Published on 2nd March 2017
When it comes to bids and proposals, most people either love them or loathe them. Regardless of where you fall on the spectrum, there’s no denying that bids can provide the gateway to a fantastic career.
Bids and proposals are an essential part of the business development cycle and fit in nicely with the fundamentals of marketing, as the very nature of developing new business is demonstrated, won and qualified through bids.
I recently spoke to one highly regarded Senior Bids Manager who has both headed up BD teams and managed and implemented successful bids functions, who confirmed that the most attractive thing about working in bids is that you are ‘at the front line of bringing money into the firm’. She went on to add that the best bids professionals are those who have the ‘drive, focus and are hard-nosed about ensuring the best product possible leaves the firm’.
Indeed, whether you are starting your career in bids or are highly experienced in the field, having the confidence and capability to create high-quality proposals that can differentiate your company from its competitors is essential if you want to be successful. Arguably, it is one of the most important roles in the marketing department, as creating strong proposals can make a huge difference to a company’s ability to win new business as well as make a significant impact in increasing your personal brand in terms of working with partners and the wider BD teams.
Typically, bids and proposals specialists need a wide range of skills which are highly transferable to other areas. These include:
- Project management
- Accurate, persuasive and compelling writing
- Ability to interpret complex information
- Managing deadlines
- Working with multiple stakeholders
- Managing expectations
- A good eye for design
- Understanding the commerciality of your firm and importance of winning business
The variety of work that comes from bids work is huge, including RFP’s, PQQ’s, panel pitches both international and regional as well as CV writing, capability statements, even design, presentations, deal lists, practice runs, beauty pageants, brief and debrief and feedback.
Managing this aspect of the work is not just about the delivery of a proposal but also the development of the process that underpins it. Extensive work will go into setting the standard and establishing an effective and relevant system which enable pitches and the information behind it to be readily accessed and utilised. If you have the opportunity to be at the forefront of that then seize it.
Whether you love them or hate them, law firms and wider professional services just can’t live without bids and proposals. So next time you get the opportunity to work on that RFP or support that strategic panel pitch I highly recommend you embrace it as it likely this will help develop your career, add to your skillset and improve your employability, whether it’s for that promotion or for your next job.
Are you looking for your next role in bids and proposals? View our latest vacancies here >