Any seasoned bid writer knows that storyboarding is critical to planning a strong proposal.
That’s because it’s a function that helps the team to plan and agree on content themes and key messages, providing a guideline to the response. Your storyboard is an important bidding tool that will help you to achieve consistency across every section in the submission. And just like a shopping list before you do the groceries, it’s important to complete your storyboard in the planning stage of your proposal, before writing has begun. This ensures that all stakeholders are comfortable with the interpretation of the questions, and that responses align to the customer requirements, their ‘hot button’ and the evaluation criteria.
What’s the Value of a Bid Storyboard?
The bid storyboard will keep you focused, working fast and on-point. Otherwise, you waste time wandering up and down aisles as you try to remember what’s on your list or in your recipe.
Without it, you may blow your budget on unnecessary items. Or you return home with items you don’t need and don’t yet have a complete meal. Eventually, you end up returning to the store (or storyboard) – this time with a list – to achieve what could’ve been done with a simple reference in front of you to start with.
But it’s not just about keeping you on track. Storyboarding when planning a bid applies clever marketing and story-selling techniques that help you to persuade your audience, drawing them to your desired conclusion.
By bringing subject matter experts and contributors together before writing has started, you’ll get everyone on the same page to:
- Build a cohesive, logical flow of information throughout your proposal
- Avoid inconsistencies across components of your bid
- Identify any gaps in your offering – and proactively close them
- Ensure your solution and win strategy addresses issues and minimises perceptions of risk that may be held by the customer
- Save re-writing to align with the key requirements, messages or win themes in the later stages of your bid
- Forster healthy collaboration, accountability and buy-in from contributors.
Storyboarding can also save massive time at the end of your process by helping you plan the physical layout of your submission. It may be a simple whiteboard session with your bid team, or page mock-ups, but the storyboard can identify placement of tables, graphics, word or character counters, and pull-out testimonials or phrases.
The Challenges of Storyboarding in Bid Writing
The challenge with storyboarding is that it is completed in the planning stage of your proposal, before any writing has begun.
This means the storyboard can be checked off the to-do list early on in your process and subsequently, “bottom-drawered”. Often, it’s simply lost or drowned out in the noise and chaos of working on a bid.
And so, instead of being used as a central proposal management tool, the bid storyboard is often committed to memory whilst writing.
Depending on how many contributors you have, or how good their memory may be, your response can subsequently end up like one of these well-known logos drawn from memory – amateurish. Without the storyboard front and centre, your process ends up messy, and it costs you a lot of re-work to re-align content with your original response plan.
How to Avoid Storyboarding Pitfalls
The best use of your time storyboarding is to maintain this asset as a bid planning technique and a proposal building tool.
Like the shopping list, take it with you through every step of your bid process. Whether you prefer to print it or keep maintain a digital copy, make sure those writing the bid have it front of mind (and if possible, in front of their eyes) as they work. This will keep you aligned with your strategy, and save painful re-working as you pull your bid together.
The Bidhive digital storyboard provides structure and consistency to your key messages and win themes by following the writing and review team from start to finish.