How to be a Bid Winner: from bid writing to bid management
How to be a Bid Winner | London 16th March 2016
As we mentioned in our previous blog posts (Overview, Speakers and Reasons to Attend and Align you bid strategy to your business strategy) to be a consistent bid winner requires a full understanding of the three vital phases of the tender process common to all bids: pre-tender, tender and post-tender.
This blog post focuses on the second phase: Tender.
The Tender phase of the Bid Lifecycle
This phase is where you have limited opportunity to improve the strength of your competitive position. The tender phase is exactly where you have to focus all your effort on bid writing and bid management. In fact, it’s easier to go down than up. But why is that?
Once the tender documents are released, you have to work with the products and services you have in your armoury. The solution you present may be configured in a novel way, but the client needs to be convinced that this will meet his needs affordably and deliver with minimal risk. If you’ve done a good job in the pre-Tender phase, then this should not be too difficult. If not, then you’re in for a tough time!
Let’s assume you are well positioned. How do you then ensure that, in moving from A to B below, you do justice to the USPs and other strengths at your disposal?
Essentially, you now face a process management challenge. Just like the manager of a sports team; the skills, advantages and capability of the resources at your disposal are fixed and finite – you must now eke out every marginal gain available to you.
Evidence both from our own experience and that from Bid Cost Research (download here the executive summary) published in April 2015 by MarketingWorks supported by the University of Reading shows that regular bid winners outperform their less successful rivals in two key process areas: Bid Writing and Bid Management, in particular, Bid Team Management.
So, our ”How to be a bid winner” masterclass will feature presentations on both of these key areas, followed by a Q&A panel session, where you get the chance to pose some questions of your own.
1. The do’s and don’ts of bid writing: Julian Cope
Managing Director of Bid Academy, Julian has 25 years’ of bidding and tendering experience in the UK and overseas working as both client and contractor. His bid writing experience covers a multitude of markets including waste, construction, oil & gas, petrochemical, road, rail, power, airports and harbours.
For his session during the masterclass Julian will share his thoughts on bid writing on how to make sure you answer the exam question whilst still selling the features and benefits of your solution plus the key factors you should consider in managing the bid writing process
2. Bid Team Management: Graham Martin
Bid Director of Major Projects at Balfour Beatty, Graham has 25 years’ experience in bid team management, developing bid strategy and delivering high-profile programmes to tight deadlines. Graham has enjoyed notable successes in the Highways and Construction sectors on projects such as the M275 Tipner Interchange, TfL frameworks and Oxfordshire Highways.
For his session, Graham will focus on bid team management. In particular, how to manage diverse and dispersed teams, driving a positive culture, keeping people engaged and focused on the key deliverables throughout the tender phase. His experience and success in this area will provide food for thought and some excellent lessons for you to take away.
3. Summary: The challenge of the Tender phase
The ultimate objective of any tender is to submit a compelling bid, matched to client needs, whilst still delivering against your own business objectives and targets. However, the tender phase of the Bid Lifecycle is also the one that generally attracts the most attention from the most amount of people within a restricted time period.
Having robust, repeatable processes that allow you to manage this efficiently and effectively – extracting the most useful and relevant inputs – is vital. The hints and tips related to bid writing and bid team management you pick up from this session will stand you in good stead for many bids to come.
The Tender phase is where you have to demonstrate that your USP match your clients needs – make sure you don’t miss this session!