Bid management is an integral part of any project-based business. It involves preparing and submitting bids for projects, products, or services. A successful bid management process can help a business win contracts and increase its profitability. However, it can be challenging to manage bids effectively without the right tools and procedures. In this blog post, we discuss tips on how to improve your bid management process.
Create an Effective Bid Management Strategy
The first step in improving your bid management process is to create an effective strategy. This should include a clear plan for approaching each bid and identify the resources you will need to complete the bid successfully. The strategy should also have a timeline for when each step of the process needs to be completed and who is responsible for each task. A well-defined strategy will help ensure that all bids are handled efficiently and effectively. Additionally, you should establish a clear workflow with defined roles and responsibilities for each team member and use project management software or other technology like Twenty5’s intelligent proposal pricing & estimating tool, to help streamline the process.
Research your competitors to understand what they are doing. Knowing what other companies are doing in the same industry and the specific market you operate in can help you gain insight into how to position your bids to win. By understanding who your competition is and their strategies, you can make more informed decisions when submitting bids and increase the chances of winning a contract. This knowledge can be used to adjust your bid strategy and ensure that you aren't underselling yourself or wasting time and effort on bids that won't result in a profitable win.
Organize Your Bids
Organization techniques are essential when it comes to managing bids successfully. Creating a system that allows you to easily access all the relevant information about each bid will help you manage multiple bids more efficiently. This could include creating folders or labels for different types of bids, setting up reminders for deadlines, or using software that helps you keep track of all your bids in one place. An organized system will make it easier to manage multiple bids at once and ensure that nothing slips through the cracks.
Use Automation Tools
The process of crafting bids manually can be extremely stressful and time-consuming. Modern software tools can make this process easier. You can capture insights from previous wins and consolidate inputs from experts across industries, service lines and countries to generate comprehensive bids that automatically increase your chances to win. Solutions that help you automate and streamline pricing and estimating will help your overall process and improve visibility across the team and to leadership.
Automation tools for bid management tend to fall into four categories, of which the first is not really bid management at all but we want to give you context:
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools like Salesforce and MS-Dynamics can keep track of your leads, opportunities and pipeline and is normally the trigger for an RFP, bid or quotation
Configure, Price, Quotation (CPQ) tools like SAP’s Callidus CPQ allow you to price repetitive or similar products which you are selling again and again. Mostly for hardware, software and tangible items, a project or services based bid is often ‘too variable’ to successfully price in a quotation tool like a CPQ, however much you think it might be ‘configurable’
Project planning, pricing and estimating tools like iPE from Twenty5 are tailor-made to come up with the numbers (hours, costs and prices) behind the bid and combine the worlds of a project mgt. and planning tool with a CPQ for project-based or service industry work
Document and content management tools like PandaDocs handle the words, as opposed to the numbers, and are useful to curate and store all your standard company information and proposal inputs and then in turn to format this into a nice-to-read proposal response. Other content tools like Icertis focus on the actual contract vs. the bid or proposal.
Consolidating various data sources into one visualization can enhance efficiency and promote the use of data in decision-making. In addition to other advantages, implementing these kinds of solutions will improve transparency. To ensure risk reduction and accountability, it's crucial to have all relevant decision information easily accessible. No one likes surprises, and owning responsibility and enabling transparency can help to keep things running smoothly. Allowing stakeholders complete visibility into decision-making can increase trust, faster decision-making, and improve capabilities.
Utilizing automation tools can save time by streamlining processes so that more time can be spent on other tasks, such as researching potential clients or writing compelling proposals.
Communication is essential when it comes to managing bids successfully. It's important to have clear lines of communication between all parties involved in the bidding process so that everyone is on the same page about deadlines, expectations, and any changes that may occur. Additionally, regular check-ins with clients help ensure everyone is satisfied with the progress of their project or service request. Ensure that everyone involved in the bidding process understands the timeline, requirements, and other essential details related to the bid. Using automated tools, as mentioned, will help your team track bids, manage deadlines, and keep everyone informed of the progress on each bid.
Increase Your Win Rate
By following these tips, you can improve your bid management process, increase your chances of winning contracts, and increase profitability for your business. Taking the time to create an effective strategy, organize your bids properly, utilize automation tools where possible, and improve communication between all parties involved will help ensure your company wins more profitable bids.
Twenty5 offers project-based companies an Intelligent Platform for Proposal Pricing & Estimating (iPE) that runs on SAP®. The solution helps companies automate the pricing and estimating process and provides a single source of truth into integrated cost models so they can submit bids faster and with more confidence. Reach out for a demo or to learn more about how our iPE solution can help you automate the entire proposal management process so that you can take advantage of all benefits of having intelligent project pricing and estimating and bid with confidence every time.