Issue 19 - Exploring The Bid Lifecycle

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To ‘see the wood for the trees’ in our profession, we must diligently navigate the current overwhelming volume of efficiency, productivity and win rate stats being shared by users of the latest technology. It is very easy to understand why you might trust tech as the answer to all your bidding prayers. Or you might believe the opposite and feel somewhat isolated – even anxious – for not embracing the latest tech and its ideology.

Most of the solutions you’re hearing about are focused on proposal writing – which is just one of the Bid Lifecycle’s 24 interlinked, work-winning phases. Each phase is essential. Any phase can quickly derail your chances of winning if you disrespect it or fail to understand what your customer might need from it. The technology now on the market exceeds anything I have seen in 30 years of bidding but to win consistently, we must ensure all 24 phases of our work-winning cycle are optimised and fit for purpose.

So, do you focus on the ‘tree’ which offers the Holy Grail of proposal writing, or do you step back and admire the entire forest? Or perhaps, you do both?

I recently saw a stat claiming an “increased speed to draft by 80%”. This truly is a phenomenal stat – but unless speed to draft is one of your root causes for losing business, the efficiency gain adds little to the top line. It may allow you to make a few redundancies and save some money, but will it win you more business in the long run? It’s certainly a possibility, and there is evidence in the market that points to it.

Extra time available may allow for a comprehensive Bid Lifecycle review, benchmarking existing processes, identifying weaknesses and adopting new practices. Being brutally honest with yourself/your organisation about why you lose and what you could and/or should improve may make the bigger picture clearer.

BQ19 offers you 32 fantastic articles from our brilliant panel of Experts, exploring all phases of the Bid Lifecycle. They offer step by step advice for fine tuning your approach to meeting your clients’ requirements and improving your win rate. Technology will undeniably be part of your solution, but it is only one tool. BQ19 will help you consider ALL the fantastic ways (tech and non-tech) you can increase your productivity and, ultimately, your success. I hope you enjoy it.

In this issue

  • About the Bid Lifecycle

    Bid Solutions

    The Bid Lifecycle is your step-by-step guide through the work-winning process. It is comprised of three interconnected phases – Capture, Proposal and Bid & Pursuit.

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  • Revving Up Your Bids: The Need for Speed Doesn’t Mean Cutting Corners

    Simon Wellstead

    Motorcycle metaphors freewheel their way through Simon Wellstead’s article “Revving Up Your Bids”, highlighting the difference between speed and sprint in the Capture phase.

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  • Keeping Capture Planning Simple

    Michael Brown

    Michael Brown explains how a focused capture plan aligned with customer needs can lead to bidding success in “Keeping Capture Planning Simple”.

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  • Selectivity and Solution is Everything

    Jeremy Brim

    “Selectivity and Solution is Everything” offers Jeremy Brim’s approach to being intelligent in opportunity selection and co-solutioning unbeatable delivery models with the client.

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  • Which Comes First? Solution Development or the Kick-off Meeting?

    Karen Croshaw

    In “Which Comes First? Solution Development of the Kick-off Meeting?”, Dr Karen Croshaw focuses on the importance of the solution architect’s role choosing viable opportunities.

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  • Feeling Valued?

    Isabella Stevenson

    In her article “Feeling Valued?”, Isabella Stevenson explains the most important elements of the Value Proposition – time, research, internal collaboration and client focus.

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  • It’s Strategic! So You Better Have a Strategy!

    Chris Kälin

    “It’s Strategic! So You Better Have a Strategy!” carries Chris Kälin’s guide to meeting the challenges of developing appropriate bid strategies for each opportunity.

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  • Developing a Win Strategy – The Pivotal Moment

    Chris Whyatt

    In “Developing a Win Strategy – The Pivotal Moment”, Chris Whyatt calls on the Greek philosopher Cicero for help developing a compelling, differentiated win strategy.

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  • Qualification: A Game of Colour

    Izane Cloete-Hamilton

    Izane Cloete-Hamilton’s article “Qualification: A Game of Colour” will help you differentiate between the ‘black-and-white’ and ‘shades of grey’ aspects of bidding.

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  • The Backbone of Winning

    Graham Ablett

    In “The Backbone of Winning”, Graham Ablett explains how connecting capture, qualification, strategy and learning reviews will give your bids the strong backbone needed for success.

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  • Bid Teams in Concert: Allocating Resources for Winning Performances

    Ceri Mescall

    Ceri Mescall conducts her way through a bidding symphony in “Bid Teams in Concert: Allocating Resources for Winning Performances”. Enjoy the show!

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  • Planning for Proposal Success

    Jon Williams

    In his article “Planning for Proposal Success”, Jon Williams provides practical tips for gaining client information before the RFP arrives – which topics to explore and the right questions to ask to give you the inside track.

