Winning PQQs/SQs or tender submissions is a time-consuming intensive process, with bid writing services (both internal or external resources) required to consistently provide high-quality submissions, bespoke to the buyer and service. To help you increase and maintain your success rate, we have put together some top tendering writing tips based on over 13 years’ experience, and 6,000 bids.
1. Make a bid/no-bid decision
Before assigning resource internally to write the bid or commissioning external bid writing services, you should as a starting point consider whether your organisation has the required experience, technical capability, and competence to deliver the contract to the required standards, and that you meet any minimum requirements. Do this by reviewing the specification in detail and assessing your company honestly against the requirements to assess:
- If the tender is a good fit for you
- That you can provide high-quality answers and evidence to satisfy the buyer
- If you can win the contract then bid, if not, do not bid; save time, money, and resources for another more suitable tender opportunity
The mantra of ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’ is never truer than when undertaking a PQQ or tender submission. When proceeding with a submission, create a clear plan to manage this process efficiently and effectively from start to finish:
- Assign a bid manager to oversee tender preparation and manage the submission
- Plan each response and agree who will write it, what information they need, and where they can access it
- Create a list of supporting documentation; compile what you have into a folder, and task people with creating or updating any outstanding information
You should also apply realistic timescales to each stage to help to manage the process and ensure submission is drafted, reviewed, and finalised ahead of the submission deadline.
3. Use subject matter experts in your organisation
To enable more informed and detailed responses in your organisation use relevant experts to respond to specific sections of the submission. For example, it is best practice for a health and safety adviser or consultant to complete a health and safety section, ensuring that accurate and relevant information is provided. If due to other commitments it is not possible for experts to draft responses make sure they set aside some time to speak with the person who is drafting the response so they can provide specific information, examples, and technical specificity where appropriate. Also, ensure that they have time to review the final draft to ensure it is accurate.
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, policies and training matrices 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. To further enhance the presentation of your tender submission, also consider creating templates using your branded logo in which to present supporting documentation, enhancing the professional feel, and overall quality finish.
5. Follow bid guidelines
Reading the service specification, evaluation criteria and all submission guidance during the planning stage helps to direct your tender 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 have full compliance. If you do not understand these requirements raise a clarification, or you might waste time and resources and risk failing the submission.
6. Quality assurance
Quality assurance underpins all 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 not been involved in the process is the only true way of ensuring that the responses flow and provide all the relevant information clearly. Having an impartial proofreader 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.
At Executive Compass we offer a bid reviewing service, whereby one of our technical reviewers will review all tender documentation, and provide a highly detailed critique of your responses, using the specification to identify where additional detail or adaptions are required to increase quality scores.
7. Use professional bid writing services
If resource, time constraints or bid writing experience is an issue, the easiest way to ensure you submit a high-quality tender is to use external bid writing services through a professional consultancy. We are experienced in converting your knowledge and experience into a winning submission; allowing you to focus on running your business, whilst quality assuring the finished product to ensure it conveys your company’s message and abilities.
These tender writing tips will equip you with a basic foundation on which to build winning tenders. 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.
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