News and Events

Amelia Adkins 8 May 2019

Bid Writing vs. Bid Management – Which Do I Need?

Collaboration Masterclass

Industry jargon exists in virtually all professions. For all the jokes and ridicule, it's often a useful form of shorthand communication, saving time for those in the know — but for everyone else it can be a frustrating obstacle. Such challenges may go some way to explaining why a number of companies seek help with bid writing when in fact they could really use full bid management support. 

What is Bid Writing?

Bid writing is the creation of proposal documentation that highlights your ambition and suitability to perform a service.

In many cases, this process is guided by RFP stipulations – which provide preliminary service requirements – but in all situations, it must aim to portray the ability to deliver the desired service for the bid recipient.

Bid writing can be a difficult skill to master, and often companies will acquire the services of a professional bid writer with the expertise to execute the task effectively. It can also be a particularly painful part of the tender process; exceptional writing skills are just one requirement – to help you write a winning bid, a great deal of ground work needs to be conducted. The strategy, intel and planning all needs to be conducted first for the bid writer/s to be able to do their job effectively. 

There is no denying that bid writing is a valuable skill and an essential element of an effective tender process. However, it is but one aspect of that process, which is holistically governed by bid management. 

What is Bid Management?

Bid management incorporates the various disciplines required to successfully submit a proposal – acting, essentially, as project and client management for the tender process. It can encompass story-boarding, competitor analysis, and proposal strategy – all the way through to content collation, bid positioning, and proposal submission.

The most effective bid management is conducted using a strategic bid masterplan, which should start with: 

  • gathering intel
  • outlining a win strategy
  • defining the big sell
  • storyboarding
  • planning

Facilitating and simplifying the tender process, effective bid management is invaluable for organizations submitting proposals – each and every bid is made up of multiple, vital components, and if even one element is wrong or slightly off, it can be what snatches failure from the jaws of success.

The strategy and project management within bid management informs the direction and process of bid writing (and a bid writer will often be a direct report to the bid manager). 

It's essential to get to grips with effective bid management if your business needs to win bids on a consistent and systematic basis – those that lack the internal knowledge can benefit from outside expertise or specialist bid management training.

So, Which Do I Need?

Unsurprisingly, it completely depends upon you: your track record and your internal capabilities.

If your organization lacks any of the support, expertise, or know-how to stand out from the competition, create a winning strategy, and then deliver it effectively, the only real choice is a full bid management solution. 

To learn more about our processes and the methodical, strategic, step-by-step approach our team take to every element in the bid journey, download our free master plan.