High Stakes Pitch Kit
Did you submit your response to an RFP and now need to pitch (attend orals)? Increase your odds of winning the deal with a pitch that helps your client choose you and your solution.
The High Stakes Pitch Kit (HSPK) is a self-service, single-use resource to guide your pitch team to develop and deliver a consistent, confident, and differentiated message. The clear pitch strategy and structure also shifts team prep time from manipulating slides to practicing effective delivery.
Ready to improve your pitch? Click on a thumbnail to see if the HSPK is right for your team.
High Stakes Pitch Kit Overview
After submitting a proposal in response to a major RFP, the client often invites finalists to pitch their solution (AKA 'orals').
Don't make the mistake of using this golden opportunity to continue educating your client on your technology, structure, and experience. Your proposal already covered that.
Orals are the time to motivate your client to CHOOSE YOU.
That means answering critical questions: What makes your solution and your team different? How is that going to help your client be successful? Are you confident you can deliver on your promises? Does your team act and sound like a team? Are you someone your client can trust and want to work with?
The High Stakes Pitch Kit (HSPK) gives pitch teams a common structure and set of best practices to develop and deliver a pitch that is consistent, confident, and differentiated. It distills years of pitch coaching experience and puts it in a self-service, affordable format.
Each Kit includes:
Single use printed materials to develop a pitch for a specific proposal including a pitch strategy guide, a message framework workbook for a compelling launch & landing, five message framework workbooks for the technical or commercial portions of the pitch, Q&A prep sheets, and dry run review sheets.
Online videos walk your team through the printed materials, provide examples, and review best practices (for delivery in person or remotely, visuals, effective Q&A, dry runs). Each kit includes access to the online content for three weeks.
Describe your image
Describe your image
Describe your image
Describe your image
HSPK Return on Investment Calculator
Does the High Stakes Pitch Kit (HSPK) offer enough value for your situation?
Do you need to justify the investment to your leadership team?
Use this calculator by:
1) Honestly assessing your team's pitch challenges
2) Entering the expected revenue for this contract / project being pitched
3) Entering your expected margin for this contract / project
The calculator does not collect or allow us to see these numbers or your contact info
If you don't have a competitive or superior proposal, the HSPK won't help
The Net Present Value (NPV) estimates the total value of using the HSPK in this situation.
Calculated as [Increased likelihood of winning * Revenue * Margin]
The Return on Investment (ROI) estimates your financial return on your HSPK purchase
Calculated as [NPV-HSPK price)/HSPK price]
HSPK Fit Assessment
Answer Yes or No to each of the Criteria questions below to see if HSPK fits your needs and situation.
If it doesn't, a better alternative may be Deal Coaching or Deliberate Message Training.
Have questions about the High Stakes Pitch Kit? Here's a great place to start to start.
What comes in the High Stakes Pitch Kit?
The Kit includes:
Printed materials to develop a pitch for a specific proposal including a pitch strategy guide, a message framework workbook for the pitch launch (the compelling start & end), and five message framework workbooks for the technical or commercial portions of the pitch, Q&A prep sheets, and dry run review sheets.
Online videos that walk each member of the team through the instructions for the printed materials, examples, and best practices (for delivery in person or remotely, visuals, effective Q&A, dry runs). The pitch team will have access to the online content for three weeks.
How do I determine if, when, and where to use a Kit?
Use the Fit Assessment above to see if a Kit is good fit for your situation. Criteria include the bidding situation, deal size, and pitch team makeup.
Use the ROI Calculator to estimate the value of purchasing and using the Kit. Is it worth the cost?
How long does it take to use the Kit to prepare for the pitch?
Once you have a Kit in hand and have sent the materials to your team, expect parts of at least seven working days to prepare. It may take longer for complex pitches or when team members have significant time commitments to other projects or their daily work.
Access to online videos is available for three weeks to give your team a buffer to prepare or if the pitch is slightly delayed.
Should we keep the Kit box?