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  • Wellness for Winners

    Clare Foley

    Bid team self-care is front and centre in Clare Foley’s article “Wellness for Winners” which explains how understanding your personal needs can contribute to professional success.

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  • Is There Still a Place for Bid Rooms?

    Jim Carley

    Jim Carley flies the flag for old-school bidding in “Is There Still a Place for Bid Rooms?”, highlighting the benefits of actually being together prior to submission.

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  • Async for the Win

    Javier Escartin

    You will learn about asynchronous processes and how they can improve the Proposal Phase of your opportunities in Javier Escartin’s article “Async for the Win”.

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  • Kick-off: A Misnomer?

    Sarah Hinchliffe

    Sarah Hinchcliffe delivers a clear explanation of what a kick-off meeting is (and isn’t) and how this important event should be run in “Kick-Off: A Misnomer?”

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  • What Do Films Have to Do with Proposal Kick-off Meetings?

    Rita Mascia

    Grab your popcorn for Rita Mascia’s article “What Do Films Have to Do with Proposal Kick-off Meetings?” where you’ll learn about the correlations between film production and kick-offs.

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  • Foundational Answer Planning

    Sam Burns

    Sam Burns writes about “Foundational Answer Planning”, explaining the who, what, how, where and why of crafting truly tailored responses and bespoke solutions.

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  • Curating Commercial Clarifications

    Nigel Dennis

    Nigel Dennis brings his insight to “Curating Commercial Clarifications” and explains how pricing and commercial concerns are often overlooked.

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  • Bid Writing: Underestimate It at Your Peril

    Pippa Birch

    “Bid Writing: Underestimate It at Your Peril” provides Pippa Birch’s tips for writing improvements and highlights the importance of great bid writing.

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  • ♫ Chain, Keep Us Together ♫

    Holger Garden

    In “Chain, Keep Us Together”, Holger Garden invokes the mighty Fleetwood Mac to explain how the chain linking customer and bid team are essential for bidding success.

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  • Turning Bread and Butter into Pudding

    Kathryn Potter

    We’re off to the kitchens with Kathryn Potter in “Turning Bread and Butter into Pudding”, where she explains how to create an award-winning response with ingredients from your bid pantry.

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  • Project References and Resumes Do Not Write Themselves

    Anders Dyrholm

    In “Project References and Resumes Do Not Write Themselves”, Anders Dyrholm provides a blueprint for ensuring these important resources are created, maintained and available on demand.

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  • Navigating Wordy Waters

    Lisa Readman

    In “Navigating Wordy Waters”, Lisa Readman evokes the Everglades while explaining the dangers of chucking the Proposal Review phase overboard from your bid plan.

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  • Respecting Reviews – Five Top Tips for Success

    Kat Wyon

    Kat Wyon’s “Respecting Reviews – Five Top Tips for Success” takes a walk down memory lane (hard copies of documents!) before providing the five steps she takes when asked to conduct reviews.

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  • A Tale of Epic Production*

    Larissa Cornelius

    “A Tale of Epic Production” tells of Larissa Cornelius’ experience in producing one of South Africa’s largest ever tenders (and why their printer was nicknamed ‘Bob Marley’).

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  • Embrace the Face-to-Face

    Peter McPartland

    Peter McPartland advocates for better preparation (team and individual) to ensure customer engagement while delivering presentations with impact in “Embrace the Face-to-Face”.

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  • Clarification Alarm Bells

    Andy Haigh

    Andy Haigh recalls a time when a blasé approach to a post-submission client question resulted in a second place finish in his article “Clarification Alarm Bells”.

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  • Lifetime Negotiators

    Tony Birch

    In “Lifetime Negotiators”, Tony Birch explains how our inherent negotiation skills can be used to ensure we get what we want without giving away too much.

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  • Sniffing Out the Right Opportunities – Using Technology as Your Qualification Guide Dog

    Darrell Woodward

    Darrell Woodward’s article “Sniffing Out the Right Opportunities” provides practical advice on using technology for supporting objective bid decisions based on data rather than using the proverbial crystal ball.

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  • Learning Yet?

    Dr Nigel Hudson

    Dr Nigel Hudson is hearing wedding bells in “Learning Yet?”, describing the relationship between learning reviews and qualification as a dream marriage.

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  • The Review Advantage – Helping to Win Future Deals

    Lorraine Baird

    Lorraine Baird’s article “The Review Advantage” highlights the importance of learning reviews in gaining knowledge for the future whether you’ve won or lost your bid.

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  • Put Yourself in the Favoured Position to Win Again

    Paul Johnstone

    In “Put Yourself in the Favoured Position to Win Again”, you’ll find Paul Johnstone’s tips for contract renewal strategies to make it easy for your customer to reappoint you.

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