Many clients prefer our consultants and writers to co-locate with their teams of staff when working on a particular bid. This is an approach we welcome as it provides the perfect combination of resources and opportunity to create strong working relationships, facilitate communication, work collaboratively and achieve a better bid outcome.
You might be forgiven for thinking that only companies with insufficient bidding capacity use bid writers and consultants. While that is true, we have as many clients with internal ‘bid machines’ – teams of staff who spend much of their time preparing tender after tender. So why do they use external consultants?
Large bid teams are diverse in nature – project managers, operational subject matter experts, HR personnel, accountants, and lawyers. They are full of experts in their field and often include internal bid writers. In spite of that, engaging our consultants still adds significant value from:
- Learning acquired across different sectors and industries
- An ability to look at things objectively without internal influence
- A cost effective way of adding capacity for peaks in demand
- Flexibility to manage resources during periods of low bid activity.
We appreciate that for some staff, bringing in a team of external consultants can be daunting. Some may even find it threatening or feel it undermines their own position. At Kittle Associates, we are sensitive to such scenarios and recognise feelings may be very mixed. Our approach is therefore to work collaboratively with staff, to build their trust and to focus on the common objective – to win the bid. Ways we do that include:
- Co-locating with staff to build relationships – integrating ourselves as part of their team
- Working together to find the right solution to problems
- Providing constructive challenge by asking the right questions
- Ensuring bids do not just become case studies of what companies do now – particularly important where they are the incumbent
- Letting staff navigate through internal processes
- Helping staff to develop new skills with confidence of a mentor and coach
- Recognising their subject matter experts are just that.
Knowledge and skills transfer is another key benefit. All too often we hear how companies require this of their consultants but in reality it fails to be achieved. Teams are either too busy, time allocated it too short or consultants are reluctant to impart too much information for fear of undermining their own position. We take a fundamentally different view. Taking time to develop skills demonstrates the added value we bring and differentiates us from many consultancies. It is our way of saying thank you to clients who use us time and time again by way of a free service. At the same time, it raises the profile of the overall bid.
We therefore talk to clients from the outset about using the bid process as an opportunity to develop teams and individuals by setting learning objectives. Clearly the longer the bid, the greater the opportunity, but even the shortest of bids can have learning goals built in. Recent examples of where we have applied this approach include helping to create and implement new processes, building evidence, considering different types of writing styles, and developing softer management skills relevant to bidding.
Whatever size the size of your business – whether a small enterprise or a FTSE-registered company – engaging our bid consultants and writers can benefit your organisation and give you a competitive edge.
To learn more, give our Sales and Account Manager, Sam Nimmo, a call on 01491 902021 or email firstname.lastname@example.org for a no-obligation chat.