In this article we describe all the key people who can bring bids to life. Whether you’re looking for someone to help you steer your company’s bids to success, or you’re just starting out in the industry yourself and wondering what opportunities it holds, we’ve de-mystified the roles and responsibilities of the key players in Bid Management for you including:
- Bid Co-ordinator
- Bid Executive
- Bid Support
- Senior Bid Manager
- Bid Writer
- Proposal Writer
- Bid Manger
- Proposal Manager
- Head of Bids
- Bid Director
- Bid Specialist
1. The Bid Co-ordinator – In terms of experience, the Bid Co-ordinator is the most junior member of a bid team. However, the role involves co-ordinating administrative activity vital to a successful bid.
Public Sector bodies typically use online portals to publish their tenders. The Bid Co-ordinator monitors these portals, downloads tender documents and manages communications between the business and the prospective client. This could include asking any clarification questions (CQs), responding to mandatory questions (such as requests for Company Accounts) and ultimately uploading the final submission.
A Bid co-ordinator also books Bid Team meetings (face to face and online) and sometimes attends those meetings to take minutes and update action logs.
2. The Bid Executive – In smaller companies, the roles of a Bid Co-ordinator and Bid Executive may be combined. However, a Bid Executive would have additional responsibilities, such as managing the ‘look and feel’ of the bid response.
In the public sector this could mean following a template, with strict guidelines on word limits and whether or not images or logos can be included. Private sector bids often allow more freedom with the response format. Then the Bid Executive might work with a Graphic Designer to develop appropriate templates, and with the Bid Writer to include personalised content, such as graphics and photographs.
Once they have enough experience, a Bid Executive may wish to move into a Bid Writer or Bid Manager role.
3. Bid Support – This role involves collating and communicating key information about current and recent bids, sharing statistics such as win / lose rates and other Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), and archiving bid documentation once the process is complete.
Bid Support would also be responsible for recording the team’s annual leave and making sure this information is accessible to everyone.
When the client requires a hard-copy bid response, Bid Support would also organise the printing and arrange for the bid to be couriered to the client in good time.
4. Bid Writer or Proposal Writer – The Bid Writer sets the tone of any bid response. At AM Bid, our writers start the process by interviewing the Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who will be working on the bid, such as operational / commercial managers and any specialists who will be involved in delivering the contract. They also work with the Business Development team to ensure that they really understand the client’s priorities and concerns before crafting the highly personalised response.
The Bid Writer must ensure that the win-themes are clear, all questions are answered and USPs highlighted. They need to draft compelling, convincing copy which shows an affinity with the client and inspires complete confidence in the team and the bid.
5. Bid Manager or Proposal Manager – The Bid Manager is responsible for all aspects of the bid. This end-to-end process runs from preparing for the kick-off meeting, managing the bid development and review sessions, overseeing governance and delivery, and finally running the crucial ‘lessons learned’ sessions once the outcome of the bid is known.
Their role requires them to co-ordinate the work of the Bid team and SMEs within the business; determine the milestones for the process and make sure that the bid meets its deadlines.
They will also raise any risks or and ensure that issues such as bid quality, resource concerns or deadline changes are escalated to senior level in good time.
6. Senior Bid Manager – The Senior Bid Manager is an experienced individual who can take ownership of substantial bids. They will typically have a number of bid teams reporting to them. These teams could work on bids in different sectors, or be based in different geographical locations.
7. Head of Bids – This role requires someone who will be the champion of the bid function across the organisation. It is a strategic, senior role for an experienced bid practitioner who is willing and able to challenge ideas and decisions when necessary.
Typically a Head of Bids will have experience of working for more than one business, and be accomplished at bidding across a range of sectors and industries.
8. Bid Director – The Bid Director is the ‘controlling mind’ of the bid. Their role is strategic, highly commercial and requires them to draw information from inside and outside the organisation, ensuring that every bid is the best that it can be.
The Bid Director usually has direct bid experience, but sometimes the role can be filled by someone with a strong commercial background. In this case, the Bid Director will need an experienced Bid Writer and Bid Manager to support them.
The Bid Director is the point of escalation before the Senior Sponsor. They are expected to raise any red flag recommendations that might mean work on the bid needs to stop.
A Bid Director must ensure that what is delivered is profitable and fits with the organisation’s strategic reasons for bidding.
9. Bid Specialist – This is the ultimate role in the bid hierarchy and is an external specialist who comes in to work with an organisation on their bid. Bid Specialists will have a great deal of experience of bidding, gained over many years. Ideally, they will be certified at either Practitioner or Professional level by the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP).
AM Bid are leading bidding and tender specialists and support a range of clients across the UK, Ireland and Europe. For help with your bid and tender writing and bid support needs, please contact us at:
t. 0800 043 0495 e. firstname.lastname@example.org