Published on 15th August 2019
Specialising in Bids and Proposals can offer long and successful career opportunities for the right person. The roles tend to pay well, the progression is excellent, and you get the opportunity to become a real thought partner and advisor to the business.
So why do companies still struggle to retain and attract talent for Bids and Proposals roles? Some say it’s the tight and pressured deadlines... Some believe it’s the fact that the role is the same day in day out… Or maybe people believe that there is a lack of value granted to employees in the bids function.
Whatever the reasoning, there’s no denying that bids roles are becoming increasingly crucial within professional services, so it’s certainly a career worth considering.
Let’s examine the 5 top reasons you should consider a career in bids.
It’s arguably one of the most important roles in a marketing department
Numerous bids specialists who we’re working with state that they feel like they’re an invaluable part of the BD and Marketing function.
One highly successful bids professional working in the professional services space confirmed that one of the most attractive things about working within bids is the fact that you are ‘at the very front line of generating new business and bringing money into the firm’.
They went on to add that ‘it’s an exciting feeling knowing that you are directly involved in making a huge difference to a company’s ability to not only win work but also make an impact on increasing the brand perception’.
Variety of work
People commonly perceive the role of a Bids Manager as being solely transactional, however, this is certainly not the case.
When I am asked the question;” ‘what responsibilities does a bids role include?” The response often seems to surprise people.
A Bid Manager at a leading Accountancy firm stated that “As a Bids Manager you not only have to do the hands-on writing work but you are also required to manage relationships with a number of different stakeholders in many areas of the business. As you get further into your career, your role can become more strategic and you will often be required to work alongside leadership to develop different bids strategies’.
So, a bids specialist must wear many different hats, and it’s not surprising that bids professionals are seen as true advisors and thought partners of a business.
Bids & Proposals specialists are always going to be in demand
Due to the bids function being such a critical part of any BD and Marketing function, you’ll rarely see a lack of bids positions on the market at any one time.
Whether it be contract or permanent, employers struggle to find talent in this space. I recently spoke with a client as to why this is and their response was as follows; ‘Being a successful bids professional in our market requires working proactively, it requires you to challenge stakeholders and come up with creative strategies, not just react to the day to day’.
It seems that the people getting the Senior Bids jobs are those candidates who are going beyond the reactive requirements of the role and are going that extra mile to advise their stakeholders.
Good progression opportunities
When choosing a new career path, it’s always important to consider the progression opportunities, right? How long will it take for me to get promoted? Is it possible for me to move up the ladder if I work hard and achieve successes?
The good news is that a career in bids can offer excellent progression! With the correct training from the business and personal effort investment from the individual, bids professionals can quickly progress through the ranks from entry-level Bid Coordinator/Assistant roles all the way to Head of Bids titles.
Highly transferable skills
For many people, a career in bids can result in a long and successful career. Some, however, may choose to take the skills that they’ve learned over the years and move into a different position.
Due to the highly transferable skills you learn as a bids specialist, we regularly see bids professionals move into a range of other business development areas. Typically, to be a successful bids professional you will have:
Extensive attention to detail
Project management skills
Persuasive and compelling writing capabilities
Ability to build and maintain relationships with senior stakeholders
Fully understanding your business and their offering
These are all extremely important and relevant skills which are required in the majority of business development and marketing roles across professional services.
In summary, the variety of work that comes from bids is huge. Whether it’s an area you’re interested in or not, professional services firms just can’t live without them!
If you’re considering a career in bids and proposals, or if an opportunity arises to work on a bid in your BD role, I would highly encourage anyone to embrace the opportunity. The likelihood is that it will increase your skillset and could improve your employability moving forward.
by Mathew Reeves