top of page
BD Coaching for Professional Services

BD Coaching for Professional Services

BD Coaching that builds confidence and gets results.

Most professionals, whether they are accountants, lawyers, engineers, or architects, did not get into their chosen careers because they wanted to become salespeople. However, to be successful, many now find that they need to effectively build relationships and bring in work.


To help them achieve that, we have developed a specialised BD coaching programme, tailored to every firm and individual we work with.

Young businessman

Who needs BD coaching?

In the world of consultancy, the short answer is that everyone needs to develop client relationships. However, it is those individual lawyers, accountants, engineers, etc., in senior manager roles and above who need a BD plan, and typically coaching and/or guidance to help them follow it.

Business People Talking Each Other

Roles Requiring Coaching

The roles that most typically require our BD coaching services are:

  • Partners, Directors, Business Owners

  • Rising Stars – Senior Associates, Senior Managers

  • BD and Marketing professionals

BD Coaching is for anyone who is responsible for bringing in revenue for their firm or practice.

Business Women Planning

Why BD Coaching?

To become more effective at business developmen coaching is now widely accepted as best practice when it comes to creating a client-centric culture and in enabling individuals to develop and action client relationship-building skills. It develops a:.

  • BD plan

  • BD focus

  • BD habit

About the Coaching Programme

Coaching can be delivered in-person, online or a combination of online and in-person

Your BD Coach

Dedicated to building your confidence and helping you win more work.

