The Finishing Line

Getting your proposal from second place to first, in 5 days or less…

“Hi, I’ve called to let you know the results of the evaluation process. We’ve considered your offer in some detail, and the responses you’ve given to our clarification questions. It was a very close decision, but I’m sorry to tell you that we’ve decided to award the contract to someone else.”

There’s no feeling worse (in business, at least) than coming second place on a tender that you know you could have won. Not only have you lost the immediate revenue, you’ve also missed the potential to open up or expand a profitable relationship that could have sustained your business for years.

The difference between second place and first is often found in the little details.

  • Was your executive summary clear enough?
  • Could the customer’s evaluation team really see the benefits of the solution you were offering?
  • Had you actually answered the question in the tender response?
  • Was the boilerplate text helpful to the customer, or just a distraction that irritated them?
  • Was the response consistent, and thoughtful in its language and structure?

These details can add up to a few percentage points on your evaluation score. What would it be worth to your business, to up your proposal scores by 5%? How many extra contracts would you close?

The Offer

Finishing Line Proposal Review

We will measurably improve the quality of your proposal, including:

  1. A rigorous review of your draft response, using your customer’s evaluation model to create a dummy evaluation score that independently assesses how well you have answered the questions.
  2. A written assessment of areas of strength and weakness in the original proposal, explaining the rationale for the scores that have been provided;
  3. Specific and detailed recommendations for changes that will result in higher evaluation scores in the revised proposal that you are preparing.

The recommendations will take the form of a concise review document and a debrief and discussion of the required improvements with your team.

Depending on the specific needs of your team, we can also offer the following additional options.

Proposal Coaching

All of the elements identified in the Finishing Line offer, plus in addition:

  1. A Facilitated workshop with your sales and solution team to develop the win strategy and key themes for the proposal. Includes planning templates, Seven Steps to Proposal Success book and high level proposal plan
  2. Ongoing critical review, advice and feedback on elements of the proposal as it develops; available via weekly audio conferences with the team, moving to daily in the last week before the submission deadline

Proposal Leadership

Full management of the proposal production process, including all of the elements in the Finishing Line and Proposal Coaching, plus in addition:

  1. Ownership and management of the proposal production process
  2. Market and competitive analysis, assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your organisation against your competitors
  3. Graphics, editorial and version management for the proposal
  4. Post-submission debrief and lessons learned workshop, including briefing for executive management on areas for improvement in future proposals.


The value of the work will be measured based on you or your team’s assessment that

  • The evaluation scoring is fair and reasonable
  • The recommendations, if implemented, will result in a noticeably improved proposal

Our work is guaranteed. If you aren’t happy with the quality of what we do, then we offer a 100% money back guarantee.

What we don’t do is guarantee that you will win the bid, though. The reason for this is simple: to win, you need your whole team’s active and enthusiastic involvement and accountability. In the rare instances where we have seen accountability for the success of a bid outsourced to a third party, the effect is that the internal team feels less responsible for (and engaged in) the process. The results are rarely what either side expect.


You are responsible for providing copies of the invitation to tender and associated documents, along with the draft proposal and other supporting documents. We are responsible for all other materials and equipment required to do the work.

Workshop and other face-to-face events will take place at your offices. Other activities will be carried out off-site.

Click here to contact us to arrange a free 1 hour review of your current proposal and needs.