Winning each and every PQQ or tender submission you write and maintaining a 100% success rate is difficult and time consuming. The price of losing often overshadows the cost of winning, so you should aim for a high quality submission every time you bid for a contract. To help you increase and maintain your success rate, we have put together some top tips.
Tips for Bid Writers:
1. Make a bid/no-bid decision
Before planning a submission you should always consider whether your company has the required experience, technical capability and competence to deliver the contract to the required standards. Assess your company honestly against the questions asked, the service specification and evaluation criteria. If you can win the contract then bid; if not, do not bid, and save time, money and resources.
The mantra of ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ is never more true than when undertaking a PQQ or tender submission. When you proceed with a submission, plan every detail carefully and efficiently so that the writing process can begin as soon as possible. This includes planning who will answer each response, what information is required and what supporting documents are needed. Giving realistic timescales to each stage helps to manage the process and ensure submission in good time before the deadline.
3. Use experts within the company
To enable more informed and detailed responses within your company use relevant experts to respond to specific sections of the submission. For example, it is best practice for a health and safety advisor or consultant to complete a health and safety section, ensuring that accurate and relevant information is provided. From our experience too many companies ask a ‘layman’ to complete submissions, often asking them to compile responses of which they have limited knowledge or experience. In addition, by effectively planning each section writer’s writing time you can help to obtain 100% focus on the required responses in conjunction with their other work duties.
4. Review and update all supporting documents and case studies
High quality narrative responses are only effective when paired with relevant and updated supporting documents and case studies. Therefore, before writing any responses consider what documents and examples will augment them and check that these are suitable for use. This includes keeping a library of case studies, which should be frequently added to; and ensuring that documents such as certificates are in date. Where required, request more recent copies of all materials from relevant staff, so you can project the most professional image of your company.
5. Follow bid guidelines
Reading the service specification, evaluation criteria and all submission guidance during the planning stage helps to direct your submission accordingly. By being aware of all submission requirements and timescales; the points to hit within each question; and page, font, word and character limits, you can ensure that you meet all requirements and ensure full compliance. If you do not understand these requirements, you might waste time and resources and risk failing the submission.
6. Quality assurance
Quality assurance underpins all PQQ and tender submissions and ensures that the assessor is given a high quality, professional and cogent response which provides reassurance of your abilities. After all required responses have been drafted, having your submission reviewed by someone who has had no involvement in the process is the only true way of ensuring that the responses flow and provide all the relevant information clearly. Having an impartial proof reader adds further quality assurance and provides sense, spelling and grammar checks. Remember that a professional and error-free submission is more likely to win, so spend time undertaking these measures.
7. Use a bid writing consultant
The easiest way in which to guarantee a high quality response is to use an external bid writing consultant, a professional who is experienced at bid writing and in converting your knowledge and experience into a winning submission. This will allow you to focus on running your business, whilst quality assuring the finished product to ensure it conveys your company’s message and abilities.
We are experienced in helping companies successfully bid for contracts, as well as improve their success rate. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.