BD tips and insights

Why second place can be better than first

April 20, 2016 | Posted in: Business Development Strategy | Tags:

Back in 1962, car hire company Avis was struggling. They had only 11% market share, and hadn’t turned a profit in 13 years. Under the direction of new CEO Robert Townsend, the company launched their famous campaign theme of being number two in the market, with the slogan “We try harder”, drawing positive attention to […]

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By Alice Vuong

Tender planning: don’t hit go before you’re ready and set

Does this tender planning scenario sound familiar? Excitement builds the first couple of days after an RFT release; there are even attempts to draft responses, but then professional work takes priority and the tender project quickly loses momentum. By the time someone reinvigorates the project, the deadline is looming and the task is even more […]

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By Lilla Smee

How to make your proposal client focussed

March 23, 2016 | Posted in: Tenders Bids Proposals | Tags:

Professional services bids, tenders and proposals are tough (and getting tougher), not least of all because you are up against many other firms, each of which has experts as qualified as yours, who have practised for as long as yours have, and who deliver the same expert services for the same type of clients as […]

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The emerging (and powerful) buyer in B2B

March 9, 2016 | Posted in: Business Development Strategy

Millennials – the largest generation since the Baby Boomers – are quickly becoming the key target of B2B marketers. Much has been written about Millennials in B2C as the most educated, tech-savvy, connected, thrifty, and socially and environmentally conscious. However, little has focussed on B2B – this is about to change, and needs to. We’re […]

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Breaking bad bid habits

February 24, 2016 | Posted in: Tenders Bids Proposals | Tags: ,

Time and again, I see professional services clients falling victim to bad bid habits. Abraham Lincoln allegedly said (but actually didn’t): “Give me six hours to chop down a tree, and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” Proper planning, organisation, shared accountability, and a sense of urgency is a must if you […]

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Marketing and business development toolkit for 2016

February 10, 2016 | Posted in: Business Development Strategy | Tags:

What activities and approaches should be in your professional services firm’s marketing and business development toolkit for 2016? We’ve created a handy infographic comparing old and new tools. Old ways are not necessarily the wrong way, but there are newer – and often more effective – activities that are worth considering, and which might just prove the […]

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Will your tender end up in the “too long; didn’t read” pile?

December 9, 2015 | Posted in: Tenders Bids Proposals | Tags:

Will evaluators react to your tender, bid or proposal with TL;DR (too long; didn’t read)? In competitive bid processes, evaluators usually have scores of submissions to wade through.  Requests increasingly insist on brevity in responses, often setting word or page limits and other restrictive formats. Your tender responses are not the place for long and […]

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By Alistair Marshall

12 critical performance indicators in addition to the billable hour

November 25, 2015 | Posted in: Business Development Strategy | Tags:

What gets measured gets improved. Many professional services firms fail to measure critical performance indicators for their business, clients, and staff, and are therefore failing to track the behaviours and strategies which correlate with future financial and strategic success. It’s common for firms to focus only on individual billable hours as a success measure. While […]

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Standing out from the crowd

It’s tough to stand out from your competition and keep great clients plus attract new ones.  And it doesn’t help when professionals so often put their marketing communication efforts  –  and dollars  –  into making themselves part of the crowd rather than standing out. Does your firm stand out? Our recently released benchmarking research found […]

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GET SMART: create an effective client service plan with your next tender

Whether you want to win a new account or grow and retain an existing client, tender preparation is an opportunity to map out how your firm can (and will) deliver first-rate service. In the flurry to submit tenders, bids, or proposals many professional services firms miss the chance to create an effective client service plan. […]

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Same-same, but different  –  Best practice for recycling boilerplate tender, bid & proposal content

Same-same, but different – Best practice for recycling boilerplate tender, bid & proposal content

I once had a client say he wanted to do ‘fresh writing’ for the entirety of content in every single tender, bid and proposal response. That’s right…every time…every bid…100% written from scratch. Unsurprisingly the ‘fresh writing’ diktat put considerable extra pressure on his already frazzled team and didn’t help his firm’s win rate. When it […]