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Bid Management Best Practices You Need to Know

How do you make sure sales proposals are competitive, complete and compliant? Rickard Hansson shares bid management best practices to help you win.
Bid Management Best Practices

Are you gearing up to tackle your next big proposal? We’ve got a treat for you! Dive into the insider advice from Rickard Hansson, a seasoned bid management expert with over 15 years of experience in logistics.

His journey from the world of logistics to the strategic role of bid management is packed with nuggets of wisdom that can help you crush your next proposal.

 

The Journey to Bid Management: A Blend of Experience and Opportunity

Rickard’s transition into bid management wasn’t just a career move; it was a step into a role central to the entire organization. He took his logistics experience and applied it to bid management, finding a unique niche. Reflecting on this transition, he says, “I had previous experience and background in the industry when this opening for a bid management role arrived. So I applied, and I was lucky enough to be hired for the job.”

Key Insights:

  • Leveraging Experience: Use your background as a stepping stone to specialized roles like bid management.
  • The Appeal of Bid Management: The role’s attractiveness lies in its ability to impact various organizational functions.

Navigating the World of Bid Management

Far from the solitary task it’s often perceived to be, bid management, according to Rickard, is about connecting different parts of an organization and continuously learning.

He highlights, “That’s what I really like about it… you learn a lot of different things.”

Key Insights:

  • Collaboration is Key: Emphasize the collaborative nature of the role, involving interactions across departments.
  • A Learning Journey: The role demands ongoing learning about various business aspects.
  • Challenge Driven Creativity: Every bid presents unique challenges that call for innovative solutions.

Strategic Collaboration for Winning Proposals

Rickard emphasizes strategic collaboration, particularly with sales and account management teams.

He advises, “Have a collaborative approach… Talk about who does what as well and then take it from there,” highlighting the need for a united front in crafting compelling bids.

Key Insights:

  • Teamwork with Sales: Encourage early and open communication with sales teams for strategic alignment.
  • Understanding Client Needs: Tailor responses to meet specific client needs and expectations.
  • Efficiency with Resources: Balance the use of past work with a focus on current client needs.

Balancing Perfection and Practicality in Proposals

Rickard advocates for a realistic approach to bid management. “Make the most of the resources you have,” he says, underscoring the need to balance perfection with practical constraints such as workload and deadlines.

Key Insights:

  • Striking the Right Balance: Recognize when detailed proposals are warranted and when leveraging past work is more practical. Cut and paste can be your friend.
  • Customization for Retention: Customizing proposals for existing clients to demonstrate continued understanding and commitment.

Stay Current: Learning and Adapting in Bid Management

To stay ahead in bid management, Rickard stresses the importance of continuous learning and adapting to new trends. He recommends using platforms like LinkedIn and resources from StrategicProposals to stay informed and innovative.

Key Insights:

  • Continuous Professional Development: Utilize online resources and platforms for ongoing learning.
  • Engaging with Peers: Leverage community learning by exchanging ideas with others in similar roles.

Embrace Each Challenge with Resourcefulness

Rickard’s philosophy is to work effectively with available resources. “You have to play with what you got. So make the best of the situation by doing your very best,” he advises. This approach is about adaptability and resourcefulness in the face of challenges and tight deadlines.

Key Insights:

  • Optimizing Resources: Utilize what’s available to maximize outcomes efficiently.
  • Adaptability in the Face of Challenges: Maintain flexibility and focus despite tight deadlines or challenging situations.

Rickard Hansson’s expert insights into bid management are a goldmine for anyone looking to elevate their proposal game. His strategies, blending strategic collaboration, resourcefulness, and continuous learning, are key to crafting winning bids.

10 Game-Changing Bid Management Best Practices

Drawing from his wealth of knowledge, Rickard has crafted ten best practices that promise to revolutionize your bid management strategy and significantly boost your success rates.

  1. Foster Collaboration Early On: Before drafting your proposal, bring together a team that will contribute to a winning strategy. Discuss your approach, build a compelling narrative, and engage with key stakeholders across the organization.
  2. Thoroughly Analyze the RFP: Dive deep into understanding the requirements, deadlines, and potential challenges of the RFP. Assess how it aligns with your company’s long-term revenue goals and business model. Evaluate your chances of winning and ensure compliance with all requirements.
  3. Utilize Bid Libraries: Develop a repository of templates and responses from past proposals. This will streamline your response process, especially for frequently asked questions.
  4. Customize Responses for Existing Clients: Don’t rely on your status as the incumbent provider. Personalize your responses to show a deep understanding of the client’s business and needs. Go beyond mere repetition of past responses; demonstrate that you’ve done your homework.
  5. Balance Detail with Practicality: Manage the challenge of responding to numerous questions under tight deadlines. Keep straightforward answers simple, and focus your efforts on questions where you can showcase unique value.
  6. Define Clear Roles and Responsibilities: For larger tenders, assign specific roles and responsibilities within a small, efficient team. Ensure everyone is informed and understands their tasks and deadlines.
  7. Commit to Continuous Learning: Stay curious and actively seek opportunities for professional development in bid management and proposal writing. Participate in LinkedIn groups and other platforms to engage in valuable conversations that can enhance your approach.
  8. Prioritize Efficient Communication: Use the most effective channels, whether email or phone, to communicate with your team. Regular status meetings and clear channels of communication can keep everyone on track and focused.
  9. Embrace Adaptability and Resourcefulness: In the face of challenges, make the most of the resources at your disposal. Adapt to changing situations and use your creativity to find effective solutions.
  10. Focus on Client-Centric Proposals: Tailor your proposals to directly address the client’s specific interests and values. Ensure that your proposal clearly communicates the benefits and value you bring to the client.

Need More Help with Bid Management?

  • Bid Managers LinkedIn Group. Over 14,000 members share information on processes and best practice about the creation, development, presentation, and negotiation of proposals, tender responses, and bids.
  • Bid and Tender Management – Professional LinkedIn Group. A private group of more than 11,000 bid writing and management professionals.
  • StrategicProposals. Bid writing and management is a specialised skill. If you don’t have dedicates resources, why not outsource them. StrategicProposals has a range of solutions to get any kind of proposal support you might need. They also have great free resources included whitepapers, webinars, guides and assessments. If you don’t have a dedicated bid writer or manager, why not outsource.
  • The Art of Procurement Podcast. Outstanding resource to help you better understand buyers. Many episodes are dedicated to procurement strategy, sourcing and contracting.
  • Tasks and Responsibility Matrix. Rickard designed this task and responsibility matrix to reduce complexity and gain clarity on the tasks involved (and who’ll do them) when responding to a bid. And it’s yours for free.

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