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Do I need a Bid Writer, Bid Manager or Bid Consultant?

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Nov 25, 2022

The bidding industry is emerging and developing at speed, so it is no surprise there is still little consistency between bid writing titles.

Quite often, a Bid Coordinator could also be the lead or sole Bid Writer and Bid Manager for a business.

Conversely, for some organisations, a Bid Manager can be more of a coordination role, not involving writing, which may be completed by more technical members of the team.

What is a Bid Writer?

A Bid Writer could have a broad role covering opportunity identification, coordination, writing, quality assurance, bid design and uploading onto portals/bid submission.

In another business, the Bid Writer could be very focused and purely working under the leadership of a Bid Manager or Bid Director with their role being to re-work, refine and develop base responses for senior members of the team to then tailor.

If we look at general job specifications for Bid Writers (and a snapshot of ours), you will typically get:

  • Drafting, reviewing and writing creative and persuasive tender content;
  • Building effective working relationships and communicating with internal and external customers;
  • Supporting the development of bid strategy including storyboarding, identifying USPs and win themes;
  • Completing bid planning documents including bid summaries, project plans, gap analysis and other documents;
  • Researching and summarising markets, competitors and other bid-related topics.

What is a Bid Manager?

Bid Manager roles often include all of the above tasks but if there is a trend, their role will also include ‘overseeing’, quality assurance and usually the management of a small team.

Bid Managers are required to use their bid writing knowledge to guide one or multiple simultaneous projects from storyboarding to bid completion and submission.

They are expected to not only understand how to create a successful bid, but also have some knowledge of commercial and operational aspects of the business in order to support an effective bid process.

Selecting the best-suited contributors to the bid, where perhaps more technical or product/service-specific knowledge is required could also fall to a Bid Manager.

Key skills possessed by an effective Bid Manager include accurate time management and organisation, exceptional communication, interpersonal skills and acute attention to detail.

Find more information on the role of a Bid Manager on our Blog.

What is the difference between a Bid Manager and a Proposal Manager?

Put simply, this can depend on each unique organisation. However, as a general rule it is easier to think of the proposal as a singular, but of course critical, part of the bid lifecycle – the written submission.

Proposal managers tend to take responsibility for this aspect, whereas bid managers need to have an overarching view of the entire bid process, from storyboarding and collating all relevant information, to the final presentation of the bid and any post-bid reviews. The bid manager role tends to encompass a much broader range of tasks.

There can often be overlap between a bid manager and a proposal manager, and many cases could also depend on the complexity of the bid as to whose skill set is best suited in that instance.

What is a Bid Consultant?

A Bid Consultant is usually external or offers freelance bid support - this can be an experienced Bid Writer who moves to working as a contractor, or a more senior bid professional may be expected.

To offer bid consultancy, you certainly would expect to be challenged for clear, added value and this role may or may not also include crafting written quality responses or purely reviewing the tender responses and providing guidance.

As a Bid Consultancy, we offer all elements noted above.

We can monitor tender alerts, coordinate and support the upload or submission process, interview your team and chase down evidence, challenge and review the solution, suggest clarification questions to ask the buyer, draft responses, review bid content, design bids and supporting documents and finalise the proposal ready to be submitted on time.

To do this, we directly employ:

  • Bid Administrators
  • Trainee Bid Writers
  • Bid Writers
  • Senior Bid Writers
  • Bid Designers
  • Bid Managers
  • Head of Bids
  • Bid Directors

If you have any questions, require bid support or if you are recruiting a new bid role and require some assistance, then please contact us today.

Do you need a bid consultant?

Do you have an upcoming project or something in your bid pipeline that requires an extra pair of hands or advice on how to improve your bid prospects? At Thornton and Lowe, we are proud to have a wealth of experience working in all main industry sectors from Construction right through to Office Furniture.

Our strong team of tender professionals work closely with you throughout the tender and bid writing process, from planning and storyboarding to bid reviews, ensuring you stand out from your competitors and have the edge in the bidding process.

Speak to one of our team today to discuss our innovative solutions to your bid requirements.

What other bid team roles are there?

There are many other roles within bidding which play an important part in the overall success of projects. From Bid Administrators, who support critical communication and organisational requirements, to Bid Designers, who craft bids into professional, aesthetically compelling documents, each role plays a vital part in the undertaking of a bid.

Looking to expand your own bid team? Give us a call to discuss bid recruitment now!

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