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The Bid Proposal Cycle

By EdApp
3 Lessons
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About this course

Learn how you can capture new business by using a Bid Proposal Cycle, how to identify and respond to different RFx methods, and how to craft winning bid proposals.

The Bid Proposal Cycle Lessons

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  1. How to Facilitate a Bid Proposal Cycle
  2. How to Identify Competitive Bidding Methods
  3. How to Write Proposals & Win Contracts

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The Bid Proposal Cycle course excerpts

How to Facilitate a Bid Proposal Cycle

Review the different stages of the Proposal Lifecycle (from submitting a bid to signing a contract) and learn a few best practices.

The Bid Proposal Cycle Course - Lesson Excerpt

The Bid Proposal Cycle is a multi-step guide designed to help you secure clients, and track the complex process of writing and submitting bids.

Larry Newman, who wrote a 96-step bidding guide for Shipley Associates, suggests that following a proposal cycle can accomplish the following goals: Help senior managers create a scalable business development scheme, Help teams understand the business development process, and Document best practices, in a clear, linear, and replicable manner.

Newman also stated that following a bidding guide could reap the following benefits for your company: Reduced sales costs ** Increased staff morale and productivity** ** Increased process control** ** Management visibility** & ** More competitive solutions**

While there are no definitive steps, nor a one-size-fits-all version of the Bid Proposal Cycle, there are certain key phases that stay constant to the process.

Based on material from industry leaders like BidSolutions and Shipley Associates, the Bid Proposal Cycle can be divided into four major phases. Explore the image on the next slide for a quick look at each phase.

What are the benefits of following a proposal cycle? Select all that apply

PHASE 1: Positioning and Identification

MAKE A PURSUIT DECISION Which clients are you interested in pursuing? Which companies do you want to prioritize and why? Scan your market and identify customer needs. Analyse which specific prospects will most likely to benefit from, and buy your solution.

MARKET YOUR PRODUCT Market towards your prospects. Establish contact and make sure they're aware that your services are available.

PREPARE FOR BID INQUIRIES Draft budget proposals, executive summaries, and other preliminary documents for your product. Anticipate RFx solicitations and design responses in a way that gives you a competitive advantage. You'll learn more about competitive bidding and crafting RFx responses in another lesson.

RESPOND TO RFIs & RFQs Responding to broader requests like RFIs and RFQs demands less preparation than proposals, but effectively position your company as a potential vendor. If you have a digital catalogue, monitor your automated RFQs.

REVIEW RFPs Receiving a Request for Proposal from a potential client initiates the second phase of the Bid Proposal Cycle.

PHASE 2: Proposal Development

** MAKE A BID/NO BID DECISION ** Evaluate your interest in submitting a proposal and your capacity to fulfil the prospect's needs. Consider the pros, cons and risks. What are your chances of winning the bid and securing a contract?

WRITE & REVIEW THE PROPOSAL You can use a template to write this bid proposal, but make sure that details and arrangements are geared towards the needs of the client. Perform the quality assurance and due diligence to make sure you have a competitive bid. You'll learn more about how to craft a winning proposal in another lesson.

SUBMIT & PRESENT YOUR PROPOSAL Prepare to clarify points and bid details that the client may raise. Continue enabling your sale by emphasizing ROIs and positioning your product as the prospect's most viable solution.

To summarize, there are no definitive steps to the bid proposal process. However, following a sequence of positioning, proposal development, contract negotiations, and debriefing, can keep your sales team on track towards capturing new business.

How to Identify Competitive Bidding Methods

Review RFx basics, and learn how to recognize and approach different procurement styles.

The Bid Proposal Cycle Course - Lesson Excerpt

According to the Corporate Finance Institute, "competitive bidding is a form of solicitation that is used in the procurement of goods and services."

Companies and government agencies initiate competitive bidding when they need to acquire goods or services at a large scale.

The acquisition usually begins by sending out solicitations in the form of a Request for Information (RFI), Request for Quote (RFQ), or Request for Proposal (RFP).

These business requests are collectively known as Competitive Bidding Methods, or RFx.

As a vendor, it's important to know the goals and functions of each RFx so that you can evaluate opportunities, and position your product well.

It pays to know the ins and outs of RFIs, RFQs, and RFPs. This knowledge helps you craft professional responses, and evaluate whether an opportunity can lead to a good business collaboration between you and the prospect.

How to Write Proposals & Win Contracts

Learn about what goes into writing successful bids, and increase your chances of winning a contract.

The Bid Proposal Cycle Course - Lesson Excerpt

TO BID OR NOT TO BID? That is the question every vendor confronts upon receiving an RFP.

Whether to submit a competitive bid for a contract is likely the most crucial decision you'll make in the bid proposal cycle.

As a vendor or sales representative, you always want to be closing deals and capturing new business.

But is bidding always the most strategic move?

While there is no foolproof way to predict business outcomes, you can develop criteria or scorecards to help evaluate RFPs in an objective, data-driven way.

Bid/no bid criteria will look different for every company, but some considerations are universal.

On the next slide, consider your company's own bid/no bid criteria.

You can weigh the following questions before submitting a proposal: Do we understand the prospect's mission? Do we have a solution that will help achieve this mission and the prospect's contract objectives? Do we know who we're competing against, and can we win against them? Do we have a teaming strategy, and can we get the right subcontractors? Do we know the prospect's ideal price point? Can we meet it and make a profit? Do we have a compelling win strategy? You'll likely add more considerations to your company's scorecard, but these questions are a good place to start.

"For every 20 minutes spent writing the words, you should spend around 80 minutes doing homework." This "homework" involves the following best practices:

Analyse your communication objectives. *What does the prospect really want? * Convey and reiterate how and why you can fulfil that need.

Craft an easy-to-follow framework. Make sure that you gather and include all the needed information in a clear format. Your prospect shouldn't have to guess where to find anything.

Develop a compelling core message. What key points should the prospect remember after reading your proposal? Make sure that these takeaways are strong enough to convince them to buy in.

Edit and proofread. Craft a thoroughly professional bid by using clear language and formatting, well-structured ideas, and no spelling or grammatical errors. Branding your documents can also make the proposal more impactful.

Review the proposal. Conduct several rounds of content and format reviews. Make sure that your core message, win strategy, and supporting information are vetted and approved by more than one point of view.

To win contracts and capture new business, remember to : Weigh your opportunities before the pursuit, Do rigorous research, Craft well-structured, well-vetted proposals, and Carefully negotiate bids with your prospects.

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The Bid Proposal Cycle


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