  • Why should I book you as a speaker at my event/conference?
    The feedback we have received from all the events we have spoken at is always high. We see the speaking engagement as only part of our responsibility to any event and will actively run campaigns and digital promotions of your event alongside delivering an engaging presentation, that is relevant to your audience.
  • Will you hold a date for my event?
    Absolutely, I will put a placeholder in my calendar with no obligation to you. No deposit is required. Nearer the time we will want you to confirm your booking and will speak to you regarding this when appropriate.
  • Do you do virtual engagements?
    Yes, we are more than happy to run virtual presentations, which will be tailored to your event or conference specific needs.
  • How much involvement is required from the business?
    This depends on what we are engaged to deliver. As you’d expect if we are designing your marketing strategy, we will need engagement from the leaders in your business. For campaigns specific to an industry niche or area we will also work with the subject matter experts. We will manage and lead the delivery, so will call on you when needed, rather than you having to manage us.
  • What is video marketing, and do I need it?
    Video is a great way to show-case your leading people and explain complex issues. It is increasingly becoming a more important part of most professional services firms marketing mixes, and there are lots of options from low-tech to hi-tech, in terms of recording and production. You can have a very successful marketing out-reach without video, and we are happy to review what you currently have and provide recommendations tailored to you.
  • Does my business really need digital marketing?
    It is rare for a professional services firm not to have a digital marketing presence now. If you don’t have a strategy, then you are in danger of falling behind and we’d suggest you invest in one sooner rather than later.
  • Do you offer ongoing marketing contracts or relationships?
    Yes. We often work with clients on distinct projects and then come back to help with a different project. We also work on retainer basis and can offer outsourced experts, as a service. The full details of that are here.
  • What kind of marketing efforts do you specialize in?
    We specialize in helping you identify and develop your marketing strategy and can then, if required, help you to deliver that strategy. We have a good understanding across all aspects of marketing but will not claim to be experts in everything. Where we need extra expertise, we can work with your current providers, or can recommend agencies we know well to assist you. Typically, these areas are graphic design and digital marketing/SEO.
  • Who is responsible for creating the content your agency provides?
    The content is created by ourselves, and where necessary we will work with the subject matter experts in your business. We are experienced in BD and marketing, not law, engineering, architecture, accountancy etc. In some cases we will engage other agencies to deliver aspects of your project and will advise you when this is the case.
  • How do you measure the results of your marketing efforts?
    We would agree these metrics with you based on what we have been asked to deliver. Brand awareness or a brand refresh, is very different to a targeted thought leadership campaign designed to generate leads. We will certainly agree KPIs with you before delivery and can report against them.
  • What is your pricing structure for bid consultancy services?
    We can work on a fixed, capped or hourly basis. We consult with you initially, work out what’s needed and then provide you with the best pricing options.
  • Can you work internationally?
    Absolutely. We have experience of working in many different locations and countries. We can travel if required but usually we have found that most of our services can be delivered remotely and with the assistance of technology – i.e. video/conference calls.
  • What Bid & Proposal support services do you offer?
    Our Bid and Proposal support services provide all you need to submit a successful bid response. They include bid writing, bid management, bid and document review, submission management, bid strategy development, and final presentation material and team coaching.
  • Can I use AI to write my bid responses?
    Increasingly AI can be used to help you write content. However, using open-source AI software like ChatGPT means that your information will be shared with others. There are specialist AI bid software solutions out there, which can be expensive and need researching before being utilised.
  • Can you help with international bids and tenders?
    Yes. We have in-depth experience in delivering winning bid responses in many different countries and regions. We can work across borders and can provide bid support where you need it.
  • Can you assist with government tenders and procurement processes?
    Definitely. We have worked on several national, local and federal government tenders in several different locations. We have a track record of delivering excellent responses that are always compliant with the strict rules that governments usually state in their RFPs.
  • What is The BD Ladder’s approach to confidentiality?
    We are critically aware that company information disclosed during tendering is often sensitive and that reputations, livelihoods, and even business survival can be at stake. We do not share information from one client to another and only hold information post response if our client wants us to. We regularly sign NDAs and are happy to do so.
  • What is the typical timeline for preparing a bid with your assistance?
    All RFPs, bids, and tenders are different. When we work with you, we create a delivery plan and timeline from the outset. The earlier we are engaged on your response, the easier it is for us to reduce the amount of time and effort required, and also enable us to help you avoid those dreaded ‘late nights’.
  • Can you help make my bids look more professional?
    Absolutely. We understand first impressions count, and we can help make your document stand apart from the competition, whilst remaining within the RFP requirements. We will work with you to create meaningful charts, diagrams and additional infographics to help elevate your bid response. Your bid document provides the RFP evaluators with their first insight into your company’s professionalism and commitment. The BD Ladder provides advice on bid structure and how to display information more clearly and concisely. We have expertise, and also partner with graphic designers who can use MS products and specialist design tools, depending on which solution is best for your bid response.
