How to Become a Bid Manager

Updated on October 30, 2016

What is a Bid Manager?

A Bid Manager writes proposal documents to other businesses, trying to win work for their own company.

They will either write a proposal based on an outline of what the customer has specified they want, or answer specific questions posed by the potential customer.

The Bid Manager's job is to sell their company to the potential customer in order to win the work.

A Bid Manager can make a huge difference to a company's revenue and is seen as a valuable asset in many industries. They are more common in the construction industry than any other.

What Does a Bid Manager Do?

A Bid Manager will receive a variety of documents from potential customers with the following abbreviations:

  • PQQ - Pre-Qualification Questionnaire. This is the first stage of the tender process and narrows down potential suppliers or subcontractors for the customer.
  • ITT - Invitation To Tender. This is the second stage of the tender process and should result in a final organisation being selected by the customer.
  • BAFO - Best And Final Offer. Some customer's will add a final stage to the tender process to try to reduce the prices that you've submitted in the ITT stage.
  • RFQ - Request for Quotation. Some customers just want a quotation without too much of the sales documentation you usually produce.
  • RFP - Request for Proposal. This requires a quotation and the sales documentation you create to sell the company. You may be given an outline of what the customer wants to see or you will have free reign to produce a proposal that you think shows your company in its best light.

A Bid Manager will respond to these requests by ensuring they fully understand the customer's instructions and producing a document that will convince them to hire their company for the work.

To produce this documentation they will probably work with a number of stakeholders throughout the business, including the health and safety advisor, the commercial department (for pricing) and the operation department (to ascertain how the contract will be carried out).

The proposal document will usually have a deadline. Deadlines can be very short (I've had ones where they have had a 24 hour deadline) or they can be fairly long (around 6 weeks). Because of this you must be prepared to occasionally put in extra hours to meet these deadlines.

What Skills Do I Need to Be a Bid Manager?

One of the main skills needed, which many people lack, is excellent organisation. You can be juggling several tenders at the same time, with parts of them being completed by different people. You need to know how each tender is progressing and when their deadlines are. To do this, I use a bespoke spreadsheet where I can note whether I have allocated parts of the work to other stakeholders, the deadlines and the progress made.

Bid Managers must also have very good written communication skills. Trying to sell a company's products or services through words can be very difficult, and the customer will not want to spend hours and hours reading through a long document. You must be able to give the customer a clear picture of what you can do whilst still being concise. Some customers will set word limits that you must adhere to.

You must also have great attention to detail, noting their exact requirements, as you can be disqualified from the bidding process if you don't follow their instructions.

What is the Salary?

The salary of Bid Managers can vary widely and is dependent on experience and the industry you work in.

In the UK, the average salary is probably between £30k-£40k, but it is not uncommon to see positions advertised up to about £80k. With the higher salaries you are probably required to have specialist knowledge and qualifications of a particular sector and will take on more responsibility with a bid team to manage.

It is not common to work on a commission basis.

How Do I Get My First Role?

If your own company has a Bid Manager position, this would be the best introduction into the role if it becomes available, as you already know the company well enough to write about it.

However, this opportunity is unlikely to arise for many.

Offer to help the current Bid Manager out by answering any small questionnaires they may have. Answering these is a good insight into the sorts of questions they have to respond to in larger tenders.

Look for jobs with the words 'bid' or 'tender' in them, such as 'Bid Writer' or 'Tender Executive', where you will be part of a team assisting a Bid Manager and you can learn the role with a little less responsibility and be provided guidance from the Bid Manager.

Make sure you write a good cover letter for the job, selling yourself. If you can't sell yourself in a letter, how is the employer to know if you'd be able to sell their company?

I got into my first Bid Manager role when the company I worked at had a restructure and created a new Bid Manager role. I applied for the position and improved my salary when I accepted an offer. This was the opportunity that set me up for a career that I have now been in for just under five years. I have since increased my salary by over 60% from that initial job and my future prospects are a lot brighter than they were before.

I can genuinely say that I enjoy my job, and despite the frustrations with others not able to help you when you need them most, and the stress of meeting tight deadlines, it is rewarding when you know that something you've done has had a positive effect on the company you work for.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment

      No comments yet.

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, toughnickel.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://toughnickel.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)