What is a bid manager?

What is a bid manager? 150 150 Contracts Advance

A bid manager performs a pivotal role in the generation of a response to a tendering opportunity. As a key member of the bid response team, the bid manager is generally responsible for ensuring the bid response addresses all aspects of what the customer is seeking.

An effective bid manager ensures that the bid response:

  • is well structured, making it easy to digest
  • sets out a solution that answers the brief, with options where appropriate
  • provides a clear financial proposal
  • demonstrates the organisation’s expertise

In order to achieve this, the bid manager must have a number of specific qualities, including:

  • strong project management skills
  • good commercial acumen
  • an ability to act as a constructively critical ‘friend’
  • business process insight
  • strong, collaborative inter-personal skills
  • a natural ability to communicate proactively at all stakeholder levels

During the production of the bid response, the role of the bid manager is to apply these skills to get the best out of the bid team. As such, they should challenge the subject matter experts, the technical solution and, where relevant, the financial proposal. Typical questions they might ask are:

  • Why are we proposing that?
  • Why are we saying it in that way? (Can it be explained in simpler language?)
  • How will our solution give us the competitive advantage?
  • Does our solution fully deliver against the requirements?
  • Is our response easily buy-able?

So you can see, the bid manager plays a hugely important role – coordinating, critiquing and collaborating to ensure the bid response is the best it can be.

The role of the bid manager was the topic of a recent webinar we ran, hosted by Lee Hasell and Matt Mitchell. If you’d like to know more, you can watch the webinar above and download the slides below.