Win More Deals Handshake

As some of you do daily, I religiously read the content shared on Twitter by some of the most influential minds in our industry. Back in November 2013, I saw a cool stat published by Steve Richard of Vorsight while he was at Dreamforce 2013. I’ve been meaning to write my thoughts about it especially because this personally impacted me while at a company years ago.

Steve Richard




I’m glad to see that we’ve got research now confirming what we’ve known anecdotally all along: if you help shape the RFP, you’ve got nearly 3 in 4 chance of winning a deal. If that figure wasn’t important enough, look at the stat of just replying to a defined RFP (one in which you’ve had no influence); it’s less than 15%. This nearly 60% gap can absolutely make or break a sales quota.

Going in Blind

If you’re a company that’s blindly replying to RFPs, it’s a strategy that can only take you so far. Have you (or are you) working for a company whose strategy includes responding to RFPs from the plethora of RFP warehouse sites? I have and let me tell you, it’s no fun. I believe I had a whopping success rate of 5%-10%. Just the sheer effort it took to complete one of these RFPs was monumental. And, it seldom only involved me. It required people from different departments that were already stretched too thin on time. I would venture to take a guess that it took the company 30-100 hours of effort to really build a solid RFP.

That’s a lot of time!

As I think back to what this meant, replying blindly to two RFPs/month basically meant I was spending a 25% of my time (at the bare minimum) on wishful thinking. A hope and a prayer may have had more chance at success!

Lay Down the Mines & Set the Booby Traps

It’s important you shape the RFP because you’ll not only have the opportunity to show your solution in a good light, you’ll also be able to ensure your competitors’ disadvantages are highlighted (to the extreme, if possible). We call this laying down the mines and setting the booby traps.

Let’s get down to basics here. How are you going to shape the next RFP you’re interested in? Before we answer this, let’s work backwards first. How will you be able to build rapport and show enough value so that you’re invited to shape the RFP? I think this is the real question. If you don’t have a strategy for this then you’ve fundamentally lost before you’ve started.

Most customers today have developed catchy ways to tune out sales people and their blind cold calling and e-mailing. These strategies alone demonstrate virtually zero value.

Social Media

Go Social

Adding Social to your mix of prospecting will allow you to learn a lot more about your prospects/buyers. It will enable you to have very relevant and contextual conversations about topics that buyers are already interested in. Why cold call for Solution ABC when your prospect may be interested in Solution XYZ, instead?

So go ahead. Go Social. It’ll allow you to build rapport, trust, and most importantly create value first before expecting it in return. This will pave the way for you to be able to shape the RFPs of tomorrow, lay down the mines, set the booby traps and, most importantly, give yourself a statistical dominance of winning over your competitors.

The Bottom Line

Social selling is an important skill you’ll need to pick up if you’re serious about sales. It’s not difficult; it’s just different. If you have any questions on how to get started, contact me and I can help you.

After all, winning RFPs strategically is better than spending your time blindly.

To learn more about Social Selling check out 10 Steps to Becoming a Social Selling Machine or 9 Steps to a Winning LinkedIn Profile for Sales Professionals. For tips, tricks and more rants, we could always set-up a time to chat using my below schedule …

Amar Sheth


So what are you waiting for? Download the below guides .

9 Step Thumb10 Step Book

Jamie Shanks

Author: Jamie Shanks

Jamie Shanks is a world-leading Social Selling expert and author of the book, "Social Selling Mastery - Scaling Up Your Sales And Marketing Machine For The Digital Buyer". A true pioneer in the space of digital sales transformation, Jamie Shanks has trained over 10,000's of sales professionals and leaders all around the world.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Blogs

Sep 20, 2019 1:04 pm
Social Media for Sales vs. Social Selling: What’s the Difference? [Infographic]

For years, the above has been a recurring question that I’ve received from sales executives, business owners, and sales leaders. They often misunderstand the word ‘social’ in ‘social selling’ by connecting social media with what their children do on Facebook, Snapchat, and Instagram, instead of correlating ‘social’ as a mechanism to do two important things:

Aug 30, 2019 1:00 pm
Train The Trainer: What Most Sales Enablement Strategies Are Missing

After seven years of working with 350-400 customers, it recently dawned on me that there’s a fundamental flaw in the sales training industry. For context, consultants like us typically go into market and provide sales leaders with basic training on how to be a coach of modern, digital sales skills. We then train the sellers … Continue reading “Train The Trainer: What Most Sales Enablement Strategies Are Missing”

Jul 28, 2019 2:00 pm
Are You Building Pipeline in Squads or Pods?

Over the last couple of years, many of our customers have been asking us to identify the go-to-market strategy, and specific execution points, around selling in teams. Some companies call it squads, some companies call it pods – but ultimately Aristotle’s definition of synergy – which states that the whole is greater than the sum … Continue reading “Are You Building Pipeline in Squads or Pods?”

May 28, 2019 2:04 pm
Let’s Talk Sales!

This Podcast is about the inspirational journey of Jamie Shanks, the CEO of Sales for life who has trained over 100 thousand personnel across various verticals in sales. He provided training in six continents in organizations such as Microsoft, Oracle, American Airlines, and many more! He has also authored highly acclaimed books such as Spear … Continue reading “Let’s Talk Sales!”