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Storyboarding: A Comprehensive Guide for Bid Success

Written by Thornton & Lowe


Jun 03, 2024

Bid Structures, Mapping and Tender Response Storyboarding

As a bid writing consultancy, structuring winning tender responses is very much 'bread and butter' for us. By mapping out the key elements of a bid, storyboarding enables teams to effectively communicate their value proposition, showcase their solutions, and ultimately increase their chances of success in the bid process. Your bid storyboard forms a central part of your bid plan and strategy.

This comprehensive guide provides practical and step-by-step guidance on how to increase your bid win rate through better storyboarding. We run through the basics of storyboarding, how to use storyboarding bid templates and examples, and how to develop the essential skill.

Understanding the Basics of Storyboarding for Bids and Proposals

Storyboarding is a crucial planning technique that helps bid teams visualise and organise the key elements of their proposal before writing begins. By bringing together subject matter experts and contributors, storyboarding ensures that everyone is aligned on the interpretation of the questions, customer requirements, and evaluation criteria. In turn, this makes the bid writing and review process far more efficient.

Defining Storyboarding

Storyboarding helps businesses organise and structure their RFP, proposal or tender answers. They therefore present ideas and win themes more clearly, ensuring that the proposal tells a compelling story that aligns with the buyer's needs and goals.

Importance in the Bidding Process

Storyboarding acts as a roadmap for the bid, guiding the team step-by-step through the buyer's requirements and keeping everyone on track. It ensures that all essential elements are covered in a logical sequence, flowing from the buyer's current challenges to how the proposed solution will improve things. Storyboarding also applies clever marketing and storytelling techniques to enhance the proposal's persuasiveness.

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Key Components of an Effective Storyboard

An effective storyboard should include:

  1. A thorough analysis of the tender documents to pinpoint core problems, desired outcomes, and specific themes or priorities emphasised by the buyer.
  2. Clarification questions to fill in any gaps in understanding the requirements.
  3. A focus on the user journey, centred on the narrative around how the solution will impact the end-user.
  4. Visualisation of customer journeys, product development stages, or marketing campaigns.

By storyboarding the proposed solution with the buyer's perspective in mind, bid teams can clearly differentiate their offering and highlight its suitability.

What is bid planning

Analysing Client Requirements and Evaluation Criteria

Analysing client requirements and evaluation criteria is a critical step in developing a winning storyboard for your bid. Start by thoroughly reviewing the tender documents to gain a clear understanding of the client's needs, priorities, and scoring methodology.

Identifying Key Evaluation Criteria

Identify the key evaluation criteria that will be used to assess your bid. These criteria may include factors such as technical expertise, project management approach, innovation, and value for money. Understand the relative importance of each criterion by examining the weightings assigned to them in the evaluation process.

Aligning Storyboard with Client's Scoring Method

Ensure that your storyboard aligns with the client's scoring method. This may involve structuring your storyboard to address each evaluation criterion in a clear and concise manner, using headings and subheadings that mirror the client's requirements. By tailoring your storyboard to the client's scoring method, you demonstrate your understanding of their needs and increase your chances of achieving a high score.

More details on procurement and bid evaluation are included within our bid writing guide.

Developing a Winning Bid Strategy Through Storyboarding

Storyboarding is a crucial step in developing a winning bid strategy. By carefully planning and structuring your bid narrative, you can effectively communicate your value proposition and differentiate yourself from the competition.

Setting Clear Objectives

Start by thoroughly analysing the tender documents to identify the core problems, desired outcomes, and specific themes or priorities emphasised by the buyer. Use the Q&A process to fill in any gaps in your understanding of their requirements. Your storyboard narrative should directly address these points.

Incorporating Win Themes and Unique Selling Points

Integrate your win themes and unique selling points throughout the storyboard. These are the key differentiators that set your solution apart from competitors. By weaving them into your narrative, you constantly reaffirm your strengths and the unique value you bring to the client.

Using Visuals and Graphics for Enhanced Understanding

Consider incorporating visuals and graphics into your storyboard to enhance understanding and engagement. Within bid design, diagrams, process flows, and mock-ups can help clarify complex concepts or ideas. Infographics are effective for comparing your offerings against competitors or highlighting the benefits of your proposed solution.

Our bid writing examples will help you see this in practice.

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