How to assemble teams that win tenders
Last updated by Brecht Carnewal on 2023-04-28
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again - building your team is the first step in creating a winning request for proposal. In this guide we will show you how!
Assembling a winning team is crucial when responding to a Request for Proposal (RFP), Request for Information (RFI), or Request for Quotation (RFQ). A well-assembled team can make the difference between winning and losing a contract. In this article, we will discuss the steps and strategies to put together a tender-winning team.
Understand the Requirements
Before building your team, it is essential to understand the client's requirements and the scope of the project. This includes:
- Reading the tender documents & requirements thoroughly
- Identifying key deliverables
- Assessing the project timeline
- Understanding the evaluation criteria
Having a clear understanding of the requirements will help you identify the skills and expertise needed for your team.
Identify Key Roles and Responsibilities
Once you have a clear understanding of the project requirements, the next step is to identify the key roles and responsibilities that your team will need. Typical roles in a tender-winning team may include:
- Project Manager
- Technical Lead
- Subject Matter Experts
- Proposal Manager
- Proposal Writers
- Graphic Designer
Select the Right People
When selecting team members, consider the following factors:
Relevant experience: Choose team members with a proven track record in delivering similar projects. Apart from seniority, however, make sure to … … assemble a diverse team of people! For example, adding more junior people with little experience with RFPs may shine a new light on the process. Availability: Ensure that your team members have enough bandwidth to dedicate to the proposal and project. Team dynamics: Consider how well your team members work together and their ability to collaborate effectively.
Define Clear Goals and Objectives
Establish clear goals and objectives for your team. This will ensure that everyone is on the same page and focused on the same outcome. Some examples of goals might be:
- Submit a compliant proposal
- Address all evaluation criteria effectively
- Showcase the team's expertise and capabilities
- Create a compelling and visually appealing proposal
Develop a Proposal Strategy
Develop a strategy for your proposal that outlines your team's approach to the project. This will help guide your team throughout the proposal process and ensure everyone is working towards the same end goal. Elements of a proposal strategy might include:
- Key messages and themes
- Differentiators that set your team apart from competitors
- A plan for addressing any potential weaknesses
Establish a Proposal Development Process
Having a clear and structured proposal development process is crucial for ensuring that your team works efficiently and effectively. This process should include:
- A detailed proposal schedule with milestones and deadlines
- Clear tasks and responsibilities for each team member
- Regular progress meetings to discuss updates and address any issues
- A review process to ensure quality and compliance
Foster Effective Communication
Encourage open and transparent communication within your team. This will help ensure that any issues or roadblocks are identified early and addressed promptly. Some ways to foster effective communication include:
- Establishing a central communication platform (e.g., Slack, Microsoft Teams)
- Scheduling regular progress meetings
- Encouraging team members to ask questions and share ideas
Monitor and Evaluate Progress
Continuously monitor your team's progress throughout the proposal process. Evaluate the quality of work produced and make any necessary adjustments to ensure that your team is on track to submit a winning proposal. As part of this process, consider:
- Tracking progress against milestones and deadlines
- Identifying and addressing any bottlenecks or issues
- Ensuring that all team members are engaged and contributing effectively
By following these steps and strategies, you can assemble a tender-winning team that is well-equipped to respond to RFPs, RFIs, and RFQs effectively and secure new contracts for your organization.
Extra: Roles & Responsibilities
Business Development Manager The business development manager is responsible for identifying and pursuing new tender opportunities. This includes conducting market research, developing relationships with potential clients, and identifying ways to differentiate the organization from its competitors.
Responsible for overseeing the tender process from start to finish. This includes managing timelines, budgets, and resources, as well as ensuring that the final tender submission meets all requirements. Responsible for developing the overall proposal strategy and ensuring that the response aligns with the client's requirements. This includes managing the proposal process, coordinating with internal and external stakeholders, and ensuring that the final submission is of high quality.
Who? → Project Manager, Product Owner, CPO, Head of Product
The technical expert is responsible for providing subject matter expertise related to the tender. This could include providing technical specifications, responding to technical questions, and developing technical solutions that meet the client's requirements.
Who ? Head of engineering, Tech lead, Software Engineer, CTO
The graphic designer is responsible for developing the visual elements of the tender submission. This includes creating graphics, diagrams, and other visual aids that help communicate the organization's message and differentiate it from its competitors.
The legal expert is responsible for reviewing the tender requirements and ensuring that the organization's response complies with all legal and regulatory requirements. This includes reviewing contract terms, ensuring that intellectual property is protected, and managing any legal issues that arise during the tender process.
To sum up, creating a cohesive team for your Request for Proposals (RFP), Request for Information (RFI), or Request for Quotation (RFQ) is essential for success. This requires a comprehensive understanding of the project's needs and a deliberate strategy in team and role selection, setting clear goals, formulating strategies, and maintaining healthy communication.
By monitoring progress regularly and adjusting as necessary, your diligent efforts are more likely to result in winning proposals, bringing new business and growth to your organization.
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