Business Development Audit – Stage 5: Bid Management

Jan 10, 2024

7 Stage Business Development Audit for Construction & the Built Environment

 

Stage 5 – Bid Management

 

 

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Stage 5 – Bid Management

Peter Jubb, TC Group Consultant

Just think about how hard you’ve worked and the investment to date, to nurture and generate a lead and build a client relationship, which has now become a bid opportunity.

This is always the ‘moment of truth’ where all your efforts have crystallised to this point in the business development process.

To make your bid ‘shine’, requires many facets of preparation and skill. A bid process is another essential part of the business development toolkit, and it needs to start well in advance of the bid opportunity landing in your inbox.

 

I want to talk you through a bid management process and the attributes that are necessary to submit a ‘winning bid’.

1. As far as is practicable, plan for bids to prevent a reactionary approach – which clients have bids that you want to go/when will they be landing?

2. Pre-research – To avoid being reactionary to bids, there is much to do in advance in terms of researching the client’s business, their sector, market forces (economic, social and environmental), legislation changes and other potential impacts.

3. Appoint a bid leader to coordinate/project manage the collection of all the requirements for the bid.

4. Ensure that you have all necessary accreditations, insurance levels and other compliance elements that will enable you to not be rejected from the bid process.

5. Ensure that you have skilled bid writing capability either internally or with external consultancy support. The ability to interpret questions, balance out what you need to write in multi-part questions, often with word limits is a skill in itself.

6. Before bids are submitted, make sure that the bids are reviewed independently for errors and to get a second opinion from senior members of the team. For example, as well as writing bids, clients ask me to critique those they have written themselves.

7. If there is a confirmed or likely part of the bid process in terms of an interview/presentation, to showcase your bid to a client panel, build this into your process from the outset of receiving the bid. This stage is often where clients come up short, as all their attention has gone into the written element of the bid. Where two or three bids are say, ‘neck and neck’, the presentation is the moment for you to get your bid ‘over the line’. I have had direct experience myself in delivering presentations where it came down to clients making their final choice, based on what they see and hear during this final stage from the people who are going to fulfil their project vision and meet all stakeholder interests.

 

If I go back to my analogy of the RIBA Plan of Work stages, where a successful project goes through a series of gateways, bidding follows a similar logic and is the culmination of a considerable amount of business development activity to this point. Obviously, just saying what you can do is one thing and the real test of the client relationship, is in the delivery phase. However, you have to be able to convey a persuasive argument to clients, in a competitive environment, where you may only have one opportunity to convince the client of your suitability to take on the responsibility of delivering their project.

You are of course, through the bid process, trying to establish the basis for a longer-term relationship with a client and secure repeat business where they have a series of projects in their pipeline.

At TC Group, we can help you with your bid management processes and required skillsets.

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