Taking on an interim bid support can be a great way of getting through busy times or completing a must-win bid. It is an investment and you will want to do what you can to get the most out of your investment. Below are 6 tips on how to maximise your time with interim bid support:
1. Prepare and plan the work you want them to do – Although the person you bring in will be a bid specialist and might have good knowledge of your industry, they won’t know your business or processes. The interim bid staff will be there so you can benefit from their bid expertise so plan their work with that in mind. You don’t want to be paying for someone on daily rates to track down insurance policies, arrange meetings with Subject Matter Experts, be searching for content in the deep, dark depths of your bid library or trying to locate IT teams to provide access to existing bid information. Do these things in advance so you can leave your interim bid support to do what they do best, conducting the SME interviews, bid writing and reviewing responses.
2. Give them time to prepare – Make sure you set aside enough time for your bid support to get to grips with the buyer documents, the ITT and scope of services. Give them a briefing on your company and your work with the buyer or similar, and set out what you expect from them early on. The bid support will be much more effective once they have a good grasp of what you want them to do and why.
3. Prepare your team – Make sure your internal team know there’s a bid writing support placement coming and what their role/responsibilities will be when working together. Make sure you know who in your organisation will sign off on responses. Introduce the bid support to the subject matter experts early on to help the information gathering later in the process.
4. Make them feel part of the team – Particularly with longer term placements, having your bid support as an interim team member will help ensure a smooth process. Take them to team meetings, give them a desk near to the people they need to work with most, take them to social events and show them the tea / coffee and lunch arrangements. This will reduce unproductive time and ensure the bid support understands your company, team, culture and decision-making process.
5. Be aware of their limitations – Whilst it may be tempting to throw as much work their way as possible, this is not the best way to get the most out of them. It is unlikely they will be technical subject matter experts so keep their work focussed on bid writing and providing bid expertise.
6. Spend time at the end to feedback – This goes both ways. The interim bid support will be grateful to hear how you have found the experience but will also have an insight into how you work and where things can be improved. Spending a couple of hours towards the end of the session could have a big impact on your bid processes in the future.