Yes. Use the box to store completed workbooks, a copy of the pitch slide deck, and review notes as a reference. Record the pitch details on the side of the box and store on your bookcase or in your file cabinet. It’s a great reference to share your thought process, assumptions, and messaging with your co-workers.
Will the Kit train my team how to effectively present or pitch?
The Kit is not training. It is designed to walk the team through a process to develop a specific pitch for a specific opportunity.
The online content will give core advice on how to effectively prepare and deliver the pitch. This content will improve your team’s skills. But it is very focused on developing and delivering THIS pitch, not general messaging and presentation skills.
To develop your skills or the skills of your team, consider Deliberate Message training (link). There are several options available, from live team training workshops to individual online training subscriptions.
How do pitch teams typically struggle when preparing a pitch without help?
Lacks clear differentiation
Goes over allotted time
Poor structure & flow
“Death by PowerPoint”: Too many slides and/or slides that are too dense
Too much text, not enough visuals
Emphasis on “look & feel” of slides over message
Inconsistent, low confidence delivery
Overly formal language
Poor transitions between speakers
Poor handling of questions or objections
Poor remote (Zoom/Teams) delivery practices or discipline
Spending too much time selecting or building slides
Not enough time dedicated for practice
Executives or Marketing “parachuting in” at the last moment, forcing changes, and damaging the team’s confidence
Any of these challenges are likely to lead the client to worry about poor ability, teamwork & coordination if they award you the contract.
Why do pitch teams typically struggle when preparing a pitch on their own?
Pitch teams are often subject matter experts pulled from different parts of the organization based on the account, scope of work, and availability. This means team members often don’t know each other, have different levels of pitch experience and skill, and may not have the confidence to speak up or question assumptions from louder members of the team.
Most members of the pitch team are already busy. It’s hard to carve out time to work on their pitch content. Because timelines to prepare the pitch tend to be aggressive, teams tend to repeat what’s been done in other presentations because it is easier and faster. The result is technical, informative, generic content instead of the persuasive content needed at this stage of the RFP cycle.
At this stage, the client doesn’t need to be educated. They most likely believe all final bidders are technically qualified. Now they need to understand why they should (or shouldn’t) choose you. That takes a different messaging approach and a confident delivery.
Will the Kit guarantee we win the contract?
No. The Kit doesn’t change your solution, pricing, or existing relationship with the client.
When you have a competitive or superior solution, the Kit helps you highlight what makes you different and compelling. In short, it helps prevent you from losing the contract with poor messaging and delivery.
What do I need to do as the pitch team leader?
Get the Kit in hand at least three weeks before the pitch.
Distribute materials to your pitch team.
Watch the online videos as you work through the Strategy Guide workbook (preferably with the senior stakeholders and/or senior members of the pitch team) to document core assumptions, define the core message, and plan.
Share your work with your presenters to guide their messages.
Get your presenters to watch the videos, complete their message frameworks, and develop their media/slides.
Schedule and facilitate the Q&A prep, dry runs, and dress rehearsal.
Cheer on your presenters and build their confidence as the team practices their delivery.
Win the contract.
Capture lessons learned and archive your team’s pitch materials to leverage in future pursuits.
Get some well-deserved rest.
Does my team need to be together when using the Kit?
That would be great – it would increase discussion, collaboration, feedback, and team building. But your team can be distributed and work on their own as they watch the videos, fill in their workbooks, and prepare their individual messages. They will need to practice together (in person or remotely) during dry runs and the dress rehearsal.
When possible, the pitch leaders should work together (in person or remotely) as they work through the Strategy Guide workbook.
How much does the High Stakes Pitch Kit cost?
The Kit is $2500.
Feedback from early testing was that the Kit could be priced at $5000 or more. But our goal was to make individual kits much more affordable to be able to support more deals… and priced low enough to be purchased with a credit card rather than going through a Purchase Order process.
Discounts are available for Kits bought in bulk (see next question)
How do I order Kits?
Purchase individual Kits online (link) using your credit card.
