How Versiti won a challenging 5 figure RFP with a prestigious client and no prior client relationships.

The Client

Versiti is an insight, innovation and inclusion consultancy that helps brands, charities and public sector organisations to grow and innovate through the creation of inclusive brands and organisations. Their research and consultancy services deliver future-focussed strategies.

Dr Marie-Claude Gervais, Co-Founder and Research Director at Versiti, recognised that despite having worked in the sector for some 20 years, an external perspective was required for a complex research project RFP, to ensure it would hit the mark with the commissioner.

Piscari worked in collaboration with Versiti’s commercial team on an RFP qualification and review process. This ensured a rigorous process and independent perspective was brought to support ultimately winning this prestigious client.


“Despite having worked in the sector for some 20 years myself, I reached out to Mike to help us ensure that a submission for a complex research project would hit the mark with the commissioner. Mike has been utterly impressive. He dissected the brief and the client’s requirements with razor-sharp focus, and identified exactly what needed to be done to tick each and every procurement box. Mike’s forensic approach and constructive criticism forced us to plug gaps, identify efficiencies and really demonstrate (not just claim) our capabilities and expertise. He also helped us strike the balance right between the technical and commercial aspects of the procurement process. Mike’s expertise is matched by his warmth and general helpfulness. Altogether a hugely supportive experience, with plenty of learning that we can take to the next procurement process.””

Dr Marie-Claude Gervais

Co-founder and Research Director, Versiti


Mike, very clearly, has a passion for helping others succeed. His depth of knowledge and expertise have been invaluable in recent times. With only a few sessions, we’ve learnt how to ensure our current and future proposals are the very best that they can be from both a technical and commercial standpoint.

Kerry Poulson

Senior Project Manager, Versiti

The Challenges

There were three key challenges that needed to be addressed:

  • Validating that this was a RFP that was “winnable”.
  • Understanding what a procurement buyer would be looking for in the submission.
  • Having an independent “critical friend” to push Versiti’s thinking and help them demonstrate and “evidence” their wealth of experience.

The Approach

Working with Versiti’s bid team, we undertook the following steps:

  • Reviewed the RFP to confirm if they should bid or no-bid.
  • Reviewed and scored Versiti’s draft tender response using the RFP scoring framework. Piscari also leveraged their understanding of the commercial vs technical weighting in line with the MEAT and BPQR scoring methodologies.
  • Provided extensive commentary and a rationale for Piscari’s scoring that Versiti used to refine their tender prior to final submission.

Outcomes and Benefits

Ultimately, Versiti won this important, 5 figure RFP with a prestigious client; additional benefits included:

  • Upskilling the bid team with new insights into the mind of the procurement buyer.
  • Building a trusted relationship with an independent “critical friend” for engagement on future RFPs.
  • Constructive challenge to bid-mindsets and how to make improvements in the future.

“The one to one coaching sessions with the team helped identify unique sales negotiation training gaps. Mike’s tailored approach to each individual has helped fine tune the sales team’s skills in their very own roles.” Tehmeena Latif, Head of Sales EMEA.

What’s next for the bid team at Versiti?

Versiti is set for considerable growth in the coming years given its extensive depth of experience and insight into diversity and inclusion. One of the key growth enablers will be the focus on bigger pitches for large national and international clients, all of which require enhanced skills around RFP qualification and high-scoring tender submissions.

Mike Lander,
CEO Piscari

Why Piscari? Our Difference

We asked the Versiti bid team “How is Piscari different from other sales/RFP coaches you’ve worked with”? The answer came down to three key things:

  • Mike really cared. He cared about us as people and cared about the quality of the outcome.
  • He challenged our mindset. Through the review process, Mike was able to constructively challenge our thinking. This ensured we submitted a response that not only “answered the exam questions” but also evidenced and added value to maximise our scores.
  • Mike’s experience as a procurement buyer. The ability to help Versiti see this RFP from a buyer’s perspective was invaluable.

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