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Have you registered with e-Tenders Compete for those lucrative government contracts.

8 months ago

Have you registered with e-Tenders?  The government spends in the region of €9 billion annually on goods and services through e-Tender and wants the SME sector to win a greater portion of this spend. The e-tenders website makes it possible for firms who want to win these contracts to have a completely paperless relationship with public sector buyers.

Every Irish business, large and small, should register to compete for these contracts, the effort is minimal.

If you would like to participate and compete for these contracts, please reach out to us at Bid Specialists and we can set you up and have you bidding for contracts in no time.

8 things great proposal writers do differently.

8 months ago

Below is a very interesting article, writen by Carl Dixon, that I really wanted to share. It contains most of the points I focus on when writing a proposal.

They don’t teach this style of writing in school.

Proposal writing is very different from other forms of writing. The goals are different, the methods are different, and even the word choices are different. Extremely competent professionals often produce text that would be acceptable for other applications, but which amounts to rather ordinary proposal writing. Ordinary proposal writing is not enough to win. So I’m constantly looking for ways to show people how to get from ordinary proposal writing to great proposal writing. When I do proposal training, here are some of the things I focus on to help people break out of the ordinary so they can win in writing.

1. Make a point. Every sentence in a proposal has to do two things: respond to the RFP and make a point that explains why it matters. Don’t just simply tell them what you are offering, why you are qualified, or how much experience you have. Tell them how what you are offering achieves their goals, why your qualifications mean you will be able to deliver as promised, or how your experience will lead to better results. It helps to know what matters. If you don’t make the right points, your proposal will add up to nothing, even if you say how really and truly great your company is.

2. Differentiate. You can’t win if you don’t differentiate. Customers pick winners based on the differences that make one the best alternative. The points you make in your proposal writing must differentiate your proposal.

3. Write from the customer’s perspective instead of your own. It’s not about what you want to say, it’s about what the customer needs to read in order to make their decision. If you simply describe your company and your offering, you’re not writing from the customer’s perspective, you’re writing about yourself. You have to twist your sentences around to be what the customer wants to see instead of just writing what you think sounds good.

4. Use other people’s words. When there’s an RFP and a formal evaluation, you are being evaluated against the words in the RFP. That means your points have to match their evaluation criteria, and you have to make those points using the words of the RFP. Instead of writing things the way you want to say them, you have to use their words. It’s more like solving a puzzle or cooking than it is like speaking.

5. Communicate visually. A great proposal writer doesn’t have to be an artist, but it does help to be able to doodle. A good graphic communicates better than good writing. A good graphic can be used to drive what you do write. Great proposal writers build what they write around great graphics.

6. Have a process. Before you start writing you need to know what points to make. Before you use a graphic to drive what you write, you have to be able to draw that graphic. Before you can use the customer’s words, you have to parse them. Before you can write to the customer’s perspective, you have to understand the customer. Without the right information delivered to the right people at the right time in a chain of events leading up to the start of the proposal, a great proposal writer won’t be able to achieve great proposal writing. Great proposal writing only happens at the tail end of a process.

7. Make it add up to what it will take to win. Winning a proposal requires you to make the points that add up to being the customer’s best alternative. Winning in writing requires discovering what it will take to win.

8. Time management. I know you’re getting pulled in a hundred different directions, but there’s this thing called a deadline… Even if you have the skills and you have the information, you have to be able to deliver on time in spite of all the distractions. You have to prioritize, and this may mean some brutal choices. But keep your eyes on the prize. See “Making it add up to what it takes to win” above. See “Have a process” above for the most significant thing you can do to support time management.What great proposal writers do is bring it all together at the same time. They do all of them and skip none of them. They do them all in every single sentence. When you put an ordinary proposal next to a great proposal, the difference is huge. Even when the RFP forces everyone to offer the exact same thing, a great proposal will clearly offer more value, be more insightful, and be more trustworthy.

Written by Carl Dickson, the Founder and President of CapturePlanning.com and PropLIBRARY.

Do your bids require a bid manager or bid leader

8 months ago

Bid management is now a thriving profession in Ireland, with more and more organisations realising the benefits of procuring sales through an effective and efficient bid team. Do your bids require a bid manager or bid leader?

