of very happy, very senior people across all manner of sectors who will sing our praises all day long.

Yet, despite all of this, I couldn’t help being more than a little nervous. Why the sense of rising panic?

I was experiencing what I now know to be a well recognised phenomenon – RFP Blindness. According to Steve, this is common affliction hitting businesses of all sizes who, despite having all the answers and being in pole position in the tender process, have to fight a rising sense of panic as the deadline looms.

How to fix it..? Well, I was in the lucky position of being able to call upon the services of the Sales Engine team at short notice (God knows what it will cost me in beer and cakes over the next few years).

Failing this option, I’d recommend running your approach, your document and your concerns past a “critical friend”. This can be someone internally or, better still, a friend in a different industry. They’ll cut to the chase and let you know if you’ve communicated the value you can bring and, more importantly, if you’ve answered the prospect’s specific questions fully.

On a more personal level, have confidence. Nothing kills the ability to think clearly than panic so plan ahead, build sufficient time into the schedule to allow you to do a proper job and never lose sight of your prospect’s needs (this is the reason you’re going through this process after all!).

Oh, and just so you know – we found out last week we were successful and have been awarded the contract! Bring on the next RFP…

Share

Nice People Saying Nice Things – Westend Travel

Wednesday, April 18th, 2012 by Justine<

Customer Satisfaction means everything to us here at Eyeful.  Heck, we even have a specialist ‘Customer Champion’ team whose job is simply to make sure that we’re doing our very best for every one of our customers.

Some of our customers are so thrilled with their presentations that they’re willing to share their experience with the world. Our friend David from Westend Travel is one of those customers – simply press play to hear what he and his team thinks of Eyeful Presentations.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Share

Presentation Panic (or What A Headless Chicken Can Teach Us About Presenting)

Tuesday, November 15th, 2011 by Justine<

Despite the fact that we have all been guilty of it at some time, there is a general consensus that there is very little to be achieved by running around like a headless chicken.

mike

A business with a tight deadline to meet is often home to the most energetic and misguided examples of this.  This is when the sheer volume of things needing to be done creates an exponential inability to do them efficiently – at exactly the wrong time.

The tighter the deadline and the greater the opportunity the worse it becomes. This can all conspire to create what we at Eyeful call the ‘Presentation Paradox’.

Picture the scene…

The big pitch is days away, the bid team is a more than a little nervous and then you realise that you’ve spent the last 45 minutes debating whether to take the prospect biscuits:

  • Is it appropriate?
  • Will the competition do the same?
  • Will the crumbs be a problem?
  • Do we serve them before, during or after?
  • Are any of the biscuit eaters coeliac or vegan?
  • Which biscuit best represents our brand?
  • Shall we put them on a plate?
  • What if they don’t eat them all and we don’t get our plate back?
  • Fig Roll – cake or biscuit?

The elephant in the room is the fact that, whilst enjoyably diverting, this debate us getting in the way of you rehearsing and fine tuning the actual mechanics of getting your message across.  In short, your presentation is always left to the last minute.

Oh dear.

So…you’ve got two options then:

  1. Contact us
  2. Start calling yourself Mike*

*Note to the un-initiated Mike the headless chicken was not, as you may expect, lunch, at least not until 18 months post decapitation.  Mike spent those eighteen months touring America with a two headed calf and earning his erstwhile executioner a very good income.

All true.

Share

5 in 10 – Know your topic

Friday, February 19th, 2010 by Simon<

Not knowing your topic is a sure fire way of setting up a bad presentation.

CluelessIf you have to give a presentation about a topic that is not your area of expertise then it’s time to put in the hours.

You must be comfortable with the subject matter before you can present it to others.

Share

To bid or not to bid?

Wednesday, January 27th, 2010 by Simon<

We’re pleased as punch to announce that Eyeful have teamed up with our friends at Sales Engine to offer bid support services.  Our full press release can be accessed here.

Long story short, this blessed union was prompted by clients coming to us in a bit of a flap over large pitch presentations.  We spotted that some clients would have benefited from more support earlier on in the process so approached bid support experts Sales Engine for help.

Sales Engine & Eyeful logoMajor bids and pitches tend to be driven by sales teams, and the focus is always on making sure that the information conveyed is as convincing as possible. But decisions by the customer are often heavily influenced by procurement, yet we see very little input from these specialists in putting bids together.

This is what got us so excited about teaming up with Sales Engine on Bid Support.

They pull together a support team of sales experts and died-in-the-wool procurement people to challenge and hone your bid from every angle to ensure you tick all the boxes.

A marriage made in heaven, we think…

So if you’re faced with the challenge/horror (delete as applicable) of formal tenders and bids and need a steady hand and cool head to support you, Eyeful and Sales Engine are on call.

Share