Companies solicit bids from vendors to obtain information regarding the estimated costs, labour and materials involved in completing a project. Bid managers schedule and coordinate the bid development activities to produce thoughtfully conceived proposals. They ensure completed bids are professional in presentation, delivered on time and in compliance with the specifications noted in the customer's bid request.
Bid managers facilitate the proposal development process from start to finish. They oversee the creation of presales documentation and presentations for potential customers. Bid managers also produce the tendering plan and establish the tendering team, which typically includes representation from a company’s financial, legal, sales and procurement departments. They work closely with sales managers to estimate project costs and track completion of written assignments. Bid managers also organise bid distribution logistics, including the management approval process. Essentially, bid managers oversee the proposal development process to provide high-quality bids on time and in an organised fashion.
Bid managers are self-motivated and possess a thorough understanding of winning strategies. They demonstrate strong leadership skills and motivate the tendering team to work effectively in a dynamic, deadline-driven environment. Bid managers possess excellent project management and time management skills—they use these skills to determine the time required to complete bids and develop realistic work plans. Bid managers are also excellent communicators and relationship builders and demonstrate these skills in person and in writing.
Individuals interested in pursuing a career in bid management should possess strong planning and organizational skills and the ability to gather, organise, interpret and collate data from multiple sources. Because companies use completed bids to generate new business opportunities, strategic thinking and sales skills are also critically important, along with a keen eye for detail. The best bid managers demonstrate a strong ethos and personal passion for producing high-quality work products that focus on the customer’s stated needs.
Education and Job Experience
A bachelor’s degree in business management or a legal degree qualifies individuals for many bid management jobs. Qualified candidates also possess job experience in proposal or grant writing and advanced knowledge of the various procedures and paperwork required for opportunity qualification, contract negotiations and procurement. Individuals who are process oriented, resistant to stress and demonstrate the ability to work well under pressure are best suited for bid management jobs.
According to PayScale, bid managers in the United States bring in annual salaries ranging from £34,767 to £51,994, as of June 2010. Some bid managers also derive income, ranging from £1,625 to £9,750, from bonus payouts. Bid managers employed by companies offering profit-sharing programs may bring in earnings ranging from £666 to £6,561, in addition to their base salaries. The estimated total compensation for bid managers in the United States ranges from £31,923 to £52,107, as of June 2010.
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