You’ve found an exciting opportunity you wish to bid for, know you have the expertise to deliver a great service, and can’t wait to get started. But, like many of our clients, you may quickly realise you haven’t got the knowledge, skills or in-house capacity to do yourselves justice through the challenging and sometimes stressful bidding process.
If you’re considering getting help but aren’t sure what that might involve, this step-by-step guide lifts the lid on what a typical bid writing process looks like and what you can expect from a specialist bid writing consultancy like Kittle Group.
Step 1: Welcome!
Your first step will be to speak to our business development team, run by Sam and Luke. They’ll talk you through everything you need to know and answer any questions about the bid ahead. They will gain a detailed understanding of what you need and how best to support you through the project.
Our team will create a brief 2 to 3 page document detailing the key things about the tender that you should be aware of, including the quality section, all written responses to be completed, and any other documents you will need to provide. We’ll then tally up the word/page counts, which will help us to advise how long the booking needs to be. We base this on a combination of bid length/pages required, subject matter complexity, number of writers required and the seniority of our available writers. If you’d like the bid to be completed quicker, we can add additional writers, and we can work with you to decide where you would most like our help if your budget means you only want us to work on priority questions.
We consider our writers’ strengths, experience in the industry, and similar past projects when assigning a team. For large tenders that require a bigger team, a senior writer will lead as they will have extensive experience and will have worked on numerous large, complex, and strategic bids.
We’ll send you a quote within 48 hours of your enquiry. If you choose to work with us, we will also send a consultancy agreement and work order to formalise the agreement. Then, we’ll get straight to work!
Step 2: Meet the team
At Kittle Group, we create friendly, efficient, and successful partnerships with our clients. We achieve this through a combination of expert writing knowledge, excellent communication skills, and an emphasis on delighting our clients. This hinges upon the relationships that our writers build with you and your team.
The next step will be to have a kick-off call with the team of writers assigned to your bid. The kick-off call is an excellent opportunity to put a face to a name, discuss the general plan for the bid and help us to further understand your unique requirements. Our Bid Lead will drop you an email to say hello and set out the bid plan detailing which writers are allocated to each question, the timelines and key milestones (e.g. deadline to produce first draft of the responses or review stages for your team). The Bid Lead will also lead on communications throughout the project.
After this meeting, the Bid Lead will email you the plan outlining the timeline for the bid. This will include reading-in (studying the bid documents), interviews, drafting, reviews, and submission. This plan will provide you with a transparent view of exactly what will be happening on each day of the booking. After this, we will establish your preferred means of communication and ways of sharing documents. Typically, we use Microsoft Teams to share documents and communicate as it is simple and secure; however, we have also worked with clients that prefer email and phone, which we are happy to accommodate. As with every part of the process, we will remain flexible to your requirements.
Our writers will spend the first day reading-in to gain an in-depth understanding of what the buyer is asking for and how to answer their questions to score the highest possible marks. Once we have a solid understanding of the bid, we will move on to storyboarding.
Step 3: Storyboarding
With all the above activities complete, we’ve reached the start line of the bid! This can happen as quickly as the very next day, based on your needs and our writers’ availability.
To get started, we’ll reach out to you to organise meetings with relevant members of your team.
The approach underpinning Kittle’s success is called storyboarding. Simply put, it’s an interview that we conduct with your subject matter experts (SMEs) to capture their knowledge that will inform the response.
Your Bid Lead will contact you to organise the first interviews with your team which are a chance for you all to demonstrate your expertise and enable us to present your solution and company in the best possible light in the bid.
It is extremely important that your team attend these meetings as agreed, because the accuracy of the bid plan (created with you in Step 2) depends on these taking place on time.
Whilst interviews are being scheduled and diaries checked, our team of writers will have been carefully constructing a set of interview questions for each response. The purpose of these questions is to provide structure to the interview and to make sure that the response is meeting all the necessary elements of the question and service specification.
As far as possible, our team will send you the questions in advance so you know what to expect and can prepare mentally. Being in partnership with you, we rely on your SMEs’ input to help create an answer that is both well-written and technically excellent. This is why it’s crucial that SMEs carefully read and consider our questions and their answers before the date of the interview, giving you the time you need to produce an excellent solution.
It could be said that the interviews lay the foundation for the entire bid, as they provide us with the raw materials from which to build compelling responses. It should be stressed that these interviews are not a test. Our goal is to let you showcase your experience, passion, and creativity in your field.
We foster a collaborative and friendly environment that gives your team the chance to shine. The writer designated to a particular question will meet with the appropriate SME (or team) to go through the interview questions. Interviews will vary in length, depending on the nature and length of the question. However, we keep them focused so that we don’t take up any more of your time than is necessary.
Working as partners, we will remain responsive to your needs at all points. This may mean that some interviews become an opportunity for SMEs to consult us on their solution. Although we cannot create the solution for you, we can provide insight into ensuring the solution is consistent with the specification of the bid.
Interviews are an opportunity for us to collect the information we need to write the response, whilst sometimes providing constructive challenges to ideas and allowing the SME to work through their solution with someone who has an in-depth knowledge of the service specification and other bid documentation.
Step 4: Writing responses
With all the information collected from the interviews, it’s time for our writers to do what they do best and write! They will take solutions and details described in the interview stage and craft this into an initial draft. The timescale it takes to produce this varies according to the size and complexity of the question; however, writers will follow the plan produced during the initial stages of the bid so you can rest assured of their progress. To ensure that you are always in the loop, the Bid Lead will send you an end-of-day update. This update lays out the outputs of the day, the plan for tomorrow, and any points they need to flag with you. This email will also provide you with an assurance of our progress and be an easy reference point for any information or documents our team needs.
Once the first drafts are completed, our writers will email or upload the documents on a shared Microsoft Teams site (depending on your preference). One of our writers, Jamie Bliss, likens the process to building a house: you assemble your tools and materials by reading through the bid documents and creating your interview questions, then you plan the build and lay the foundations through interviews and answer planning. The initial draft can be imagined as having the structure built, but you might need to tweak the layout of the kitchen. As such, first drafts will often have comments requiring your input. This is to ensure that we are building the highest quality response, and that it wholly reflects your technical capabilities and the strength of your solution. At this stage, we encourage those reviewing our drafts to not only reply to our comments but to leave their own to help us fully encapsulate your requirements.
Step 5: Finishing touches
At this stage, the finish line is in sight. We’ll be making final amendments following your feedback and submitting the responses to you for a final review.
The number of review rounds varies per company and per bid based on its complexity. Some of the more complex bids will go through rounds that we call bronze, silver, and gold reviews. Other clients might call them pink, red and gold reviews. In each iteration, we will see far fewer changes and more senior members of your team will review responses as they progress. The review process itself is usually done online, with reviewers leaving comments in the margin, or it can take the form of a live page turn with the writer via Microsoft Teams, or in person. Our team is very happy to lean on our expertise to advise you on what review process will work best for your requirements.
Step 6: Submission
After all the hard work put in by your team and our writers, it’s time to submit the bid! Depending on what is agreed at engagement stage (Step 1), we can submit the bid for you, or hand over the finished product for you to upload.
And that’s it. The bid is uploaded, the work is done, and then we wait for the buyer to evaluate – hopefully with a successful outcome for you.
If you’d like to speak to us about how we can help you get started with bidding, drop Sam or Luke a line at email@example.com or give them a call on: 0118 449 2506