One of the most common questions we are faced with is “why did my bid fail?” Companies bidding for contracts will inevitably encounter failure at some point, but is important to understand the reasons a submission was unsuccessful.
We have put together a list of some of the most common reasons why companies fail:
1. Not following the specification
The specification is your guide to completing the tender and not following it will inevitably result in failure.
Make notes and pay attention to specific areas such as word count, font type, layout and style as these often trip companies up. Any aspect which is not adhered to is a potential area the evaluator will use to exclude you.
As procurement procedures become more competitive, the contracting authority will look for any reason to narrow down the field, so stick to the specification.
2. Basic or irrelevant answers
Many tenders and PQQs we review have extremely limited responses. Although they answer the question, the response is basic and does not give enough detail.
Each response must explain in detail how your company will deliver the contract and, more importantly, how it will be better than other companies.
On the other side of the coin there are answers which although detailed, do not answer the question, Keep referring back during your response to ensure the relevance of your answer.
3. Not enough convincing evidence
Each point you make within a submission must be backed up with evidence. You must be able to explain exactly how your services will benefit the contract.
Without enough convincing evidence the contracting authority cannot be sure of the quality of your bid and you will likely lose out to a competitor.
4. Past experience
In general your past experience is the source of your supporting evidence. Many tenders require a certain number of years’ experience within a field in order to be compliant. As such there is no point bidding for a contract that requires five years’ experience if you only have three.
Again, refer to the specification and ensure you are fully compliant before committing time and resources to the submission.
5. Supporting documents
Supporting documents such as case studies and policies provide evidence to back up the points made in your submission. Without strong supporting documents your bid does not stand a chance.
To help your submission stand out use a unique company format (if allowed in the specification) to present your documents. This looks good and conveys a professional image to the evaluator.
6. Not having a review procedure
Possibly the most important aspect of the bid process is the review procedure. Our internal reviews go through three stages – a primary review, a final review and proof reading. This ensures that the final submission is the strongest it could possibly be.
Not having a review procedure means that your bid could be filled with incorrect information, spelling and grammatical errors or may even omit important evidence.
7. Missing the deadline
Finally, plan your bid thoroughly to ensure the deadline is met. If your submission is late you will automatically fail.
For more tips watch our video below on common proposal writing mistakes: