Posts Tagged ‘discovery call’

Winning Your Next RFP: Get on the Brand’s Winning Shortlist

Winning Your Next RFP

Many times when a brand releases a Request For Proposal (RFP) to the public, they already know who will win their business. This often-overlooked fact will keep you from getting on their shortlist. 

Brands come up with an RFP after conversations are started around problems they’ve experienced internally. They’ve already talked to agencies, and these conversations are much less formal than a pitch, giving those agencies who started these talks early a winning chance before you even see the RFP. 

So how can you get on the brand’s shortlist before an RFP is released? It takes months of build-up to get in front of the RFP process, but with a proactive and consistent approach, you can save resources and turn out a higher win rate for your RFPs. 

Before going into another pitch, it’s a worthy exercise to answer these three questions first:

  • Which RFPs do I have a right to win?
  • What can I do to get in front of brands before the RFP goes to bid?
  • Is there a way to win the bid before the RFP is out?

You can watch the webinar here or keep reading to learn more. 

Which RFPs do I have a right to win?

The first question you need to ask is whether you fit the profile the brand is looking for. Many RFPs include specific employee numbers to gauge size or capabilities along with questions around vertical or industry expertise. Before jumping in and dedicating the time and resources it takes to submit an RFP, make sure there is a real problem you can solve first.

Brands are doing their own research:

  • 85% are conducting their own research before contacting a potential agency partner.
  • 85% seek industry experience.
  • 78% investigate 5-10 agencies before compiling a shortlist.
  • 67% look at case studies.

You have a Right to Win when you can meet the capabilities, staffing needs, and expertise in a given area. Draw those boundaries firmly and stick to them. You will improve your win rate just by doing this. 

What can I do to get in front of brands before the RFP goes to bid?

To get in front of the line, you have to meet brands when they are in problem-solution mode. This is when they know there is a problem within their brand and have clearly identified this, but have not framed out a solution for it. That is when you want to start conversations so when the brand does go to RFP, you’re in the room to pitch or you’ve been hand-picked and the RFP is simply a formality to winning the business. 

Think of the day brand marketers have – jumping from one meeting to another while balancing their day-to-day workload and addressing problems the company is facing across all departments, from digital transformations to the next TikTok trend. In between all of this, wouldn’t you want to talk to an agency that is proactively coming up with solutions to your problems?

A proactive approach to new business development will look different from the response-based approach. In an RFP pitch, you can expect the solution to be clearly articulated, but when you’re proactively having conversations your first meetings are intended to uncover problems the marketing team is facing. From here, you can begin to create the outline of a solution and share this with them when the timing is right.

Is there a way to win the bid before the RFP is out?

The short answer is yes, absolutely! But it will not happen overnight. A successful new business development director will understand how to navigate the sales process while maintaining a positive relationship. Because ultimately, they will know that timing is the biggest factor in closing a new deal than any other metric.

How many times have you lost a pitch and heard the client share that they liked your ideas but had to go with someone else? Many people would call this a loss, but it’s an opportunity to keep a door open. Whether that door is opened because you lost an initial pitch or through other avenues, there is always a chance to win another deal when the timing is more suited. So how do you keep up with the brand over time?

A sales leader should keep in touch with the brand in an authentic way, and continue to learn about the problems they are facing. This consistency will keep you in the loop when the next RFP goes to bid, and when it does, they will have you in mind when creating the specific criteria needed to win. 

Get more insights like this from Catapult and Winmo in this webinar where we share Secrets to Beating the RFP Process.

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On-Demand Webinar: Secrets to Beating the RFP Process

Secrets to beating the RFP process

Many times when a brand releases a Request For Proposal (RFP) to the public, they already know who will win their business. Brands come up with an RFP after conversations are already started around problems they’re experiencing internally, and have talked to agencies about that problem. These initial conversations are much less formal than a pitch but can lead to the RFP process. So how can you get on the brand’s shortlist before an RFP is released?

It takes months of build-up to get in front of the RFP process, but with a proactive and consistent approach, you can save resources and turn out a higher win rate for your RFPs.

In this webinar, Catapult and Winmo share strategies and tactics to beat the RFP process.
The following questions are discussed:

Which RFPs do I have a right to win?
What can I do to get in front of brands before the RFP goes to bid?
Is there a way to win the bid before the RFP is out?

These questions are answered during the recording, but you can submit your questions through the chat and the Catapult team will be able to respond in real-time.

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The Discovery Call: Your Chance to Uncover An Exclusive Opportunity

The Discovery Call: Your Chance to Uncover An Exclusive Opportunity

A discovery call is the first of many conversations and can be defined as a time to uncover where your prospect is in their buying journey. Before guiding the conversation toward services or capabilities, you need to first meet them where they are.

On a successful discovery call, the prospect asks 8-10 questions on average. With about 30 minutes scheduled, what do you do with the rest of the time to make sure the call is successful?

What Makes a Discovery Call Successful?

A great discovery call will allow the prospect to do most of the talking, provide you with insights needed to navigate the deal further down your pipeline, and open the conversation up for those opportunities. In the end, you want the prospect to ask for a follow-up conversation. Getting that meeting scheduled before hanging up the call is the best scenario you could have. The whole goal is to get to that next meeting, but the first objective is to figure out if this is a fit, not just for the prospect, but for you as well. If it’s not, don’t be afraid to be honest about that.

