How to start tendering for work | Part 2: building a winning team


The Northern Edge Tender resources

In my last post, I discussed some of the processes to put in place before tendering for work but it’s also important that you have the right people and skills in order to win tenders.

If you’re a small business, you might not be in a position to recruit dedicated work-winning staff at this stage so it’s worth considering the skills you will need and where these might already exist in your organisation.

The following outlines some key bid team roles. For smaller businesses, these might be the responsibility of one or two people and it may help to do a review against this list to identify any gaps you do need to fill, either through training, recruitment or interim support.

Leadership team
To set and monitor your sales and business development strategy. As I mentioned in my last post, without a plan, you’re likely to waste valuable time and resources.

Bid sponsor
A senior decision maker who will qualify which tenders you go for to ensure that your bid activity reflects your company objectives and who will provide strategic direction during the tender process.

Sales leads
To develop an excellent knowledge of your target market, build relationships with potential clients, gain early notice of tender opportunities, manage your sales pipeline, work with technical teams and bid managers to develop a win strategy, and lead on client engagement or dialogue.

Technical and operational leads
To develop a technical solution in response to the tender requirements, act as the subject matter expert and work with the Bid Manager / Writer to clearly communicate the benefits and features of your solution.

Social value lead
To demonstrate and evidence how you will improve the social, economic or environmental well-being of the area in which you are delivering the project. Examples include community and charitable initiatives, job creation and minimising waste.   

Bid Manager / Co-ordinator
Responsible for:

  • monitoring tender opportunities
  • managing the bid process and document
  • co-ordinating responses and content such as company policies
  • providing a point of contact for the client / procurement team, for any clarification questions
  • ensuring that your submission is compliant with the bid requirements
  • submitting your tender, prior to the deadline
  • monitoring any feedback and results
  • facilitating lessons learned sessions to ensure continuous improvement.

Bid / Copywriter
To create compelling bid content that answers the questions, meets the scoring criteria, reflects your win strategy and demonstrates the features and benefits of your offer.

Content Manager
Responsible for organising, managing and maintaining your bid library to save time and allow you to quickly respond to new opportunities.

Finance / commercial / legal representatives
To lead on pricing strategies and oversee any commercial or contractual issues.

Graphic design resources
Whilst it’s not scored, we all know first impressions count, so the presentation of your bid is really important. With so many low-cost, quality design tools now available, there is no excuse for tenders that look unprofessional.

Additional considerations
Members of your team may be required to attend dialogue sessions and present to a client during the tender stage so it’s worth considering how comfortable and capable they are in presenting and influencing.

If you are allocating bid duties to your existing staff, do consider their ability and motivation to do the task, give them a clear role and free some time up from their existing responsibilities so they can do the job properly.

Are you setting up a bid team? Email to discuss the people and skills you need to win more work.

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