Bid teams sometimes make the mistake of thinking you can have a winning bid submission by writing great words. This doesn’t work as bidding is a competitive process and simply relying on a proposal writer weaving magic to win you the job is not enough.
In my experience, teams that win are well organised and well-resourced from the start. They have their Bid Director, Project Director and other key appointments such as their Design Manager, Construction Manager and Stakeholder Manager in place before the Request for Tender (RFT) and Expression of Interest (EOI) documents are released.
From this they build a core nucleus of a team early who engages with the client, builds trust and rapport with the client, builds up knowledge of the job, and develops a deep understanding of what is required. By being organised early they create time throughout the bid process to ensure they are prepared, thorough and focused. They build up trust within the bid team and everyone is clear on who is doing what which allows everyone to play to their strengths.
Organised teams get a bid programme in place early, and hold everyone accountable for sticking to deadlines so that the estimating team and proposal writers do not get squeezed at the end. They schedule key workshops and meetings in advance so that people can plan their calendars and they don’t cancel meetings or reschedule for anyone (even the Project Director).
Organised teams have clear role clarity and everyone knows their role and how they will win the bid. They are clear on what is expected and by when, and they are clear on who has authority to make what decisions.
In organised teams the Board and senior managers provide support and hold the team accountable but they don’t interfere or micromanage.
Organised teams are clear on the expected behaviour of the team but at the same time respect the different strengths of the partnering organisations.
Organised teams communicate regularly and debrief on what they are learning as they progress ensuring information is open and shared.
Finally, organised teams do not arrive for client meetings, interactives or positive guidance sessions un-prepared. They practice, practice, practice and ensure everyone is clear on their roles before they present themselves in front of the client.
Winning is not achieved by words in a proposal. Winning is achieved by having well-oiled team who prepare the proposal.