The tendering process can be difficult to navigate. Whether it’s figuring out the difference between an RFT and EOI or developing complex messaging, it’s tough for companies who are just starting out to compete with experienced tenderers and large corporations.
To avoid the hassle of trying to work everything out themselves, many small to medium sized businesses who are new to tendering or struggling to win bids turn to outside consultants to write and manage bids. While hiring bid management experts is a great option to initially increase your win rate, no business wants to be completely reliant on outside consultants permanently.
Luckily, experienced bid managers and writers can also serve as mentors. With years of corporate experience, a good mentor can pass on knowledge that can only be gained on-the-job. The best way to gain a long-term advantage over competitors is to turn a staff member into your own in-house expert. Investing in mentoring for a junior staff member is the quickest and most effective way to equip your bid team with the tools and knowledge to develop winning tenders.
- Receive advice you can’t find on paper
No matter how many books or articles you read on the tendering process, solo research is no substitute for one-on-one advice from an experienced mentor. Why do it the hard way when you can pick the brain of someone with years of bid management experience?
While competitors are learning as they go, one-on-one mentoring gives your staff access to information that would normally take years of experience to learn if you go it alone. Having a good mentor allows you to start well ahead of the crowd, and competitors will take years to catch up.
- Gain confidence
A thorough understanding of the tendering process will help your team navigate the complexities of bid writing and management with confidence. Equipped with both information and the support of a bid management expert, your team will be able to effectively handle bids without total reliance on external consultants.
A mentor can teach your team the basics, from types of tender documents to formatting help. In addition to technical advice on tender process, your team member will learn about developing effective messaging and designing a response that not only meets requirements but stands out from the competition.
- Develop in-house capabilities
Once a team member receives one-on-one mentoring from an experienced bid manager, your company can begin to decrease its dependence on outside consultants. The team member that was mentored can pass on knowledge of bid writing and management to the rest of the staff, improving your team’s bid management capabilities.
Your team will be able to handle small bids that provide experience and help grow your business. Resources can be reserved for hiring consultants for larger, high-stakes bids.
- Get an outside perspective
Staff know a business better than anyone else. While your team might know the company inside out, it’s easy to get so wrapped up in the day-to-day operations of a small-to-medium sized business that you lose sight of the bigger picture. An outside consultant can help your team take a step back and regain perspective.
When it comes to bid management, it’s vital to have a thorough understanding of your own best practices and methodology. Through mentoring, bid management experts can teach staff what information, reports and other supporting documents are necessary to develop a mature tendering process.
- Understand the tender environment
Bid management experts have experience with other companies of all sizes. Chances are they have managed bids for large corporations in the same industry as you. With that experience, mentors can give your staff insight into how larger competitors run bids.
A mentor with corporate experience can help you develop the infrastructure to handle smaller bids solo and be prepared to take on larger bids that will grow your business. Understanding the corporate bidding environment will allow your bid team to develop polished tenders that stand out from competitors who are new to bidding and don’t have a mentor.
- Grow Your Business
With the knowledge gained from a one-on-one mentoring program, your bid team will be confident and prepared. Your tenders will stand out from competitors’ who don’t have access to the same insider information as your staff. The result will be an increase in your win rate. Once your team has experienced success with smaller bids, your business will be prepared to bid for larger contracts. With a knowledgeable team and existing infrastructure in place, it will be easier to work with external consultants when you need help with high-stakes bids.
Any business, whether just starting out with bidding or wanting to improve on existing strategy, can benefit from one-on-one mentoring from a bid management expert. Investing in mentoring for staff members will give your staff technical knowledge, develop their leaderships skills and provide your bid team the support to operate more effectively and win the contracts your business needs to expand.
The PitchThis team draws on years of experience in corporate bidding to offer a mentoring program that gives small-to-medium sized businesses a leg up in developing their bid team. Using a blend of face to face meetings and Skype calls, we will work with your team members to help them navigate the complexities of the tendering process. Our mentoring program consists of an in-person introductory meeting, followed by five live skype meetings and a series of guided-learning webinars contact us to register.