Bids and proposals

A two-day workshop

This workshop will help you improve the impact, clarity, accuracy and effectiveness of your sales proposals.

It takes bid and proposal teams right through the process, from start to finish – from forming the team and gathering the information, through to writing and reviewing the proposal document, and on to presenting it to the client.

The learning points shared in the programme come from the trainer’s extensive real-world experience with a wide variety of businesses. The programme features:

  • Extensive practical planning and review sessions based on participants’ own bids and proposals
  • Pre- and post-workshop research and exercises to maximise the effectiveness and implementation of learning (including ‘red-pen’ reviews)
  • A stimulating training style
  • Many unique insights and methods

Learning objectives

As a result of attending this programme, participants will be able to:

  • Write more clearly, more grammatically and more persuasively
  • Structure their written communications more effectively
  • Avoid the ‘howlers’ that can cost you business
  • Impress your clients
  • Win more business

Who should attend?

All sales staff, including account managers and business development consultants.


Product and content specialists also benefit.


A highly interactive two-day workshop involving practical exercises and case studies.

Special features

The more advance access the trainer has to examples of sales proposals from your company, the more focused and beneficial will be the participants’ learning experience.

If required, the trainer can also give a best practice review of any standard company templates and can also give feedback on individual and live proposals.

The programme can also be tailored to the precise requirements of an individual client organisation or team.

Expert trainer

Graham specialises in providing high-quality consultancy, coaching and training in sales, sales management, customer service and personal productivity. He has a long career in sales and was a top-performing IT and solutions sales professional and sales manager. His most recent full-time role was as Managing Director of Sales Productivity and Development for Thomson Financial, helping develop a large European sales force.

His work has taken him all over the world and involved him in working closely with hundreds of different organisations from all business sectors, his client list including such organisations as BT, Vodafone, AT&T, Orange, Pfizer, GSK, Boots, Unilever, American Express, Thomas Cook, Apple, Sony, Motorola, Cisco, MFI, Barclays Bank, LIFFE, Abbey National, Prison Service, Home Office, Law Society, BBC, Daimler-Chrysler, Citroen, Weetabix, Nikon, Shell and many, many others. In addition he has written over twenty books published in several different countries, including Companies don’t succeed – people do!, 90 Brain Teasers for Trainers, Customer Service Games for Training, Sales Training Games, Telephone Tactics and Working Smarter.

Known internationally as both a trainer and a popular motivational speaker, he believes that effective learning has to be interactive and challenging. All his learning events are built around practical exercises, role play and case studies. His training style focuses not on just explaining new ideas or developing new skills, but also on motivating people to use them and to develop themselves as individuals. This approach gets results, as the following comments from course participants show:

‘Brilliant course, really interesting and very focused to my job role and day to day work.’

‘Took away some very good ideas that I can use every day… good examples too.’

‘Very confident in the subject, and amusing too. Made the course very interesting. A very clear sales model to use going forward.’v

‘Full of useful hints and tips which I will apply to my job.’

‘Extremely well presented and structured’

‘A very intensive course and a lot of concrete tools provided.’

‘Useful data, tools and insights; engaging and interesting as always.’

1 Bid strategy

  • How to combine your knowledge of the market or customer, your products and services, and your competitors, to create a quality bid
  • New insights into your comparative advantages and competitive position in the marketplace
  • Understanding more about how your client views you and other suppliers
  • A plan of attack to build on your strengths and attack the weaknesses of your competition
  • Dealing with RFP/ITT situations

2 Teamwork

  • How a bid or proposal team needs to prioritise and manage preparation time
  • Co-ordinating input from team members
  • Agreeing responsibilities

3 The importance and role of a well-written sales proposal

  • Why bother? – the value of the sales proposal to you and to the customer
  • What the customer wants and needs to make a decision in your favour
  • Understanding and delivering on customer expectations
  • Review and discussion of different proposals – with real-life examples

4 The best way to structure your sales proposals

  • A section-by-section, page-by-page review of best practice in structuring great sales proposals
  • How to improve the way you match your proposal to the customer’s objectives and requirements
  • Plan your sales documents systematically – to make them easy to read and more persuasive
  • How to make your proposal look like the ‘least risky’ option

5 Making your proposal a compelling and persuasive proposition

  • Choosing the right words that sell effectively
  • Selecting the right content and information for your document or proposal
  • Using an option matrix to summarise complex choices and increase final order value
  • How to write an executive summary

6 Well-written and error-free

  • Developing your writing style for maximum impact
  • Expressing the content (ie, selling points) clearly, concisely and correctly
  • Proof-reading and editing work effectively, using formal marks and techniques
  • Improving visual layout, format and appearance
  • Keeping it customer-focused

7 Presenting to the client – overview

  • Presentation options
  • Understanding the client’s objectives – as well as your own
  • The proposal review meeting – logistics
  • Managing to the next step
  • Designing and delivering a compelling presentation
  • Isolating objections and concerns
  • Follow-up and follow-through

8 Positioning your final proposal

  • Finalising your bid – presenting the right ‘best few’ USPs, features and benefits and making them relevant and real to the customer
  • Smart ways to position price and be a strong player – without being the cheapest
  • How to differentiate yourselves by how you present, as well as what you present
  • How to design and deliver a successful bid presentation

9 Bid presentation practice session with structured feedback

  • Participants work in small groups or pairs to prepare and later present a sample section from a real life bid or proposal presentation
  • The trainer will provide assistance and input
  • During group review and discussions, input from others will be encouraged and many best practice ideas summarised

10 Managing the end game

  • How best to draw-out, understand, isolate and answer customer objections, negotiate points and concerns
  • How to read the situation to plan the next step
  • Identifying negotiation tactics – and how to deal with them
  • Planning for a negotiation and how to get the customer feel they have the ‘best deal’

11 Workshop summary and close

Any questions? Please just give us a call on 01582 463463 – we’re here to help!