One of the best ways to improve your success rate when bidding for public sector contracts is to effectively utilise evaluator feedback.
Proper use of feedback allows you to find weaknesses within submissions and also learn about where your strengths lie. This is a vital source of information which, for many companies, often goes unused.
The first stage or receiving feedback is to break it down and actually understand it. As you work through each section of the submission highlight areas which scored highly and those which did not.
You can now start pulling details from the feedback, separating feedback into positive and negative. The key here is to find the reason behind the score you received. If a particular section scored highly, what was the reason? What made it stand out?
If there was a low scoring area, why did this not do well? What makes it different from the other sections? Look at feedback as a whole across the bid – if one section performed better than others, why?
It is good to work with team members at this stage to break down the responses and discuss the reason behind everything. In order to improve a bid writer must understand where mistakes occur and why.
Creating and maintaining a bid library
The next stage of feedback is more practical and involves the creation and maintenance of a bid library.
This is a collection of responses, model answers and supporting documents which you know will work and score highly.
The key is to take areas from previous submissions which did well and place them in your bid library to be adapted for future submissions. This will save time and improve quality. Areas which performed poorly must be analysed and corrected before being placed in the bid library.
This process is ongoing and must be completed after each submission in order to have the strongest, most up to date library.
Learning from feedback
Each member of the team has a responsibility to understand what did and did not work in the bid. It is important to take feedback seriously and spend time working on improving in order to succeed in the future.
It is very easy to simply glance over evaluator feedback without really giving thought to what it means, but companies who win in the long run often spend more time work-shopping feedback, than completing submissions.
The purpose is to simplify the process and improve the quality of your next PQQ or tender and doing so will see your company win more contracts.
For more tips, watch this video of common proposal writing mistakes: