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Like everyone, I get my fair share of junk mail… emails that promise interesting tips and end up being little more than a sales ploy. On a rare occasion, one stands out… like this one from niche business development consultancy firm 7House. With their permission I have shared it here.

The 3 stages to effective Bid Management…

An efficient bid process, make no mistake about it is costly – however a bid process not done properly is even more costly  notwithstanding the demoralising effect it has on those involved…Here are a few simple tips, over 3 stages, to deliver an effective bid process:

Stage 1

It is common sense to focus on those targets that will generate you profitable revenues and yet so many people we meet go for bids (on to new frameworks) not knowing the targets that sit behind them.  Time and valuable resource is then taken writing a bid without properly evaluating and building relationships with targets in advance of the (bid) process taking place.  How many of us undertake research of these targets?; build relationships with key decision makers?; understand their strategy and then support in writing bid specifications in advance of the bid process taking place?And…use the right internal people in this process?

Stage 2

A good submission, is a submission that has been written by you for the client in advance of the tender stages i.e. the specification itself. Clearly this is not possible through broader Government frameworks, but when working towards a framework/ sole supply with a target client directly it is key.  When it comes to the bid writing stage itself, many businesses pass this stage as they have good bid writers be they service deliverers, strategic thinkers and/or project managers under the title guise of bid manager.  Clearly if the strategy is known of the client and the trust is built prior to the bid process, marks can be scored freely – the key to this stage is to have coherent ‘win theme’ that is translated to all bid writers in advance of the writing stage taking place – this ensures continuity and direction.
From evidence based research we have undertaken with evaluators of public sector bids – not knowing the client and dis-jointed submissions are often the demise of the bid process.

Stage 3

Once you hae won a place on the framework the hard work is done…right? Wrong.  It has just begun.  Many businesses we meet expect a framework, such as the OGC Buying Solutions frameworks, to yield untold riches on the day of accreditation and beyond for the length of the contract term.  If Stage 1 has been delivered effectively, Stage 3 as a process will be infinitely easier. A clear message defined in Stage 1 needs to be re-titerated in Stage 3 with a clear set of internal aims of what you want to see achieved.  For example to go back in to the client you have built a relationship prior to the bid process and say you have been accredited to a framework will not yield results. To do the same process with a well crafted set of messages/ objectives that cleary identify how you can support them in the coming months to meet their current need will fair much better – obvious? It is, but many over look it in favour of the next bid writing process that needs to be submitted next week…!

My final question is: Are you alive to these stages and if not ask yourself the following questions:

  • Could we do better by being more focussed in our bid process?
  • Do we have the right people for each stage as highlighted above?
  • What simple things can we change now to deliver effective outputs?

You can get more information from 7House by clicking here or by connecting with Craig Millhouse (their MD) on LinkedIn here.