Guest blog: How to succeed at bid management

Denise O'LearyThis month’s guest blog is provided by bid management expert, Denise O’Leary, managing director of Purpol Marketing.

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There are no hard and fast rules for successful bid management, but there are trends and tips we have noticed along our bid management journey which have led to success. In this post we share some of the positive ways to influence bid success.

#1 Sector-specific knowledge

  • Only pursue opportunities which are relevant and appropriate for your business.
  • Sector-specific knowledge and experience is evidenced through having won other similar contracts.
  • The business has a rich library of insight and supporting documents which strengthen question responses.

#2 Define roles and responsibilities

  • A successful process is dependent on a team effort, with the bid team having defined roles and responsibilities, and working together as a successful whole.

#3 Hold a bid launch meeting

  • Probably the most important step of the bid management process.
  • It allows the bid team to agree team roles and responsibilities, methodology of the bid, win themes and key messages, review and authorisation protocols, key milestones, and contingency.

#4 Developing your standard library of information, so it can be used in bids

  • Ensure your bid library is populated with current policies, procedures, business information and examples.
  • Prove your company is perfect for the opportunity you are bidding for by providing great evidence.

#5 Research your client

  • Research your client thoroughly, especially the evaluation team, and understand their drivers, vision and values, and what keeps them awake with worry at night.

#6 Keep the customer at the heart of your bid

  • Concentrate the narrative on what the value-add and benefits are from their perspective, not from your own.

#7 Develop a consistent tone throughout your bid

  • Bids which have a theme and personality give a real flavour of the bidding organisation.
  • Ensure your terminology is consistent and thoroughly check your submission, incorporating any necessary improvements before finalising it.

#8 Obtain detailed feedback

  • Always, always obtained detailed feedback following submission, so you can learn how to improve for next time. Get feedback whether you have won or lost the opportunity.
  • Maintain a relationship with the buyer, whether you have won or lost. You may always be approached again about a future opportunity.

Purpol Marketing would be delighted to assist with bid management development within your organisation – please contact us for more details on

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