Jonathan McCallum joined George P. Johnson UK, over seven years ago as Vice President, Chief Strategy Officer and was promoted in 2021 to Managing Director UK & Nordics. With his experience rooted in strategy, Jonathan McCallum leads the agency’s approach to strategy fueled experience design and underpins the importance of being client-centric. Building on the momentum the agency had seen, in 2022 Jonathan led the UK team to achieve significant growth despite the turbulent industry landscape; opening new offices across the globe, doubling in size and welcoming new global partners. His work spans across GPJ’s client portfolio, overseeing teams like Cisco, IBM, DP World,, Workday, Envestnet, and Equinor. Jonathan continues to help GPJ evolve and push new approaches to creating environments and experiences in physical, as well as digital, spaces; informing and inspiring the solutions to positively influence the success of clients.

In this episode, Jonathan helps us explore the intricacies of B2B sales success, particularly how procurement strategies and relationship building influence winning business pitches. Jonathan shares his insights on the significance of procurement teams and the power of pre-existing connections in closing deals. We’ll also discuss the evolution of procurement technologies and their impact on client-agency dynamics.

Topics covered during this episode include:

  • Why understanding client motivations and procurement objectives is vital in the pitch process.
  • How a competitive spirit in sports parallels strategic business moves for commercial success.
  • Why over 70% of business pitch victories are linked to pre-existing client relationships.
  • More advantages of having prior engagement with clients in business pitches.
  • Why nurturing procurement relationships is essential, even outside the standard RFP process.
  • How quality quarterly business reviews and service level agreements impact client satisfaction.
  • Why automated RFP processes can limit the development of client-agency relationships.
  • How artificial intelligence might influence future procurement strategies and agency dynamics.
  • Why focusing on pitch wins rather than losses can improve commercial success rates.
  • How agency dynamics and client selection criteria contribute to successful business pitches.
  • Why agencies should be selective in bid qualification to increase win percentages.
  • How relationship-building with procurement teams can lead to contract extensions.
  • Why understanding pricing and client perspectives is crucial for agencies in pitches.
  • How AI may assist in providing insights, but cannot replace creativity or relationship-building.

Jonathan McCallum on LinkedIn: