One of the most critical pieces of a winning bid on a large project is your winning bid strategies.   That is, the strategies that separate your bid from your competitors.  It should encapsulate your competitive advantage, strengths and ability to deliver a solution to address your client’s problems.

Some of the reasons winning bid strategies are critical to a winning bid include:

  • They allow everyone in the team to focus on what’s important rather than ramble when writing their part of your winning bid;
  • They allow multiple writers of the bid to ensure that they are consistent across the bid submission so that sections are not disjointed from each other when the client reads it;
  • They are a point of reference for client interactions, questions and discussions during the bid process;
  • They challenge us to align our thinking to what the client wants rather than needs; and
  • It allows us to separate the nice to have elements of our bid submission from the must haves which align to our winning bid strategies.

The problem with most winning bid strategies is they are vanilla.  Nice words, fluffy statements and very much run of the mill.  The other problem with them is that there are too many.  Any more than five and you have too many.  Too many will dilute the key messages that you are looking to convey to the client.

To check both the quality of your winning bid strategies and the quantity, the best way to filter them is to use the “So What” test.  That is, does the winning bid strategy stack up to so what in terms of will it win us this bid?  Will this strategy beat our competitors?   Will it solve the client’s problems?  Does it drive innovation, outcomes and high performance?  If not, then so what?   So what in terms of we will not include it in our bid and we will not waste our time explaining it in our bids to fluff up our words, pictures or examples.

We get really busy kicking off a bid.  Frantic writing, doing the technical work, asking the client what they want etc….  Slow down, get your winning bid strategies right, test them against your so what filter and it will allow you to speed up the quality of your bid and increase your chance of winning.