Differentiate your offer
What’s the most important factor in winning your bid?
Many would say price. And there is no doubt that you have to get the commercial offer right.
However feedback from purchasers consistently show that the winning proposal is the one with clear win themes that most appeal to them.
But what are win themes and how do you land on the right ones?
Audience and Storytelling
When developing the winning proposal you have to know your audience. When you know your audience – and only then – are you able to put in place compelling win themes.
The Winning Proposal invariably has just three to five killer win themes that put very clear water between you and your competitors and which consistently serve as a “golden thread” across all of your proposal materials.
Winning proposals always tell a compelling story that hits your readers – your audience – both in the heart and the head.
Powerful win themes underpin your story by mapping out – from the reviewer’s perspective – exactly why you will provide the very best solution to the issues raised in their Request for Proposal (RFP).
Defining Good Win Themes
A worthy win theme:
- Ties the features of your proposed solution to clear customer benefits
- Enhances the solution by increasing the attractiveness of your solution
- Provides hard, incontrovertible evidence of how your proposed solution has worked in the past in identical / similar circumstances
Features vs Benefits
Developing strong win themes necessitates understanding the distinction between features and benefits and then articulating features only in so far as is required for the benefit to be grasped in full.
Features are aspects of your solution that at least meet – and ideally exceed – the requirements of the specification or the RFP (Request for Proposal).
Features may include things like software functionality, your implementation methodology, supporting business processes, on-going support arrangements, performance levels, project personnel etc.
Benefits are the business advantages that the prospect enjoys in relation to your solution solving the prospect’s problems.
Benefits include things such as cost savings, reduced risk and higher performance levels.
You may have hundreds of features and benefits that you might consider describing in your bid. What should we include?
- Contains specific informa1. Ties the features of your proposed solution to clear customer benefits
2. Enhances the solution by increasing the attractiveness of your solution description as perceived by your readers
3. Contains specific information about your solution’s benefits that are directly relevant to and tuned for your audience
4. Provides hard, incontrovertible evidence of how your proposed solution has worked in the past in identical / similar circumstances and further proofs that the solution will work well in the future for your current prospect.
Describing hundreds of features and benefits is unlikely to win you the bid. Your readers don’t have the energy or inclination to wade through a never ending field of weeds.
The winning proposal persuades buyers that you will meet their needs better than your rivals. Persuasion of the required type necessitates a limited number of vital differentiators coupled with plausible evidence that puts very clear water between you and your competitors.
A strong win theme exhibits differentiation, setting your capabilities apart from the capabilities of others.
A poor win theme may only describe a feature and fail to provide details of any associated benefits and / or proof.
The very worst win themes cite no benefits, fail to leverage any proof and completely fail to take into account the particular needs of their audience.
Our Win Theme Workshop
In our facilitated workshop we guide you and your team to consider, filter and finally select the most appropriate win themes for your target audience. We show you how to choose and position the best evidence to support your bold promises.
As a result of our win theme workshop you will have the strongest set of win themes for your bid and be able to develop powerful and attractive win themes in house for future proposals.
The Winning Proposal
124 City Road
London, EC1V 2NX
+44 (0)203 815 8020
The Winning Proposal is a division of Quantum International Group Ltd.
Company Number 09479453