Being a bid writer can be a difficult task; short deadlines, large projects, a disconnection from other areas of the business, high pressure to secure that new contract – to name a few of the pressures!
As a professional team of bid writers, we understand the strains of the job and provide our top tips for ensuring success as a bid writer.
Respond to the buyer’s questions, not the question you want to answer
This may seem a strange one, but in our experience a lot of bid writers construct their tender responses from how they want the bid to be and how they read the questions, but it is important to remember you are answering questions from the buyer. Delve deeper into the buyer’s strategic aims, what they value as important, and their ultimate goals, to ensure your bid is aligned in the same way and meets all the requirements and more.
If a contracting authority has specified a word or page limit, try to use as much of this as you can. We see a lot of bid responses that are too thin in terms of content – just remember what your competitor might be including in the space you are underutilising.
Good attention to detail
A tender pack can be quite onerous and contain a lot of different documents and information. Not only do you need good attention to detail in writing a bid, this is also true of deciphering the tender pack documents, understanding any minimum requirements, noting dates for clarifications or site visits and ensuring overall compliance.
Bid writers may have multiple bids on the go at any given point, meaning organisation and attention to detail is imperative, otherwise you will make mistakes! A mistake, however minor, could cost you the bid as you are evaluated on price and quality, but also overall compliance.
Communicate and do not be afraid to source information
It is unlikely as a bid writer you will have answers to all the questions or know the exact information that you need to include in your bid submission. It is the bid writer’s role to communicate with different areas in the business to gather the information and translate it into persuasive tender narrative.
This might mean speaking to site engineers, registered managers or operatives to understand how a particular contract works or getting more detail to include in a case study. It can be a difficult task as people are generally very busy, but it is important to push for the information you need as otherwise your bid might be weak and not relative to the specification. This can be even more challenging if you are working as an external bid writer!
Learn from your mistakes
Request feedback from all bid submissions, successful or not, to understand and evaluate what scored well and what didn’t. Don’t just ignore a topic or question that you are performing poorly in. As a bid writer this might be something you need to approach your organisation with to make fundamental changes in the business.
For instance, social value is an increasingly popular topic in tenders, which shows no signs of slowing down. If you are not scoring very well in this area it isn’t good enough to keep doing what you are currently doing. Your organisation might need to revisit its overall initiatives in order to meet the standards of local authorities (and also your competitors).
Bid writing support
Is your success rate in excess of 80%? If not, we can support you to secure more contracts and expand your company. Contact Executive Compass’s team of bid writers today to see how we can help.