Allied Mining - How To Win A New Account

08 July 2021

In Summary...


By using the Sales Mindset of Client Centricity, TSC was able to win a major new account against all odds, with about a 20% win rate.

This case study will go into more detail about how they overcame the incumbent and won this account out of nowhere.

To keep the names of the companies anonymous in this case study, they will be referred to as "Allied Mining" and "Technology Services Company" (TSC).

Introduction : Client Centricity To Win A Major Account

This case study stands out as an example of how the Consalia mindset of Client-Centricity was used to win a major new account. A ‘win’ came from nowhere and against all odds. The chances of winning a new customer through a formal request for proposal process are pretty low 80% of the time. Such contracts are awarded to the incumbent supplier in this case. An RFP from the mining conglomerate, Allied Mining, was emailed to Technology Services company (TSC).  

Problem : No Account Manager?

The challenge for TSC was that they had no account manager assigned to this account. The lead came through to the special bid team, who then organised a meeting to evaluate the RFP. The sales opportunity was to run Allied Mining's data Centre globally. Allied mining had made it clear they really wanted TSC to bid. TSC was very excited about the opportunity. Technically, they knew they could deliver a great solution.  

But here was a sales opportunity from an organisation that they knew very little about. They knew about the risks involved. They knew that in pre-sale costs alone, to respond and take part in the bid would be around $1 million. Furthermore, there is the opportunity cost to consider. Committing a team to work on this deal exclusively for six months would be a considerable opportunity cost, but then again with a deal value of over $250 million over 5 years, surely this was worth pursuing.  

Solution : Research The Account and Create a Winning Proposition

Desperate to win new business, the team would normally have signaled their intent to respond. They were under huge pressure to hit the aggressive sales targets set. Plus they had access to pre-sales funds for such a project. This is what happened next. They wrote a letter and emailed it to the Allied Mining contact who was running the bid and said words to this effect: 

The view was taken by the sales team that Allied mining could take one of two actions: 


  • If Allied mining were serious about TSC being one of the bidders, they might come back.  
  • If however, Allied Mining simply saw TSC as being a means of knocking down the prices of the incumbent, they would probably just acknowledge their letter and not care to follow up. 


It was a gamble, but the team knew that unless they were allowed to build relationships with the client and really understand the client’s business more intimately, there was no chance of winning. Relationships can't be built at arm’s length. Here the team was considering very seriously the client-centricity value hoping the client would come back in some form, but not expecting them to do so.

The gamble started to pay off.

They responded by saying how disappointed they were that they were not going to respond.

To which the Project Director replied that they did not take the writing of the letter lightly; they did indeed want to pursue the RFP  but felt that as they had no account manager on the account and therefore no serious relationship with Allied Mining, they knew the chances of winning were small.

The Project Director ended by saying "if we had a relationship with you, our response would, we are sure, have been different".

Allied Mining at this point asked what TSC would like to know about the company and how Allied Mining can best achieve this outcome.  

Analysis : Did This Gamble Work?

This opened up an opportunity for Allied Mining to invite two members of the TSC team to meet with their global CIO managers a couple of weeks later. TSC agreed to this meeting and two of their representatives also attended. This was incredibly productive. They sensed that those present were keen to get to know TSC. They also picked up in some of the nuanced conversations that the incumbent was not doing a great job and that Allied Mining did not altogether trust them.  

They returned to the office, convened a meeting, and optimistically reflected on what had they had learned.

However, they concluded that there were still some serious gaps in their knowledge. They did not know what the IT department ‘customers’ really cared about - without that knowledge, they were still very vulnerable. Whilst they gained some insight and started to get some trust in the client and vice versa, they felt that they needed to know more.  



The account team quickly realised how vast these mines were. It could take hours to get through security and to the HQ for the mines. They realised just in this small detail alone that, what was being asked for the IT vendors in terms of service level agreements, was impossible to deliver on.

Furthermore, in speaking with one of the mines' general managers, one of the TSC team discovered that what kept the general manager of one of the mines awake at night was keeping the mine working at all times.

Downtime is lost profit. Keeping track of assets in a mine, particularly the people working in the mine, was critical. If anyone became unaccounted for, the mine would have to stop operations.  

Results : A Deeper Understanding

This interest in understanding the customer's customer produced a much deeper understanding of Allied Mining's business context. Fresh insights were provided. Hugely important information, information that would be used later when returning to the UK to swing the deal in TSC's favour. As far as the client was concerned, TSC were demonstrating uniquely high levels of Client-Centricity. No other vendor had taken this approach.  

By this stage, TSC had realised that they had effectively created a competitive advantage in this pursuit. TSC had offered to show Allied Mining some new asset tracking technology that was being developed in the laboratories, as they thought it would be of interest to Allied Mining to keep their mines from shutting down.  

As a result of the initiative, TSC were asked to rewrite parts of the tender. They knew, then, they had the upper hand in the sales process and now had earned the right for a deeper level of collaboration with the customer in their buying cycle. TSC ended up winning the confidence of this new client in a relatively short time - just seven months - and with that confidence, they knew they had won the deal. They almost doubled the contract value as, along with the server deal, they won an additional telecoms opportunity.  

Conclusion : Client-Centricity Won This Account

This interest in the client was the defining moment. But what took the thinking beyond most accounts teams horizons was in defining who the client was the moment they realised that the client was not the IT department, but the IT department's customers, ie the mines, they began to differentiate their approach from the competition. This genuine curiosity and desire to align the right solution to serve operational units of the mine was reflected not just in redesigning the tender document, but also in the language in which the business outputs of their solution was framed.

The learnings from winning the Allied Mining deal helped to develop a more client-centric culture across the organisation. Sales teams were encouraged to continuously research the customer, knowing not only their customers, but their customer’s customer.