Purchase Kits in bulk (10+ at a time) by working with your procurement team to set up a Purchase Order. Volume discounts are available. Contact us for more information.
Should we keep Kits in stock?
When your organization pitches large deals multiple times per year, it is a good idea to keep Kits on hand and ready to use immediately. This helps when timelines are short (aren’t they all?), pitch leaders are extremely busy (aren’t they all?), and volume discounts are appreciated (aren’t they always?).
Is there a digital version of the Kit?
Not yet. But the physical Kit comes with access to digital materials:
Videos with instructions, best practices, and examples
The Q&A Planning Sheet
The Dry Run Review Sheet
What should I do if we have excess materials?
Depending on the length of the pitch, you may have unused Solution Message Framework workbooks. Save them to use with another Kit for a future pitch.
What if we need extra workbooks?
If you have a long pitch (over 4 hours), you may need additional Solution Message Framework workbooks. Contact us as soon as possible to discuss options.
What if we need extra Dry Run Review Sheets or Q&A Sheets?
You may make copies of these two sheets as needed to support this pitch.
Can we make copies of the Workbooks?
No. The intent and pricing are based on one-time use for a specific pitch. The Terms & Conditions you or your organization accept when purchasing the Kit prohibit copying or capturing any portion of the Workbooks or online content.
There are several pages in the Strategy Guide workbook that may be copied and distributed to the team once they are filled out. These pages are clearly marked in the Strategy Guide and called out in the online video instructions.
Why are there highlighters in the Kit?
There are exercises in the Strategy Guide that call for highlighting.
Who may access the online content?
Up to 25 members of the pitch team and pitch stakeholders (Executive Leadership, Marketing, Subject Matter Experts, etc.) may access the online content. At a minimum they should view the videos related to their pitch role, but they are welcome to watch all the videos.
How does the team access the online content?
The Kit contains a card with the URL and QR code for the training and a unique access code. Each participant will need use that access code to register at the URL. The content will be available for three weeks starting when the unique access code in the Kit is used by any participant.
What if my pitch team needs coaching while using the Kit?
Remote coaching hours can be purchased based on availability.
Where is additional coaching most likely to help my team?
There are four primary areas where teams may benefit from a coach while using the Kit:
Reviewing the Strategy Guide exercises and validating assumptions.
Developing the Win Theme for the pitch launch.
Reviewing slides / visuals.
Facilitating dry runs and the dress rehearsal.
How many coaching hours are typically needed?
It depends on the specific help your team needs. Some estimates:
Review your Strategy Guide and validate assumptions: 1 Hour
Develop & tailor two Win Theme options: 3 Hours
Review slides / visuals & recommend improvements: 1-3 Hours
Facilitate a dry run or dress rehearsal to coach delivery: hours of pitch x 1.5 (per practice)
(example: a 4 hour pitch x 1.5 x 1 practice = 6 hours)
How much does hourly coaching cost?
What are the key differences between the Kit and using a Deal Coach?
The Kit is a self-service, general solution that provides structure and best practice in an affordable format. It works well but requires a motivated team and leadership to keep the team focused and on track.
For Public Sector / Government pitches with classified content, the Kit provides structure and support without the need to find a Deal Coach who possesses a security clearance.
Live Deal Coaching is recommended for deals over USD$20MM. While more expensive, a coach takes charge of the process to:
allow the pitch leader to participate (rather than facilitate)
deal with internal politics
question team assumptions
call out BS
provide creative input for the Win Theme
facilitate dry runs & the dress rehearsal
provide actionable feedback
build individual & team confidence
take any blame
Is coaching available for large deals instead of using the Kit?
Yes, based on availability. Typically, deal coaching takes three or more full days depending on length and complexity of pitch.
Is deal coaching more expensive than the Kit?
Yes. Pricing starts at $15,000 for a deal, depending on length of the pitch, complexity of the pitch, and travel requirements (if any).
It requires multiple days using a rare and expensive resource: an experienced & effective deal coach (sometimes two coaches if the pitch includes concurrent sessions or a customer workshop).