  • Do you use AI to write bid responses?
    We will not use AI to write responses, as we would not want to risk or breach client confidentiality. If our client has a secure AI bid management system in place, then we will work with them and utilise that.
  • What is a Bid and Tender Writer?
    A Bid and Tender Writer is a professional with expertise in creating compelling written proposals and submissions for bids or tenders. Their main role involves clearly presenting an organization's strengths, experience, and value proposition in alignment with the bid or tender requirements. These writers demonstrate a thorough understanding of the relevant industry or sector and excel in effectively conveying complex information. Working in collaboration with subject matter experts, project managers, and stakeholders, Bid and Tender Writers gather essential details to ensure that the bid meets all client or contracting authority specifications. Ultimately, their aim is to produce a convincing and competitive bid that enhances the likelihood of securing the contract or project.
  • I often submit tenders and bid responses but am unsuccessful. Can you help me improve my win rate?
    Winning bids is never easy. More often than not it isn’t down to just your bid responses in isolation, but also the amount of pre-positioning for any upcoming RFP that you have done. We can analyse your previous submissions, evaluate your current client relationships, and also put in place a clear go/no go procedure to enhance your win rate and also save you time and money on future bid responses. Of course, no-one can guarantee that you’ll win every tender. But we can guarantee a dramatic improvement in the standard of your bid submissions.
  • How does The BD Ladder deal with potential conflicts of interest?
    We have a clear conflicts of interest policy. We will never disclose any confidential client information to anyone else. If we are working on a bid response to an RFP, we have a strict policy that the people working on that response will not work on the same RFP with another client. No information is shared internally or with our contractors across a bid response.
  • Doesn’t the lowest-priced bid always win?
    No, the best value bid is usually the winner. In fact, many tender reviewers will be suspicious of the cheapest bid response and may well discard it, believing they have missed the brief or won’t provide the level of service/value they are looking for. Clear articulation of value, in a way that matters to your buyer, is far more important than price alone.
  • Do you offer a free consultation?
    As you would expect we do not provide free services. However, we do have an initial 15 – 30 minute chat before delivery to understand you better, and also to then scope and price any potential requirements you may have, before we start working together. You can book this initial chat in here.
  • What are the terms of working with The BD Ladder?
    We agree a delivery and payments schedule with you at the outset and maintain communication to ensure that what we deliver meets your needs. Our terms of engagement can be found here.
  • How much do The BD Ladder services cost?
    We typically work on a fixed fee delivery basis and on a retainer basis. We can also deliver based on an hourly pricing model. In all cases we discuss the options with you and proceed based on your needs and feedback.
  • What services does The BD Ladder offer?
    The BD Ladder delivers a range of Business Development (BD), Business Development Consulting and Marketing and Bid writing and tender response services for professional services firms. A full overview of our services and further details can be found on our services page.
  • What is business development (BD) consulting?
    BD consulting covers a range of services all aimed at helping those using these services to win more work, increase their revenue or have stronger relationships with their clients. It can take the form of analysing and understanding where a firm or practice areas work is currently coming from, potential areas for growth, and it also encompasses practical tactics and skills to help individuals and firms win more work.
  • What results can I expect?
    This will depend on the type of services that you request from us. However, we will agree all KPIs and outcomes with you before commencement, and will get feedback from you during our engagement with you.
  • What is business development?
    Business Development (BD) in professional services typically involves fee-earners and staff actively seeking out new clients, expanding into new practice areas or services, and seizing prospecting opportunities. This encompasses activities such as networking, participating in industry gatherings, and cultivating connections with potential clients and referral partners.
  • What is the difference between consulting and coaching?
    Both consulting and coaching involve providing guidance and support to clients. Consulting tends to be more directive and focused on delivering specific solutions or projects, while coaching is more facilitative and centered on personal or professional development through self-discovery and goal-setting and is delivered predominately via 1-to-1 sessions.
  • How long before results take effect?
    In terms of delivering BD activities this is relatively quick. In terms of new work or an increase in revenue this will depend to a degree on your sales cycle and the market. You would expect to see an increase in opportunities to win work within the 3–6-month timescale. Improvements in individuals’ skills and confidence usually also occur within the same period.
  • Can coaching be delivered via video calls?
    Yes, we have delivered lots of BD coaching via video calls and it can be delivered solely via this method, or we can do a hybrid of face-to-face and video calls.
  • Does Business Development Coaching really work?
    Absolutely. We have a track record of successfully helping our clients achieve their goals and most importantly in helping them create BD or ‘sales’ habits that mean they can look forward to having a sustainable pipeline of work for many years to come. It does of course require commitment from both sides i.e. the coach and the person being coached.
