Bidding Tech Secrets

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Every time I face a new bid task, I ask myself: could I speed this up with technology?

Indeed, this is the number one reason I still consult as a proposal manager: to discover tech use cases I can then feed into my bidding software business.

So, when BQ asked me to share my quick wins, “using tech” was my first thought. But then, I remembered I only like actionable tips, so here are my top three:

  1. Build a proposal management plan using a projects app to enable asynchronous work.
    Email, meetings, and spreadsheets are the most time-wasting tools when used for proposal management and communications.

    Instead, I use one of the many project management tools available – the flexible ones that allow you to create whatever structure you want, those that often look like a Kanban board. This allows me to do proper bid management while forcing everyone to work asynchronously, which is already a huge win.

    These centralised bid management plans save me 70% of my bid management and communications time. No kidding.

  2. Parse RFPs into manageable data automatically
    Reading RFPs is about “splitting” them into small pieces of information you can then distribute, manage, and act on.

    This “shredding” often involves tedious manual work to build things like compliance matrices, templates, work packages, bid task descriptions, and so on: a necessary step yet a waste of my productive energy.

    I have a process to automate this first step, which combines a tool to convert RFPs into a matrix-like analysis (using AI) and an everyday script to automate template building.

    This saves me around 12h per proposal. You think about it once and free your time forever. Totally worth it.

  3. Ditch the temptation to write things from scratch
    It doesn’t matter how poorly written some contributors’ inputs are; I use an AI tool kit designed for bidding to generate the first drafts, perform successive revisions, and all sorts of styling, finishing, and summarising tasks.

    This alone is a huge time-saver. I’m developing bids two times faster, for real. But there is more.

    Lately, I’m going a step further and making subject matter experts and other contributors iterate on their inputs with that same AI tool kit, so the drafts that get to me are already quite advanced. This trick is a time-saver and a workload-reducer. The final bid content is also better, and technical people own it more.

  4. Bonus point that works for any tool.

    I always learn the shortcuts and hotkeys. It takes 30 minutes, and it pays off forever.

    One silly example I realised the other day: many bidding peers don’t know what the combination of “Windows key + V” does. It’s nuts! (FYI: It brings up your Clipboard History, from which you can retrieve the last 25 cut or copied items.)

This article was written by Javier Escartin.

Javier is an aerospace engineer who has climbed the corporate ladder from engineering to business development. He is a full-time freelance Proposal Manager and has recently launched a business to make our work easier with artificial intelligence. He is the founder of, runs the proposals newsletter, and manages proposals for worldwide technology companies as a consultant.

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