Most organisations will encounter a time when they need to tender for a specific contract – it may be to expand and grow, or it may be to continue working with a certain supplier. In both the public and private sector, tendering is the most common way of securing work.
Above all tendering is a competition, and the most economically advantageous tender (MEAT) bidder will be selected through the tendering process to work with the buyer on the contract. Experts at Executive Compass have worked with thousands of companies bidding for tender contracts and share some light on what it takes to write winning tenders.
Tender writing: where should you start?
Drawing upon our experience of why companies don’t secure contracts, the first place to start in the tender process is with identifying the correct tender opportunity. But before diving straight into writing your tender, you must undertake a thorough review of the tender opportunity, to determine your chances of success. At this stage you can evaluate your likely competitors, pick apart the specification and the buyer’s strategic aims, and also look at your company’s experience and differentiators, to determine if it is a good contract for your organisation. If you feel it is unlikely you can win a tender bid, it may have to be a “no bid”.
Next comes the actual tender writing. Considering how to win a tender through your writing is all about planning, being persuasive and always keeping the questions in mind. Do not fall into the trap of writing a bid that you would prefer – winning tenders have to be what the evaluator wants to read and what they have asked you to include. Stick to the evaluation criteria and let this guide your tender submission for the individual tender opportunity.
What is a “must-have” in your tender?
One way to ensure your contract bid is on the right track is to ensure that you “have” everything the buyer is looking for, and this is easily accessible. Again, this is true of both public and private sector tenders.
Typically, this will be the following:
- Trading history of a minimum of three years (if it is a large contract you probably want to show more length of service as a company – it is very likely your competitors will)
- Relevant experience, usually shown in case studies that are relevant to the tender contract, can be both public and private
- All suitable memberships and certifications for your industry sector
- A unique USP to set your company apart from competitors
- Solid organisational structure and appropriate staff for the contract.
Continual improvement for your tenders
If there is an occasion when you are not successful with a bid, learn from it! This is key when you are considering how to win a tender. There are several steps for continual improvement that can help achieve higher success rates the next time you complete an invitation to tender:
- Always request feedback from the buying authority
- Undertake a post-bid review to determine what scored well and what didn’t
- Review underperforming areas for your bid and actions – Do you need to review your social value strategy? Were your case studies not up to scratch?
- Enlist support or improvement plans ahead of the next bid – do not leave it until the last minute
- Review your tender writing – is the style, win themes and format as best as it can be?
- Make sure you don’t make the same mistakes on the next tender opportunity!
To discuss how Executive Compass can help you to win a tender, contact us today for a further chat and no-obligation quotation.