Get into Bidding – a great job for graduates and aspiring business leaders
Are you looking for a job in an area that will use the skills that you have gained at University?
If so, I’d like to introduce you to bid management.
Companies that sell complex products and services almost always need to explain their solution to their customers. They do this by providing written documentation and presentations and the UK government for example, requires all their buying to be conducted in this way.
You may think that this is done by a sales person, and for smaller businesses, this is probably the case. However, as companies get larger and more complex, the task of producing great written material often falls to others who get into bidding, with a wide set of skills.
To understand this, you need to consider how organisations buy. Procurement processes involve many people: users and technical buyers define operational requirements, economic buyers determine the business case, commercial experts determine commercial and legal contractual needs and the procurement specialists bring it all together. An output of this is an Invitation to Tender (ITT) which is likely to have complex and varied response needs, which you as the customer, need to be able to answer. The review of your written responses will be conducted by a team, each with their own specific agendas.
Responding to an ITT therefore requires a team of subject matter experts who have the knowledge of your business, can agree and articulate a winning solution, can review and respond to commercial terms and conditions, can estimate how much the solution is going to cost and can establish a price which is going to be competitive.
However, subject matter experts, often write in a way which communicates to other experts in their field, and this is not the audience that a response is targeting. They also have their day jobs to do, giving them little time to work on new business.
This is where the bid team work. Their job is to play the opposite role to the procurement specialists who are doing the buying, bringing together all the capability of the organisation to produce clear and compelling content and ultimately to win, what could be strategically critical contracts.
To get into bidding and to do it well, there is a lot you will need to be good at. You will need to: read and fully understand all of the documentation provided by the customer; project manage the production of the response; listen carefully to SMEs to understand their perspectives and explain them to non-experts; work with sales people who have spent time and effort getting to know the customer to understand what they are trying to achieve; facilitate operational teams to design a solution and agree on what is going to be offered; research the competition and consider how your offer is going to be better and produce well-structured and presented material which meets all of the requirements specified by the customer.
This is a challenging job, often requiring long hours to meet demanding deadlines. However, it is also a great opportunity in which to develop core skills necessary for any aspiring business leader; ability to communicate, understand and work with others, manage projects, create operational solutions, conduct research, write well. Sales and Managing Directors need to be able to do this. In my opinion a good degree should equip you with many of the core capabilities and could come from any number of subject areas preparing you to get into bidding. If you have a strong mix of people skills, an ability to write and communicate well, an enquiring mind and a willingness to work hard when needed, this could be a stepping stone into a senior level career in sales and general management. Alternatively, you might wish to stay in the role, which often has the advantage of being able to work flexibly and from home.
If this is of interest, we would be happy to talk to you to explain more.
Interested in working with us?
We are specialists with a vast network in procurement, project management, interim recruitment & tendering.
Augmentas Group Limited (Augmentas) provides support to the public sector to deliver cutting edge programmes and to private sector companies seeking to expand and grow their business with professional buyers in both the public and private sectors.
We help our customers to develop their sales and marketing capability, win new business, negotiate and implement business critical contracts and mitigate contractual risk. We have a team of seasoned professionals able to quickly add value through the application of structured methods coupled with many years of relevant experience.
With an excellent track record, we are confident in our approach. See About Us.