Many organisations are still unclear as to what the fundamental role of the bid manager is within the team. The role seems to vary from organisation to organisations and in varying degrees of responsibilities, which is evidenced by the wide-ranging salaries available. At one end, the job can largely be administrative and logistical, and the other it can require the skills of a senior manager, salesperson, marketer, delivery and project manager, graphic designer, etc.

At Bid Specialists we clearly differentiation these two distinct skill sets, bid management and bid leadership.

Bid Management

Bids are professionally managed by a bid manager following tried and tested bid management processes, formulating a fully compliant and sales-driven response. Great bid managers are outstanding at bringing stakeholders and content contributors together, excelling at relationship management and persuasion.

Bid Leadership

Larger more complex bid projects on the other hand – such as a large utility outsourcing project where the contract will run for up to 20-years for example – requires more than a bid manager, it requires a competent bid leader that brings energy, motivation and expertise to larger bid teams. An effective and experienced bid leader will demand ownership for the entire bid, managing multiple work streams whilst driving, capturing and articulating the proposition, differentiation, win theme, win strategy, etc. Complex bid projects should have at least a bid writer and bid manager alongside key work stream owners. See the composition of a generic bid team and the typical work streams and workshops conducted by an effective professional bid leader.

Build proposals more efficiently and accurately with Qorus Document Builder.

8 months ago

Build Proposals More Efficiently and Accurately with Qorus Document Builder. Qorus is leading the field in terms of efficiency and accuracy for tender / proposal / bid production.

Qorus Document Builder for MS Word provides you with a range of tools to build better documents more efficiently and accurately. It allows you to:

Automatically generate new documents with a single click.

Build documents by searching for and inserting existing content in your SharePoint Online.

Simply drag and drop your content.

Ensures that your document always stays up to date.

Easily clean up your document before sending it out.

Qorus Document Builder for Word is available as a free download, when available additional features may require a paid subscription.

Document Builder is designed for Office 2016 and is not compatible with previous versions of Office. It is also not compatible with IE9 and IE10. It is ideal if you have an Office 365 environment. Simply head to the Microsoft Office App Store and install.

Qorus has PowerPoint slide and email builder too; the principle and functionality are similar across all applications.

Is there a growing trend towards bid Management In Ireland

8 months ago

Is there a growing trend towards bid Management In Ireland? Bid management now appears to be a thriving profession, with more and more organisations realising the benefits of procuring sales through an effective and efficient bid team?

I hope so, I’ve recently setup Bid Specialists, an outsourcing bid management services company specialising in the professional management of bids, proposals and tender responses.

Having worked in London for many years where bid management was an accredited and respected profession and bid managers were 10 a penny. I returned to Ireland eight years ago surprised at the lack of awareness for bid management especially with recruiters. They would say “you’re a what, a bid manager, a wha?”. Once explained, they seemed to think bid management was more an admin or secretarial role.

Unsurprisingly, and in the height of the recession, it didn’t take long for me to convince a large organisation of the benefits that an experienced bid professional could bring to a department responding to 40+ bids per month. Very quickly the role grew, as did the requirement for further managers once there was a sharp increase in win rates and an obvious return on investment.

In those intervening eight years I’ve seen a significant increase in demand for Bid Management Services, purely anecdotal, but somewhat evidenced by the number of recruitment calls received and job listings published on a monthly basis. It now seems that bid management is a thriving profession in Ireland, with more and more organisations realising the benefits of procuring sales through an effective and efficient bid team.

The role of a bid manager does seem to vary however from organisation to organisations and in varying degrees of responsibilities, which is evidenced by the wide-ranging salaries available. At one end, the job can largely be administrative and logistical, at the other it can require the skills of a senior manager, salesperson, marketer, delivery and project manager, graphic designer, etc.

At Bid Specialists we have a clear differentiation for these two distinct skill sets, bid management and bid leadership.  See Do your bids require a bid manager or bid leader? for a clear differentiation between these two roles.

If you only undertake a few bids a year it is critical that they are managed correctly. Outsourcing the task of bid management to a professional, who has the necessary resources and experience, could be the difference between success and failure.

When your next important tender is published why not contact us to see how our bid specialists and bid management process could help support your team to create a winning bid?

At Bid Specialists, all our Bid Managers are certified to Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP), the worldwide authority for professionals dedicated to the process of winning business through proposals, bids, tenders, and presentations.