Connect your sales, bid and estimating team – all in one place.
Bid management is a process that brings together internal stakeholders across the business leading up to, and during, a tender. Strategy, bid/proposal solution, risk management and pricing are some of the many aspects that need to be developed, analysed and reviewed at various points along the way. Bid teams – comprised of core bid or proposal managers and the many subject matter experts who will be involved in the solution design and pricing – will often be required to work on several bid projects concurrently and achieve multiple deadlines. These teams also need to conduct market and competitor research to continue to challenge and improve on solution offerings and their costings. A centralised bid system brings everyone, and everything related to the bid, into one place.
With so many bidding opportunities coming to market, and organisations moving to more collaborative yet remote ways of working, those still wrangling spreadsheets are struggling to keep on top of how their business line portfolios are tracking with their bid activity, their status and the outcomes. Many businesses are now looking at at ways to simplify and streamline the process to save time and reduce cost, while enabling more meaningful analysis to help them make better decisions to improve win rates. If you’re looking at developing a business case to move from spreadsheets to a centralised bid management system, here are some top reasons to make the move.
1. Transparency across the business
Many organisations have document management systems for their day-to-day bidding operations. However, left as standalone systems, these systems often become a minefield of data silos. Failing to capture a 360-degree view of your bidding activity and the outcomes of those bids creates information gaps that can lead to poor results.
A centralised digital bid register will help you gain visibility of current and past bids, bid/no bid decisions, customer timelines and due dates, assigned bid leads and team workloads, contract values and the win/loss outcomes. Importantly, when synched with your CRM all departments in your organisation have a more comprehensive view of the opportunity pipeline and visibility into knowledge that can be shared in collaboration with others across departments. For example, without bridging the sales and bid teams, your sales people might not be aware of a competitive tender, resulting in a potential breach of probity by contacting a customer during the ‘’no contact” period. This can risk disqualification and a missed opportunity (not to mention potential reputational damage).
2. Monitoring bid status and workloads in real time
While CRM software and spreadsheets can help with leads and registering various activities, a centralised bid system will give you the ability to better organise the many time-sensitive deliverables and multiple team members you need to manage across the end-to-end bid process. A centralised bid system enables you to seamlessly manage multiple bids simultaneously, reducing the burden of keeping spreadsheets up to date manually.
Automated notifications and reminders of bid milestones and individual tasks reduces email clutter and lost communication, and top down visibility of section due dates improves compliance and ensures deadlines aren’t missed. Once the bid has been submitted, a central bid system also keeps everyone informed as to the stage of the bid decision (shortlisted/won/lost/withdrawn) so that project pipelines and resources can be planned in advance, while pipeline revenue can be monitored and quickly reported on.
3. Access to content
Sales teams and subject matter experts are expected to work on bids on top of their already busy jobs. As they are time-poor they shouldn’t have to waste time trying to locate the right content for their bids. A central bid system will be able to provide a workspace to support field sales and subject matter experts’ timely input, along with communication tools to help them understand the customer requirements and bid expectations.
Having a central content library and shared drafting space speeds up the process by greatly reducing email clutter. This improves version control and the often-missed content contributions that can accidently be grouped through re:re:re: responses. With a shared workspace team members can go back to previous bids to review their methodologies or field notes; and they can quickly see a summary of what they need to do. They can can also collaborate and communicate with other team members; they can see writing instructions within that section in real time; and they can receive date reminders as notifications as well as track the status of the review and approval process.
4. Insights to help you win more
Since bidding is data heavy, highly collaborative and time sensitive, capturing the data as it comes to hand in a static spreadsheet can become an administrative burden, leading to the risk of poor compliance, missed deadlines, and the loss of potential new work for your organisation. Another challenge with spreadsheets is that it often requires an expert to extract and analyse the data to view aggregated performance insights. This is also a missed opportunity for broader team knowledge sharing.
A centralised bid system makes it far easier to get full view of the opportunity pipeline right across the business, enabling executives to prioritise opportunities that are more likely to win. Being able to view past winning bid prices and identifying patterns behind wins and losses also helps to improve bid qualification (bid/no bid decision) and win rate by as much as 20% which can translate to millions of dollars in revenue.
Bidhive makes the time-sensitive procurement bidding process faster and more efficient, with best practice tools and a single source of truth of bidding activity and outcomes to give you competitive advantage. The benefits of using a platform such as Bidhive include efficiency gains to provide return on your bidding investment, and better insights to inform bidding strategy.
Have a CSV file? Bidhive can map your data to the following columns: name, type, customer, description, contract value, contract value type, status, reference, issue date, start date, due date, actual decision date, business line, bid manager, and job number. Getting started is as easy as a drag, drop, upload and click.