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Article Details

Published Date: 31-10-2014
Author: Executive Compass
Category: Tender Writing & Bid Management
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The most common problem clients approach us with is feeling overwhelmed when completing a difficult bid and failing the tender stage as a result.

Bid Writing

This is normally due to the bid writing itself: although the organisation has the competence and proficiency to deliver the work, they have failed to express this through their submission. The all important factor is to create a well written, compliant and evidence-based tender response. Our bid writers provide their top tips on how to achieve this and ultimately improve your bid writing and win more contracts for your business.

How to write a Winning tender:

Analyse the specification

When approaching a PQQ or writing a tender submission, the first thing is to analyse the specification, which goes hand in hand with the bid/no bid decision. Can your organisation successfully deliver the project? Do you have all of the necessary accreditations and certifications? And can you demonstrate this above all of the competition?

Once you have made the decision to go ahead and bid for a contract, the next step is to analyse the specification carefully and mark the criteria in order to structure your response and fully understand what the contracting authority are looking for. Planning and organising your bid before any writing takes place is a crucial step: information gathering, collating relevant supporting documents and producing a plan all help to put the response together and make sure an original bid is generated which meets the specification and answers the question.

Create an evidence-based response

One of our main pieces of advice is to provide evidence! All too often we see bids that have failed due to the fact that arguments are not supported by evidence.

Highlighting to the contracting authority exactly how you have achieved something, and who this was recognised by, increases the weighting of your response and instils confidence in your company.

It is important to add value to your PQQ or tender in any way possible, in order to stand out against the competition and score highly. This can be achieved through the use of effective policies and procedures implemented, relevant case studies showing how you overcame an issue or challenge, and additional supporting documents.

It is important to remember that even if your organisation has a good existing relationship with the contracting authority, you still need to be marked against other companies so must provide reasons and evidence on why you are the strongest bidder.

Effective bid management

You may not be fortunate enough to have a team of staff allocated to writing your bid, but it is likely you will work alongside others within your organisation in terms of information gathering and preparing the bid.
It is vital that all staff members are aware of their delegated duties, whether involved in writing the bid or not, as well as the overall aim of the bid and any deadlines.

Effective organisation, deadlines and review meetings can assist in managing your bid and ensuring that all members of staff are up to date on the bid process. Sections of your bid may have been delegated to different people but if your bid is managed effectively when the response is put together it should still be consistent and answer the question in order to score the highest marks possible.

Utilise feedback

We encourage all our clients to request feedback from any submission, good or bad. Feedback can be analysed for future submissions on which sections scored highly, and any weaknesses and areas for improvement. You should also analyse internal feedback from your bid team.
Our team of bid writers constantly share experiences and any challenges or problems which they may have overcome in order to encourage continuous improvement.

Quality assure your submission

Smaller companies and even freelance bid writers may not have a quality assurance system in place. This is really important and we can’t stress it enough! If you don’t have an external proof reader, another person within your organisation can still review your work for any mistakes and provide that additional point of view.

As well as quality, your work should be checked for compliance. You don’t want to miss out on marks, or even be disqualified from the process due to non-compliance. We have seen this a number of times; from misreading the deadline to forgetting to include an important appendix or supporting document – it is always best to double check!

For further assistance with PQQs and tenders, email our expert bid writers at or call free on 0800 612 5563 to discuss how we can help improve your bid processes and success rate.

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