At Executive Compass, our goal is to help our clients successfully obtain more contracts. Before approaching us for external assistance, it is often the case that clients have completed a few PQQs and tenders in-house with poor results. So, why were their previous bids unsuccessful? And how can this be prevented?
Evaluate the criteria
Assessing the criteria of a contract is what we refer to as the ‘bid/no bid’ decision. Firstly, can you deliver the contract, do you meet all of the necessary requirements such as turnover and certifications and is the contract part of your organisational strategy? If it is a ‘no’ to any of those questions, it is wise to rethink whether it is the correct contract to bid for.
Requirements such as ISO 9001 quality management or minimum turnover limits can be a pass/fail in a PQQ or tender, highlighting how important it is to read the complete tender specification and double check you are eligible to bid for a contract. Unfortunately we do sometimes have to advise companies not to bid for contracts based on their eligibility and whether they actually meet all requirements.
Know what the contracting authority is looking for
Fortunately for our team of writers, we have the experience to be able to identify exactly what the contracting authority is looking for in a tender – this has come from writing thousands of PQQs and tenders but also reviewing a range of unsuccessful submissions.
The best way to identify exactly what the contracting authority is looking for is to deconstruct the sections and questions in your narrative response. You may be able to compile a well written response but if it doesn’t answer the question, it doesn’t matter! In our experience it is best to be direct, to the point and always refer back to the actual question and contract specification throughout the writing process.
Provide evidence to support your answers and actually show the authority how and why your company is best placed to deliver the contract. Case studies, statistics, references and graphs are all useful ways to showcase your abilities and achievements and differentiate you from the competition. Our bid process is highly evidence based. We find this proves successful time and time again and it is something we cannot stress enough.
Review and learn from the feedback
Reviewing any feedback is a useful exercise for both successful and unsuccessful tenders. Deciphering what went wrong or what gained you high marks in a submission can then be used as pointers for future bids and can help you to create model answers to store in a bid library.
Don’t leave it to chance
Recent procurement directives focus on transparency and fairness in the bidding process – unfortunately this isn’t the case all the time. There are certain situations where you are entering the procedure with a slight disadvantage: if another company is the incumbent for the contract, when you are up against a well-known blue-chip organisation, or if your competitor has built a strong relationship with the authority.
It is vital to give yourself the best chance possible when tendering – don’t leave it to chance. Read the contract specification, be prepared for the bid and produce a well-written, specific response with plenty of evidence to gain the most marks available.
For external assistance with your PQQ or tender, contact us today on 0800 612 5563 or fill out our website contact form to speak to one of our professional bid writers.