Anatomy of a $44 million win:
Large Commercial builder: Library Project sales campaign

Industry: Commercial Construction
Engagement type: Large sales pursuit
Win strategy workshop
Integrating the story into proposals and presentation
Finalist presentation planning and development

Process highlights

Winning a large sales pursuit usually entails more than talking about your offerings and differentiators, or filling out an RFP accurately. If the budget is in the tens of millions, then you can be sure your prospect has done their homework and has invited other stunning contenders to the same party. Atlanta City leaders selected the top construction firms in the region to compete for a landmark project which included a significant redesign and rebuilding of the Central Atlanta public library building. Like all of the top firms invited, our large commercial builder client had a winning team and a stellar track record with landmark projects like this one. Just answering the RFP requirements alone would not be enough to set them apart in a highly competitive field, they needed a bold move in how they organized the effort and how they communicated their vision.

Process Highlights


Win strategy work sessions

We selected a wide range of stakeholders involved with every stage in the project to pool information and form a win strategy. Stakeholders including, building design partners, estimators, 3D technologist, planners, visualizers, Project executives, project managers, Winter executives, and the marketing team. The wide array of viewpoints from every angle allowed us to plot a large amount of intelligence and information regarding the key buyers and influencers, the competitive landscape, the priority points that each buyer and influencer needed to hear, and important details regarding the approach and the most resonating ways the project details could be delivered


Conceptual & message framework

A message framework was created to help organize the vast array of building execution detail into a powerful narrative we named “The Central Experience”. For example, the technology plan for the building greatly expands the capacity for technology to be a central access point for critical information for people who would otherwise not have access. The design of the spaces in the new building would incorporate a central meeting places for community groups, the new building would provide a central destination for families to engage in lifelong learning and so on. This message platform set the foundation for executing the editorial and visual components of the proposal and presentation.


Building the proposal

The proposal was constructed in an editorial fashion with a high degree of production values and visual punch that are generally missing in most proposals. The proposal was developed to provide easy access to the critical logistics details without losing the power of “The Central” narrative that painted the resonating vision.


Finalist presentation

Our client’s win strategy helped push them into the finalist round which consisted of a final live presentation to the wide array of City leaders, Library system leaders, and city politicians. Since we built the story framework with a brand approach(a system of reusable modules) we were able to help them quickly build a powerful presentation by applying the same content and visual elements from our proposal. This proved to be a significant advantage as the time frame from announcing finalist to the live presentation was less than a week. This allowed the team to quickly build a highly polished and targeted presentation around the story narrative used on the proposal. Having a solid message and visual framework allowed the presentation team to devote the maximum amount of time for the team to practice and hone their presentation. In an effort to further differentiate the presentation portion of the pursuit we created a placemat format and embedded an interactive format that helped engage the city leaders to share their vision in “the Central” experience. This proved to be the winning combination and the the project was awarded to our client.


Finalist presentation