  • What does a Business Development coach do?
    A Business Development coach will work with you to understand where your business/practice needs focus in revenue generating activities. They will take time to understand your strengths and weaknesses, help you build a go-to-market or BD plan, and will then support you and coach you through the delivery of this plan.
  • How is coaching different from training?
    Coaching is more targeted on an individuals’ needs. Sessions are more discussion based with any upskilling provided and then worked on as the person being coached requires. It is also more focused on real-world client examples and help is provided to assist the person being coached to build better relationships with their clients. Training teaches skills and relies post-session on attendees to put those skills learnt into practice. A good approach is to combine training with coaching.
  • How do I know if I need a BD coach?
    If you are struggling to know how to win work, engage with clients or grow and develop your marketing efforts and this is holding your career back, then it makes sense to look at working with a BD coach to help you unlock your potential. If your practice is suddenly struggling for revenue, again, a BD coach will help. Many of those we coach are fearful of sales or BD and putting themselves out there. Working with a coach can help you overcome these fears and feel more confident.
  • How much will Business Development coaching cost me?
    Our pricing is based on either an hourly rate for ad-hoc sessions, or on a monthly fee when you sign up for a programme. We also offer corporate fees when a cohort from your firm/organisation sign-up.
  • Is all BD coaching delivered on a 1-to-1 basis or can you deliver group coaching sessions?
    We can deliver group BD coaching sessions. These can be one-offs or a planned programme of sessions. We can also incorporate them into individual BD coaching. Quite often those aspiring to becoming a Partner/Director will have an alignment session with the person they report to alongside their individual coaching and mentoring sessions.
  • What level of experience/seniority requires BD coaching?
    Anyone who needs to interact with clients and bring in work would benefit from BD coaching. Typically, in professional services we tend to coach Managers, Senior Managers, Associates and Senior Associates and Partners, Directors, Principals etc.
  • Do I have to sign up for a coaching programme or can you deliver one-off sessions?
    You can opt for our pay as you go option and take a one-off session. You can continue in this way, if you want further sessions or you can sign up to a coaching programme. The choice is yours.
  • What’s the time commitment?
    It depends to a degree on how much BD coaching a person needs. Typically, around 2-4 hours per month, over 2-4 months is normal. Many of our clients see real progress with fortnightly sessions of around an hour.
  • Do you have to take a series of courses, or can you just have a one-off?
    The answer is yes to both. You can of course just have us deliver one session for you. We can also deliver a series of courses across your organisation.
  • Is the training delivered face-to-face in a classroom or online?
    It can be delivered either online or in a classroom.
  • How do I know the training will be effective and can the training be measured?
    It can. Training surveys provide a feel for whether the attendees enjoy the training. However, this shouldn’t be confused with an ROI on the delivery. We can provide advice to firms on how to track whether individuals have used the skills post training. With all BD skills the sooner they are used in the real world the quicker they become embedded.
  • Do you also do conferences and events speaking?
    Yes, we do. You can see all the information on that here.
  • How long does each course take?
    Our skills sessions are designed to be either 90 minutes or 2 hours in duration, which fits the needs of our busy clients, and also allows for targeted sessions where the BD skills are learnt and absorbed, ready to be used effectively post-session. If longer sessions are needed these can be delivered and we would discuss these options with you.
  • How much do courses cost?
    Courses are either delivered at your premises or online. The cost for each one varies depending on delivery method and how many courses your firm/organisation requires.
  • Are there any limitations or restrictions on the number of attendees?
    Yes, with too many attendees the delivery and overall experience for attendees will suffer. We recommend 6 as a minimum and 24 as an absolute maximum for our training sessions. If we are delivering a webinar or lunchtime conference session, then we can accommodate more as this is more “informational”, and while still interactive - it doesn’t have as many group practice sessions as our formal training courses.
  • Can I customise training?
    Yes. Many firms or organisations have specific needs, and we always tailor our delivery and examples to your sector. We can amalgamate sections from our advertised courses, or we can create a new course from scratch depending on your requirements, which we would, of course, discuss with you.
  • Do you offer a virtual BD Director, virtual revenue officer or virtual marketing director service?
    Yes. Whether you need this as an initial step into creating and setting up these new roles or if you currently have a role vacant and need some external help to keep things going whilst you search for the right permanent option. We are here to help.
  • Do your outsourced experts work remotely or in our offices?
    Depending on where you are based, we can offer both. Many projects can be delivered using a remote option, but we are more than happy to work on-site. If your offices are outside a city we are based in, then travel and subsistence costs may also apply.
  • How do you charge for your services?
    We can work with many pricing arrangements. The most common are on a daily rate, or an agreed monthly retainer, some clients also like us to work on an hourly rate basis. If your need is for a fixed period of time or for a specific project, we can also work on a fixed project amount. We consult with you initially, work out what’s needed and then provide you with the best pricing options.

Relevant Articles

bottom of page