Before going into your next discovery call, prepare yourself for the questions that you want to ask, but more importantly, be prepared to answer their questions. It’s hard to know exactly what will get asked, but you can anticipate these through preparation.

These are the top questions Catapult receives from agencies who are scheduling a discovery call for the first time:

  • What is the difference between meetings with inbound vs outbound leads?
  • How do I prepare the team before meeting with a prospect?
  • How can I use Winmo to prepare for these calls?

Eric Brown
VP Client Engagement at Catapult

“These are important foundational questions because not only does it make you think about your overall strategy for the call, it’s also giving your team a method to assess what kind of information you want to pull out of your prospect. Prioritizing what you need from this first call and helping the team prepare will really ensure you ace it.”

What is the difference between meetings with inbound vs outbound leads?

There is a big difference between inbound and outbound leads. Think of it as warm vs cold. Inbound is coming in through a relationship referral, your website, or they’ve reached out and connected with you because they want to hear more regarding your capabilities. There is already a specific need or project in place, and the conversation revolves around that.

An outbound lead is a conversation that you asked for, and the client likely won’t have a specific project or criteria defined. That presents a challenge when you’re wanting to win new business because it’s not as simple as sharing your capabilities deck. You have to uncover a problem that they have not yet acted on. So the main difference is that there isn’t a project or Agency of Record need to be scoped out yet.

How do I prepare the team before meeting with a prospect?

The first rule of a discovery call: don’t share your capabilities deck. If you’re in the habit of jumping on a discovery call and immediately sharing your screen and walking through all your capabilities and background on your agency, you’re missing a huge opportunity. Is this the best way to connect with the person on the other side and understand the pain points they’re experiencing?

The short answer is no. So how do you prepare for the unknown? You do this by researching the brand and prospect. This will allow you to uncover their pain points slowly without hard selling your services. These are a few places to start your research:

  • LinkedIn connections and posts.
  • News articles and industry updates.
  • Data around media spend, revenue, ad targeting, etc.

Knowing what is impacting the company and what they’re doing in the market now will help you anticipate some of those questions you’ll get asked. Oftentimes you are not the only one on the call though from your agency.

Preparing team members for the call takes some extra time, but it always pays off. In these cases, creating a meeting brief with the information above organized and call details added will help everyone get on the same page. In the brief, you should try answering these kinds of questions:

  • Has the brand launched a new product or service recently?
  • Is there new funding or shifts in their marketing budgets?
  • What kind of influence will the attendees on the call have?
  • Does the agency experience match the brands’ niche?

How can I use Winmo to prepare for these calls?

Winmo is an incredibly powerful tool, there are a ton of insights and a wealth of data that will help prepare the team before a discovery call. These are some of the key features Catapult uses to prepare a brief for its clients.

Carolina Gastley
VP of Client Services

“I look at the company page pretty regularly. The information here shows me where the company stands, and I make sure that I know what additional products or brands the company might have under its portfolio. I also look at who their current agency partners are and what services they might already offer to the brand. The most important place I look at though is revenue and media spend to make sure their spending level aligns with my goals. Making sure this relationship is the right prospect fit based on what kind of revenue they’re working with is just as important.”


Andrew Orlando
Director of Client Engagement

“WindmoEdge is a really nice tool. This is company news that focuses on marketing spend, CMO shifts, and campaigns. This tells me what’s going on, whether they got a round of funding or they acquired a brand. You never want to get caught on a prospect call and hear them share the news that’s already happened. You might hear something like ‘I’m not sure if you saw that in the news’ and that shows you were not prepared, so don’t be that person. You want to be on top of it and know what’s going on with the brand that you’re speaking with.”

 

You never want to be surprised. You want to be a leader, guiding the conversation. Ask questions that you already know the answers to because you’ve done that research ahead of time. It’s an informed question that shows your competency and really brings value to that conversation in their mind.

Hear more from Catapult in this webinar where we share best practices on not just knowing when the call was successful for you and the prospect, but how to keep the conversation going long after the call has ended.

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On-Demand Webinar: You got the meeting. Now What?

You Got The Meeting. Now What?

A discovery call is the first of many conversations and can be defined as a time to uncover where they are in their buying journey. Before guiding the conversation toward services or capabilities, you need to first meet them where they are.

On a successful discovery call, the prospect asks 8-10 questions on average. With about 30 minutes scheduled, what do you do with the rest of the time to make sure the call is successful?

A great discovery call will allow the prospect to do most of the talking, provide you with insights needed to navigate the deal further down your pipeline, and open the conversation up for those opportunities. In the end, you want the prospect to ask for a follow-up conversation. 

In this webinar, Catapult shares best practices on not just knowing when the call was successful for you and the prospect, but how to keep the conversation going long after the call has ended.

 

Join this webinar to learn:

What is the difference between meetings with inbound vs outbound leads?
How do I prepare the team before meeting with a prospect?
How can I use Winmo to prepare for these calls?

These questions are answered during the recording, but you can submit your questions through the chat and the Catapult team will be able to respond in real-time.

Getting Started With Lists

 

Continue Reading