One of the many factors behind a successful tender is the use of high quality and relevant information. This provides valuable evidence of your company’s strengths, key differentials and unique selling points. In order to ensure that you obtain and use all the information required for your tender, follow the key steps described below:
Consider the tender documents
Before you start to write anything, consider the questions within the tender and what they are asking. By reading the questions, specification and evaluation criteria you will understand what information to include to answer the question. Spend plenty of time doing this – it will save time later on by avoiding a desperate rush to obtain information close to the submission deadline!
Make timely information requests
To make sure that you receive all information as quickly as possible identify what you need and from where you will obtain it. For example, you may need to obtain details of your accounts from your Accountant, or copies of your policies and procedures from your Human Resources department. When asking for this information it is good practice to explain the timescales for receipt as well as the reasons why it is needed, ensuring that all your colleagues understand the importance of providing it in a timely manner. A good way to do this is to put all required information in a list or spreadsheet and circulate it to all relevant departments.
Update your records
When you receive requested information, mark it off as received on your list or spreadsheet. This will enable you to track what information remains outstanding, so you can start working on the response, and avoid making repeated requests by mistake. It is good practice to review your request list regularly as this helps to manage the submission and ensure its effective and timely completion.
Check the quality of your information
One of the biggest mistakes that companies make when bidding for contracts is to use information which is outdated, irrelevant or not supported by evidence. This misses out on vital points, often resulting in low scores compared to other tenderers. Don’t just blindly include information: challenge it as fully as possible before including it in a submission, critically analysing its suitability. Only include it when you are satisfied that the information adds value to the submission and answers the question. If required, go back to the department to request updated or further information so that your response is as strong as possible.
The most successful bid writing teams don’t just rely on one writer to complete a submission; they often use other writers to quality assure responses and provide an impartial assessment of quality. Likewise, once you receive information, get a colleague to check that it is suitable if you are unsure. This will help you confirm its quality and assist in the completion of high quality responses.
Check your responses
Once you have completed your narrative responses, re-read them to check their readability, flow and that all information has been conveyed in a clear and descriptive manner. It is important to ensure that all relevant information has been included and that the message of your response is obvious. Remember that if you cannot understand the message of the submission then the assessor will not, so earn as many points as possible by telling a story.
We help many companies to improve their bid success rates by helping them maximise all relevant information when preparing a submission, enhancing their prospects of winning the tender. To see how we can assist you please contact us on 0800 612 5563.