Bid Teams in Concert: Allocating Resources for Winning Performances

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“No one can whistle a symphony. It takes an orchestra to play it.” – Halford E. Luccock

According to the Loopio and APMP 2024 RFP Response Trends and Benchmarks Report1, bid volumes are increasing, bid turnaround times are reducing, and bid resources are more constrained.

If your organisation doesn’t have the budget for additional full-time team members, how can you do more with less, at speed? Here are my top five tips:

  • Optimise at the overture: Determine if you have appropriate bid resources available (i.e. capability AND capacity) as part of your qualification process. If you don’t, be realistic about how this will affect your probability of winning. If you do, facilitate a robust handover from opportunity/capture management to bid management, and develop a resource budget. Engage with your leadership team to make sure resources are set up for success (e.g. free up technical Subject Matter Experts’ time to work on bids but also introduce bid-related Key Performance Indicators for SMEs to drive accountability).
  • Harmonise job titles and roles: Job titles can differ between companies (and sometimes between business units within the same company). There can also be a mismatch between job titles and role expectations. What do you need for a winning bid? Start with competencies, then build up to identify roles, then specific people.
  • Assemble your ensemble: In addition to core bid roles (the virtuoso bid and proposal managers, proposal writers, bid coordinators and graphic designers), your team may include sales leads, SMEs, legal counsel, pricing lead, reviewers, and sponsors. Create a RACI (Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, Informed) matrix so everyone’s clear on what’s required of them – no gaps or duplication of effort.
  • Arrange strategic alliances: These could include teaming delivery partners and bid consultants. Understand their capability and capacity, the value they’ll bring to the bid, and how your organisation will contract with them. Determine how you’ll articulate the benefit of your combined team to the client. Are the partnerships tested and do you have exclusivity? How will bid consultants on-board quickly and collaborate seamlessly with your internal team?
  • Compose resources for your resources: Anticipate what support your team may need. This could range from technology (e.g. collaboration, proposal automation, and generative AI tools) to training (e.g. on bid processes, technology) to guidance (e.g. content plans, reviewer checklists).

1 RFP report: 2024 Trends & Benchmarks (2024) Loopio. Available at: (Accessed: 30 May 2024).

This article was written by Ceri Mescall.

Ceri Mescall is the Managing Director at Strategic Proposals Canada. Clients trust her to help them win. Ceri’s a thought leader – a presenter/panelist, podcast guest, article author/ contributor, and awards judge. She holds all four signature Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) certifications plus the Executive Summaries and Bid & Proposal Writing micro-certifications. Ceri was an APMP 40 Under 40 award winner (class of 2019), and is an APMP Fellow (2020) and APMP Accredited Trainer (2024).

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