Specialising in bids and proposals can offer an excellent long-term, progressive career for the right individual. These types of roles typically tend to offer a great salary and the opportunity to become a real thought partner and advisor to a firm.
So why do professional services firms still struggle to retain and attract talent for Bids and Proposals roles?
When speaking to candidates, the general answer to this question is the 'pressured deadlines' or the fact that the role can be a little bit repetitive on the day-to-day.
Some 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 a crucial part of a professional services firm and are always in high demand, so it’s definitely a career worth considering.
Let’s examine the 5 top reasons you should consider a career in bids.
1. It is one of the most important roles in a BD & Marketing department
One highly successful bids professional working in a professional services firm 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’.
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.
2. 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 professional services 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 teams 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.
3. 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.
Bids experience within BD roles in law firms is highly desired - so you can really open up your career options in the long run.
4. 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.
5. Excellent progression opportunities
Careers in Bids offer some excellent progression opportunities.
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.
In summary, the variety of work that comes from bids/proposals is huge. Whether it’s a space you’re interested in or not, professional services firms will always have a need for them.
If you’re considering a career in bids/pitches and proposals, or if an opportunity arises to work on a bid in your BD role, I would highly encourage you to embrace the opportunity. The likelihood is that it will increase your skillset and will definitely help to improve your employability moving forward.