Business Services & Facilities Management Company
Our client is the market leader in their sector, and to maintain this position the company sets challenging sales targets for its various divisions. Despite its leading position, the business recognised that there was an opportunity to improve the quality of the tenders it produces, increasing the success rate as a result.
There is a high degree of autonomy within the group, allowing each division to make some supplier selection decisions. Initially, this meant that the central Sales Operations team chose Bid Perfect to offer a flexible, alternative training provider to an incumbent trainer/consultancy already working in certain areas of the organisation. The offer was immediately taken up by the education division, closely followed by the Irish operation.
On appointment of a new Sales Operations Director, a decision was made to move to one provider across the group. This has cost benefits and improves continuity and standardisation of message. Bid Perfect was selected to deliver the training programme, which has been augmented to include full tender support services and content creation projects.
After sending four people on a Bid Perfect open course to provide proof of concept, representatives from both companies held a series of meetings to work through the course content and agree a client-specific version. Bid Perfect followed a tried and tested approach – a ‘mini-consultancy’ involving:
- Reviewing several client bids
- Understanding the client structure and those that are candidates for training
- Assessing client tender feedback
- Looking at how competitors to our client present themselves
- Discussions and meetings to hone and finalise course content
From the process above, Bid Perfect developed a two day Bids and Tenders Foundation Skills Workshop. The core of its content is based on Bid Perfect’s generic course offering (as the fundamental concepts and ‘rules’ can be applied to any market), but was tailored through the use of client-specific material, examples, questions, etc.
The programme commenced with the educational sector business, where two courses were delivered in quick succession to a mixture of sales and bidding personnel, contract operators and subject matter experts. Bid Perfect also created a one day workshop for the senior management team. This was quickly followed by adopting exactly the same approach for the delivery of three courses in Dublin for the Irish business.
Since the selection of Bid Perfect as the sole training provider, there has been a continuation of sector-specific courses, where themes and content were tweaked to provide the most relevance to each market. Due to a higher degree of centralisation, cross-sector workshops have also been run with participants attending having different roles and responsibilities. This has led to the forthcoming delivery of one day workshops for those, such as subject matter experts, who do not require the full range of topics covered in the two day course (in the same way as for the version created for senior management teams).
On the back of the training programme, Bid Perfect has supported four divisions with bid management, writing and review services.
The number of client personnel trained by Bid Perfect is now approaching 200 and we are looking forward to continuing and expanding our strong partnership, always considering the potential for improvement and responding quickly to client requests.
The Bid Perfect Team:
Neal Basson and Marcus Eden-Ellis, owners and Directors/Consultants for Bid Perfect take joint responsibility for the management of the client relationship and creation, ongoing development and delivery of the training programme.
Client support for live tenders has also been provided by Neal and Marcus. Kimberley Roberts, Bid Perfect Senior Bid Consultant, has also worked extensively with the client on several bids over the last few months.
Prominent issues encountered:
There is a good working relationship between the parties and any issues that have come up have been discussed and resolved. For example, due to a change in management and strategy, our client needed to achieve an improved financial arrangement for the training, but was prepared to reward the successful provider with a higher degree of commitment. After discussions, a win/win was achieved for both parties.
Our client is keen to ensure that the bid skills training does not contradict, dilute or repeat other programmes run around the subject of business development. There is also a requirement to ensure the content is very relevant to the role of the audience within the tender process (e.g. subject matter experts). This has become more apparent as the programme has matured, hence the development of a shortened one day workshop.
Lastly, and this is true of all training, the business and its leaders need to support those that have learnt new skills and techniques to be able to apply these in the workplace. This can involve development in functions and processes that assist the sales effort. Fortunately, Bid Perfect has had the opportunity to meet and present to the group’s senior management team, who have given their full support to the programme.
Principal outcome summary:
The programme has been running for ten months and the written and verbal feedback shows that it has been received very positively from the large majority of delegates. The techniques taught by Bid Perfect are uncomplicated and have resulted in some specific instances of success for our client.
Although progress has certainly been achieved, less than a year is still a relatively short amount of time and we will need to continuously refine our approach and monitor the impact, based on ongoing feedback and evolution of tender success rate.
Typical course delegate comment:
“A fantastic course. I really enjoyed the training. It was delivered at the right pace and I learned a huge amount. My tender writing has already improved dramatically.”
Key points of this case study:
- Client needs fully understood
- Current client standards and quality assessed
- Flexible approach by both parties
- Adaptable content for different audiences/divisions
- Positive feedback
- Training complements other Bid Perfect services provided
- Open dialogue with partnership approach