The Bid Journey

Winning work requires more than writing bids…

Winning work requires a proactive, strategic approach with alignment of strategy, business development, sales and marketing to understand your client’s requirements, and give you the best chance of success.

Our best practice Bid Journey methodology helps you understand what it takes to maximise your work winning activity.

The Bid Journey empowers you to create a high performing, work winning culture in your business that is focused on securing profitable, sustainable contracts through continuous improvement.

The Bid Journey empowers you to create a high performing, work winning culture in your business that is focused on maximising return-on-investment and securing profitable, sustainable contracts through a cycle of best practice and continuous improvement.

The Bid Journey is broken down into 4 distinct phases:

The Pre-Bid phase aligns your business strategy and objectives with your work winning strategy: who are your target clients, identifying the pipeline of opportunities, aligning business development, capture management and marketing strategy to build relationships with the client to understand their needs and improve your chances of success. Did you know that approximately 60% of a buyer’s decision making effort is made prior to issuing a tender to the market. This demonstrates the value of the Pre-Bid phase as part of your work winning strategy – helping influence the buyer’s requirement and maximising your chance of success

The Bid Development phase focuses on the development of a client focused, compelling bid informed by your Pre-bid activity. This phase brings together client insights from your business development, capture and marketing team, as well as your subject matter experts and bid team. Having the right team in place to support the bid or pitch is fundamental. A robust ‘bid / no bid’ assessment should be made to qualify the opportunity before committing time and resources to the bid development.

The Delivery phase is about executing the contract as you have committed to in your tender. This phase requires effective handover, implementation and delivery of the contract, as well as robust contract management procedures that allow you to demonstrate the delivery of contractual requirements and KPI’s. This enables you to capture the project as a case study for future contract opportunities

The Continuous Improvement phase is your opportunity to learn, improve and evolve your bid process, whether you win or lose. Gather feedback from clients to help you improve, de-brief with your team and re-fresh solutions and content to help you win the next contract. 

The four phases are interlinked by having the right people, processes and systems in place across your business, working effectively together to achieve optimum results.

The four phases are interlinked by having the right people, processes and systems in place across your business, working effectively together to achieve optimum results.

Bid Journey Related Posts

The Bid Journey was developed by Paul Johnstone, founder of Optimum Business Growth. Paul has over a decade of procurement experience, and has been responsible for procuring and managing over £750m of contracts.
Paul created the Bid Journey model, based on his experience of how many companies approached work winning activity, which in his experience was often reactive and lacking any clear strategy.
Paul understands what ‘good looks like’ to the procurement team and their stakeholders; the Bid Journey is the methodology to help businesses achieve this.

The Bid Journey is a best practice methodology designed to help businesses win more work. The Bid Journey breaks down the end-to-end work winning cycle into four distinct and easy to follow phases: Pre-Bid, Bid Development, Delivery and Continuous Improvement.

By following the Bid Journey, you are guaranteed to improve your chances of winning more contracts by prioritising fewer, better qualified opportunities and implementing best practice throughout your work winning journey.

The Bid Journey helps you win more work by encouraging you to focus on bidding for contracts where you have the best chance of winning. You will have the best chance of winning these contracts by following the Bid Journey methodology and taking a strategic, proactive, whole company approach to work winning. The Bid Journey provides you with the steps, processes and resources you need to create a sustainable work winning model in your business, leading to winning more profitable work more often.

There are four key stages in the Bid Journey:

  • Pre-Bid – The important first stage of the work winning journey. Here you are taking proactive steps to develop your opportunity pipeline, and identify the clients you want to work with. Business Development, Sales and Marketing are engaged at this stage to perform capture and to establish and develop relationships with potential clients and decision makers. This presents an early opportunity to qualify clients and opportunities before they come to market.You are also developing your bid content and aligning marketing activity towards key upcoming bids and prospective clients.


  • Bid Development – where your team are responding to a live tender / RFP / pitch situation. At this stage you have qualified the opportunity as ‘go’ and you are using the client intelligence and market insights from the Pre-Bid stage to produce a client focused winning proposal.


  • Delivery – once the client awards you the contract you then need to deliver what you promised in line with the client’s requirements. Excellent delivery, supported by good contract management processes will ensure that you delight your client. Use this contract as a case study to win other contracts, and influence your existing client to extend or renew with you again.


  • Continuous Improvement – work winning never stops and you can’t afford to stand still. Gather feedback from the buyer on how you could have improved (whether you win or lose), and review internally to identify opportunities to improve in future bids.
Yes it is. The Bid Journey is industry agnostic, meaning that it is relevant to any industry sector. It has been developed based on our experience in procuring and winning contracts in many sectors including construction, facilities management, engineering, consultancy and professional services.

Yes it can. The Bid Journey is a best practice methodology which we encourage businesses to follow as far as possible.

We recognise that all businesses are unique, in terms of their size, sector, work winning maturity, internal governance and ways of working. The Bid Journey has been designed as a modular methodology which can be adapted to your business.

Your company will maximise the benefits of the Bid Journey model by implementing as many of the steps as possible within your work winning process.

Implementing the Bid Journey in your business is a team effort.  

First of all, it requires the support and buy-in from Senior Management, to realise the benefits of adopting a strategic and systemised approach to winning work through bids and tenders.

Optimum results are achieved when Business Development, Sales, Marketing and Bid teams are engaged in implementing the model into your business, with cross functional working and roles and responsibilities clearly defined.

And don’t forget about your subject matter experts, the people who have some of the best insights into how to deliver the contract. Their buy-in is essential for maximum success.

Winning work is everyone’s responsibility.

The Bid Journey can be delivered into your business through our range of Strategy, Consultancy and Training services. 

To help you achieve optimum results, we would recommend our Work Winning diagnostic to help understand your current work winning capabilities, your future goals, and areas for development.

From this exercise we can provide you with an informed proposal, designed to make the biggest impact to your business.

Our Service offering includes:

Strategy – developing your Work Winning strategy, defining your goals, target clients and SMART objectives to help measure your performance

Consultancy – support to implement a range of best practice policies, processes and resources to optimise your work winning capabilities. This also includes bid library content development, bid benchmarks and live bid services

Training – providing a range of training and coaching services to improve the internal work winning capability within your business, including coaching for Senior Management, a range of in-house and open training programmes, and mentoring for junior bid team members of your team

You can find out more on our Services page

Yes we can. Our Work Winning Diagnostic is designed to help you understand your current work winning capability against the Bid Journey methodology. It identifies what you are doing well as well as opportunities for improvement in your processes.