Sales can be very competitive. What do you do when you meet someone in your industry who has some similar skills to yourself (perhaps even better!) and is a great person too? When you get the opportunity to work on a project with them, you take it! Mary Crampton shares how this worked for Magnify recently.
Making industry collaborations work for you
We’ve had some excellent experiences with sales industry collaboration here at Magnify. This is one of the modern ways you can grow your business – work on projects with other like-minded professionals whom you like and trust. This way, your team is fluid and can expand on demand as required.
The key to enjoying these business relationships is that you like and trust each other. Yes, you can sign a non-disclosure agreement so that confidentiality is assured. But aside from legal documents – you really want to enjoy the experience of working with someone else. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Personally, I had a great experience earlier this year working on a tender with Robbie McKechnie from Now Procure IT – a team of procurement and commercial specialists. Robbie and I worked together to craft a tender response from Magnify for an unexpected project with a fast-approaching deadline.
When to call in a tender expert
I’d have to say that working with Robbie on this tender literally saved my sanity that month. When I reflect on this tender, I honestly don’t know how we would have been able to do it without calling in help from Now Procure IT. It was already a busy month for Magnify, and the tender created even more pressure.
It was fantastic to be able to partner with such a consummate professional who was just kept on adding value to the process. Until I had the opportunity to work with Robbie, I did not realise how incredibly complex the tendering process could be. I remember Robbie laughing and saying – ‘It’s only a small tender!’. It was 28 pages long, which is small as far as tenders go. It was also reasonably simple – no high-tech specs required.
‘Goodness me!’ I thought, ‘what’s it like with a really big tender?’
As I worked with Robbie on this tender, I got a whole lot of insight about the value that he and Sharon Petherick add to this process. Robbie shared that when required, they work with clients at the weekend. After all, if a very large deal is at stake and a deadline for submission is approaching – sometimes you just have to pull out all the stops. I’m sure that Robbie’s other clients really appreciate the effort that Now Procure IT put into this whole process.
What are the benefits of working with a tender expert?
Robbie had excellent strategic insights about the process and his tech skills also helped us get all the documents in order. The whole process was so streamlined that all our other Magnify projects were completed – no chargeable hours were compromised in the submitting of the tender.
Going back to our first paragraph – Robbie was just an all-round good person to work with. Nothing was too much trouble, no question too silly. I was able to trust in his expertise and discuss any concerns openly. Thankfully Robbie has so much experience that he was always able to come up with solutions. I lost track of how many phone calls and emails I made to Robbie. It was wonderful to work with someone who really cared about this tender as much as Magnify did.
Another thing that I really appreciated was Robbie’s honesty. He wasn’t 100% sure that we would win the tender – not because of the quality of our work, but because we did not quite fit all the tender criteria as exactly as we would have liked. So, Robbie and I agreed that a big goal for this whole process was to do the best tender that Magnify could, to represent our business professionally so that our reputation was enhanced, whether we won or lost.
Keeping that long-term focus really helped to reduce a lot of my nerves. How fantastic to have someone else pushing this along – and what a relief to know that it was worth tendering, even if we didn’t win, because we showed the potential client our professionalism and commitment to excellence.
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Result – one tender submitted almost 24 hours ahead of time
When we finally submitted the tender, Robbie’s expert help meant we were so organised that the tender was sent in almost 24 hours ahead of time. This was a great relief, and had the added benefit of demonstrating our organisation and reliability.
So – did we win the tender? No, unfortunately not.
Did we learn from the process? Most definitely!
Would we work with Robbie and Now Procure IT again? Absolutely yes! In fact, I’ve already recommended Robbie to a contact who may work with Now Procure IT in the future.
Excellent collaboration delivers many business benefits
Probably the biggest learning was just how great it is to collaborate with another business in a similar space. Now Procure IT and Magnify both help clients to win new business, but we’re each performing different important roles for our clients. It’s not a choice between one of us and not the other – it’s exciting to see how our two offerings work together and complement each other.
Thanks again Robbie for all your hard work. It was great fun seeing your professionalism and passion for writing tender responses and making a complex process incredibly simple. Magnify is looking forward to working with you again.