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Energy Solutions

Winning a bid by understanding the customer

We helped a global facilities infrastructure company win a major bid (and beyond) by leveraging the power of human-centered thinking

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A global specialist in energy management and automation in more than 100 countries, offering integrated energy solutions across multiple market segments.


In 2019, the Sales Team of a global facilities infrastructure company was tasked with responding to a large-scale RFP, yet they recognized that winning the bid would require a stand-out approach that demonstrated their full commitment to the client and to that client’s valued customers.


At the guidance of an ExperienceInnovation Learn workshop, the organization proceeded to apply the mindsets and methods of design thinking within their sales process. They used empathy-based interviews and observation to gather unique insights related to the client’s users and their needs. Where before the sales team had been guided by the feedback of Superintendents, Principals, and Facilities Managers only when understanding technical customer context, this approach allowed them to broaden and sharpen their understanding of emerging and current issues by listening to those who would actively frequent the client’s new construction or retrofit buildings.


  • Upon presenting their in-depth research on the client’s users as a component to their RFP, the company not only won the bid, but their contract scope was broadened from a $2M project to one with a value of over $30M. 
  • The company secured the additional funding because they demonstrated a deep understanding of the customer’s audience and earned the right to win beyond the technical, feasibility and viability lenses that serve only as table stakes in a mature construction market.
  • The company has committed to driving more design thinking capability-building and embedding its practices into the way they sell across their target markets.