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Bid Writer?

Bid Writer
Bid Writer

What is a bid writer?

A bid writer requires many skills, that's for sure. A project coordinator, policy interpreter, compliance focused sales guru, procurement driven solution maker, business content creating superhero... And they write proposals (RFPs) - they respond to tenders.

A bid writer develops convincing content to maximise the chances of winning new business. They often work hand-in-hand with sales and marketing managers, as well as operational and technical departments. 'Sales' focusing on relationship building, the operations team explaining how it will be delivered, and the bid writer, staying well-back but absorbing every key piece of information. Allowing them to craft a document which fully meets the buyers needs, adds value and makes it very clear why they should win the tender. 

Our professional bid writers also specialise specifically in winning public sector tenders

A bid writer, proposal writer or tender writer all typically provide the same role. They create persuasive and compelling content on behalf of their customer or employer to help secure a tender, contract or business opportunity.

The ‘bid’ or offer they put forward can be within a formal quality response document, like completing a questionnaire, which is often associated with ‘bidding’ for Public Sector contracts. Or from a more informal ‘brief’ (scope of requirements) whereby they have the flexibility to provide a written proposal, which is often designed and looks more like a marketing document, though developed for the specific opportunity. This is often associated with private sector contracts, though there is overall across the two.

A Bid Writer creates persuasive and compelling content on behalf of their customer or employer to help secure a tender, contract or business opportunity.

Within Public Sector tendering, a Bid Writer will often be tasked with responding to the initial shortlisting stage - pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ), Selection Questionnaire (SQs), European Single Procurement Document (ESPD), for example, which is focused on financial stability, insurances, references and accreditations. The invitation to tender (ITT), quality or award questionnaire, which goes alongside the pricing. The Bid Writer rarely gets involved with the commercial envelope or pricing but instead focuses on creating quality content to respond to questions from within the tender.

To do this effectively, they will need to be an excellent writer with a key eye for details and an effective coordinator who can often manage highly complex technical data quickly. They will need to understand the specification, buyer’s instructions, requirements and the questions they are responding to but also crucially why the business or employer they represent is the best place to win the contract. What are their discriminators and unique selling points specifically related to the tender they are bidding for.

To do this they need to work closely with others, the subject matter experts, who might be the Senior Management Team to understand the solution, or a Contracts Manager, but also HR, Finance and IT, for example. They will deconstruct a question and create a storyboard which they then use as a base to collect the information they need in order to develop the answers. As they are developing a draft for a question or section from within a bid they will share this with the wider team who will review, make comments and challenges, for the Bid Writer to then assess and amend.

Depending on the size of a business, a Bid Writer will often be part of a Sales or Marketing Team or within a Bid Team. A typical structure for a Bid Team for a company that is regularly bidding and for higher value contracts is:

  • Bid Director / Head of Bids
  • Bid Manager – multiple
  • Bid Writer / Senior Bid Writer – multiple
  • Bid Designer
  • Bid Coordinator / Bid Administrators

Within a smaller company, the Bid Writer could also cover the Bid Coordinator, Bid Manager and Bid Designer roles, reporting to a Sales or Marketing Manager or Quantity Surveyor, who would often work on the pricing side of the tender document.

Where can a Bid Writing Consultancy help?

A Bid Writing Consultancy helps:

  • Existing Bid Teams who have reached their own in-house capacity for tenders
  • By acting as a Bid Partner for businesses who do not employ their own Bid Team or Bid Writer / Manager. This will be due to their size or the volume of bids does not warrant a full time Bid Professional
  • Improve win rate performance. Often a Bid Writing Consultancy is asked to review and critique a draft bid or Bid Process due to a lack of performance. They may then take leadership of this division until it improves, which can often involve training the existing team, developing bid strategy and providing additional bid writing services

The benefit of Thornton & Lowe, a Bid Writing Consultancy, is that you get a consistent and highly performing Bid Team but on an adhoc basis. We directly employ the Bid Writers and Bid Managers, providing continuity and accountability. Still, we fully appreciate you will not always need us as you may have peaks and troughs in bidding. We need to invest time to understand your solution, to understand what is different about your business so that we can be ready for your next live tender. We also employ Bid Administrators who can monitor tender portals for you, download the documentation and produce an Opportunity Summary to allow you to assess whether it is right for your company quickly.

Have a live tender and need a bid writing quote? Contact us - 01204 238046 / hello@thorntonandlowe.com

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