The relationship between marketing and business development (BD) varies greatly among health sciences companies. Overall, we are seeing a greater integration of the disciplines, as many strategies require the two work closely to execute successfully. Proposals and bid defenses included.

If you’ve traditionally had your BD team take the reins for proposals and bid defenses, collaborating with your marketing team can improve your proposal and bid research, presentation, communication, and follow-up. This is particularly important today as we face an increasingly virtualized buying journey.

Without face-to-face meetings, your traditional proposal and/or bid defense format may struggle to stand out or convey the information it did in person. Even if you’ve made the transition to virtualized presentations and proposals, creating templates and updating guidelines can yield faster proposal turnaround, particularly as your BD team expands.

That’s why we’ve compiled this checklist of materials and strategies to help you create and deliver a winning proposal.

Proposal/RFI Response Checklist

  • Create a template in Word or a proposal automation software
    • Include headshots
    • Establish an RFI guide
    • Create a common Q&A library
  • Develop messaging with a unified, on-brand voice
  • Incorporate branded videos and graphics
    • Consider creating a talking head or animated explainer video to create a more personal experience, even virtually
  • Reach out on LinkedIn or via email
  • Compile a dossier
    • Include background research on the target company, contacts (influencers and decision-makers), competitors, recent news, and relevant pipelines, to improve the context and relevance of the solution you present

Bid Defense Checklist

  • Develop a slide deck template
    • Create custom avatars to clarify presenters or feature client
    • Consider a dedicated slide deck designer (or contract a designer to attend prep meetings, be on calls, and more to build a better live presentation)
  • Video conference virtual backgrounds or coordinated outfits
  • For CROs:
    • Create a study theme/name and examples of materials
    • Develop a recruitment and retention material template package (e.g., ad templates, environmental, outreach copy, etc.)
    • Involve patients, advocates, or other relevant groups in your meetings to show you’re invested in understanding study and patient needs
  • Develop a packaged gift, 3D mailer, or other thank you to show your appreciation for time and consideration
  • Create virtual business cards that compile all personal and company info into one link/profile
  • Follow up on LinkedIn or via email
  • Have a post-bid defense strategy:
    • Create a plan for BD contacts and executives to follow up
    • Invite prospects to a virtual venue, where you can share compelling content (e.g., case studies), engage with customers directly, and offer a live chat or presentation space; you can also use a virtual booth to generate and capture leads and provide an updated virtual setting for different events throughout the year
    • Create a personal thank you video

If you’re interested in overhauling your proposal and bid defense strategy, let’s talk. SCORR can provide research, design, writing, and strategic support in any capacity to maximize your BD team’s potential.

About the Author

Christine Wigert

Senior Director of Business Development

Passionate about the value that SCORR delivers in the health sciences industry, Christine works with potential new clients, sharing information about our team’s expertise and winning marketing and branding strategies. As a former senior member of SCORR’s account team, Christine was fundamental in the strategic development and success of a number of brands — experience that she applies as she builds relationships with health science companies, helping them understand why marketing programs must be strategic and measurable to effectively improve ROI.