The Sales Proposal Architect plays a critical role to support the sales team by building a strong customer value proposition into MSDC and Sales plans at every step, from planning to execution. As a strategic partner to Field Sales, the Sales Proposal Architect must develop a deep understanding of what it takes to win in market, acting as the “voice of the customer” within the organization. As a senior resource on the team, this role owns areas of high complexity and significant business impact, which may require understanding multiple offers and/or customers via sub-segmentation. In addition, they will be expected to take on visible leadership responsibilities within the team and for project work that crosses multiple customers, segments and/or internal functions. Team members in this role must build and demonstrate strategic and organizational agility, plus effective negotiation bringing data, insights, and strong interpersonal skills to influence a wide range of solutions and decisions in a fast-paced environment.
Key responsibilities include
- Collaborate with various Segment and transversal functions to guide development of strong and innovative proposals to address clients’ needs and represent the best of Sodexo.
- Ensure value propositions are clearly articulated within the proposal and is woven throughout (“stringing the red-thread”) to differentiate Sodexo and ensure the proposal is cohesive.
- Focus support on proposal development efforts for defined BDEs and accountable to deliver winning proposals and boost Sodexo’s conversion rate, while supporting all bids through innovative content, and enhanced presentations in conjunction with Creative Services.
- Provide BDEs with leverage to concentrate on business development activities outside of proposal development.
- Support efforts to develop strategies and gain insights for accounts in pipeline to set the team up for success in the future.
- Ownership of key process within the sales functions. Examples could include the consultant strategy, competitor intelligence, rankings, or awards.
Primary Duties & Responsibilities
- Support BDEs in proposal and presentation development – detailed responsibilities include:
- Lead work between all departments and sales teams to develop strong strategies and plans to drive success within proposal planning & development. Ensure that sales has the tools needed to drive growth across the pipeline and that the business has a clear understanding of sales targets.
- Participates in pursuit kickoff meetings with Field Sales and Sales Leadership and drives brainstorming sessions with to review clients’ needs and to develop Sodexo’s value proposition for the proposal customized to new Customer Segmentation Model.
- Working with Commercial Finance, enhance the Customer Value Proposition (margin, growth, differentiation, ease of execution) leveraging offer options, customer feedback, and after bid reviews to improve plans year on year.
- Identify what solutions are required to address clients’ needs and deliver Sodexo’s value proposition.
- Participate in the Segment’s resource allocation process to procure the correct SMEs develop the technical details and components for the required solutions.
- Participate in presentations and negotiations as necessary, bringing technical expertise, customer stories, and insights into the processes.
- Oversee development of technical solutions to address client needs – detailed responsibilities include:
- Provide Technical Solution Developers with information on clients’ needs and context on broader value proposition.
- Lead cross-team strategy & solution sessions to ensure developed solutions are cohesive, meet specific client needs, and are grounded in data & actionable insights.
- Iterate on proposed solutions with Technical Solution Developers to achieve desired outcomes (i.e., to address client needs and reflect Sodexo’s value propositions).
- Proactively work with Creative Services to ensure that all proposals are current, relevant by customer segment, and of high quality.
- Conduct quality assurance to ensure proposal are clear, communicate the value proposition, and meet requirements outlined by prospective client.
- Proactively develop strategies for accounts in pipeline. – detailed responsibilities include:
- In conjunction with Sales VPs, target key accounts in the pipeline within higher education market and determine specific client needs. The proposal architect should understand the issues facing particular universities and how to articulate and position solutions against those issues.
- Develop and maintain WOI for these key accounts.
- Determine if key markets need a PR and communications plan to expand Sodexo messaging in key target markets. Develop plan in conjunction with SMEs.
- Work closely with the MSDC to target messaging to key accounts in pipeline.
- Key project work - detailed responsibilities include:
- One or two projects will be assigned to manage on a national level. Proposal architect will own, manage, and develop projects, and report as needed to the sales team.
- Strong leadership, motivational and collaborative skills with high ability to influence without authority across a team of diverse stakeholders (including Sales leadership, Field Sales, Marketing, Insights, Technical Solution Developers, Finance, HR, Legal, and Operations) who are not direct reports and are rarely co-located.
- Experience in a client-facing sales role with proven sales acumen. Ability to nurture relationships with current and prospective clients and ability to identify and solution for clients’ needs.
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills. Ability to accurately translate technical knowledge and requirements into clear and concise communications for a diverse range of internal and external stakeholders. Ability to tell compelling stories and sell listeners on value of proposed approach.
- Strong problem-solving skills with an ability to analyze and interpret contractual, financial, technical, operational data and commercial terms. Ability to identify how Sodexo’s technical solutions can address the key needs of a client / prospective client.
- Strong organizational capabilities to ensure timely completion of deliverables.
- Understanding of Universities’ go-to-market strategy, position in the marketplace, and the strengths and weaknesses of competitors' services and products, and the ability to apply this understanding to new business opportunities.
- Understanding of current and emerging technologies, and the practical / potential application of these technologies to current and future operating models
- Understanding of agile methods and processes, and capable of supporting agile project
- BS required; MBA preferred
- 8-10+ years of relevant professional experience
- Experience in customer-facing solution sales, product / service design, and/or systems / enterprise consulting
- Project management experience is a plus
- Direct reports: None
- Type of bids supported: complex bids (>$10M) – focused on new business
- Internal interfaces could include but are not limited to: Strategy, Research, Marketing, Technology, Operations, Finance, HR, and Legal
- External interfaces could include but are not limited to: consultants, strategic consultants, clients, suppliers
- This role will have a direct impact on Segment achieving growth targets
The Sales Solution Architect 1 plays a key role in a designated region by building a strong customer value proposition into Marketing plans at every step, from planning to execution. As a partner to both the field sales & marketing teams, the Sales Solution Architect 1 will develop an understanding of what it takes to win in market, acting as the “voice of the customer” within the assigned region.
As a resource on the team, this role supports areas of complexity and business impact, which may require understanding multiple offers and/or customers via sub-segmentation.
Team Members in this role must build and demonstrate organizational agility, plus effective negotiation bringing data, insights, and strong interpersonal skills to influence a wide range of decisions in a fast-paced environment.
Support the collaboration with various Segment and transversal functions to guide development of strong and innovative proposals to address clients’ needs and represent the best of Sodexo.
Ensure value propositions are clearly articulated within the proposal and are woven throughout (“stringing the red-thread”) to differentiate Sodexo and ensure the proposal is cohesive.
Provide Field Sales and Sales leaders with support to concentrate on upstream, longer term business development activities and minimize churn during proposal development process.
Key Responsibilities include:
- Develop Sodexo’s value proposition with Marketing, Field Sales, Commercial Finance
- Identify technical solutions required to address client needs
- Oversee development of proposals & technical solutions to address client needs
- Ensure proposals are high quality and meet requirements outlined by prospective clients Collaborate on client presentations and negotiations
- Proactively enhance understanding of Sodexo’s offers and competitive positioning