The UK has a history of innovation. Yet, all too often, our ability to sell that innovation has been found wanting. In a post-Brexit Britain, our success in competing on a world stage will be determined both by our ability to innovate and our ability to win contracts through competitive selling.
While the Sharing in Growth programme is a multi-year journey designed to transform businesses to compete more effectively, the bidding process can be the vital final step in getting a company over the line to secure additional business.
So, Sharing in Growth has selected Shipley UK to help beneficiaries improve their bid success rate by delivering a Bid to Win workshop as a new and integral part of the programme.
Shipley experts have, for 46 years, been supporting companies around the world to develop the specialist skills to win contracts through competitive bidding. Shipley UK was established in 1994, as the first presence outside the USA, and Shipley is now present in thirteen countries.
Shipley has helped some of its clients achieve a win rate of over 80%. Said Mark Taylor, Managing Director of Shipley UK:
“If you’re not converting a large percentage of your opportunities, you’re either bidding for unwinnable business or you’re approaching them in the wrong way. Or both.
“The 13 Shipley companies, from all over the world, meet at least yearly to share the latest information about globally-recognised best practices in business winning. Each of the Shipley firms adapt these best practices to its local markets. Through this we learn not just from the best companies that we work with, but also from the best companies around the world.”
Shipley has a strong track record. Of the strategic suppliers to the UK Government, Shipley has worked with all the defence suppliers and six out of the nine IT suppliers. In a typical year, it works with 70 companies, trains 2,000 people and supports £800 million of competitive bids.
Shipley’s Bid to Win workshop is proven to teach a repeatable, systematic approach to proposal preparation, for higher win rates and lower proposal costs. Sharing in Growth and Shipley have worked together to ensure that the workshop aligns with the Sharing in Growth business transformation programme.
An interactive and practical workshop
The workshop teaches principles of proposal development that can be tailored and applied to all sizes of opportunity. The topics covered in the workshop include:
- Understanding customer key concerns and drivers
- Maximising your evaluation scores
- Qualifying and selecting opportunities to maximise your win rate
- Analysing your competitive position using the Shipley Bidder Comparison Matrix
- Scheduling proposal activities to enable time for innovation and diligence
- Defining a practical and effective strategy using Proposal Strategy Statements
- Planning proposal content to minimise rework and wasted effort
- Creating value propositions for your solutions
- Using visuals to emphasise why you should be selected
- Presenting your key messages using theme statements
- Using reviews pragmatically to increase your chance of winning and share organisational learning
Shipley’s training philosophy is that participants learn by doing rather than being told. So, participants are introduced to the best practice techniques and then apply those techniques to case study examples. The workshop comprises group work, discussions and individual tasks.
The Benefits: proposals that optimise your chance of winning
Organisations, that have received Shipley training, have stated that, as a direct result of the training they received, their proposal teams are able to:
- Develop succinct, customer focused proposals, that show understanding of the customer’s vision and issue
- Consistently formulate, and articulate powerful sales messages, using proven emphasis devices
- Offer clear, discriminating, value propositions, over and above basic price information
- Deliver proposals in a format that evaluators find easier to evaluate positively
- Manage the proposal development and review process to ensure delivery of the right content, first time.
The next Shipley seminars on the Sharing in Growth programme will be in January 2020. Beneficiaries interested in joining should contact their Sharing in Growth coaches.