In our recent LinkedIn poll, 46% of responders said that they “don’t bid for government contracts because it seems too hard”.
So, why are you just not winning tenders?
There is a definite knack to this and if you are wondering why you never seem to win, check that you are doing all of the below:
Prior to actually bid writing, you should do the following (many people do not do this):
- Do your research and pursue only relevant contracts – don’t be tempted to just bid for anything which seems vaguely related to your product or service. You need to find the right customers for your business. Be strategic about your bidding and develop criteria for the types of bids you will pursue to make sure that you’re not wasting your time.
- Research the buyer – understand what their corporate objectives are, strategies and nuances.
- Register on the relevant tender portals – Register on all the relevant portals (eg. Procontract and Contracts Finder) to make sure you hear about your chosen opportunities in good time.
Only once you have completed 1, 2 and 3, can you embark on the bid itself:
- Follow all the instructions on the tender documentation – if you are asked to complete the tender in a certain format, make sure you do, and don’t ignore word counts or any other instructions. Your bid can be disqualified if it does not adhere to the guidelines. If you have any questions, you can ask the buyer (the tender will provide instructions for communication).
- Make the content relevant and honest – when completing your bid, be honest, don’t exaggerate (don’t make bold statements, such as ‘we are the industry leader’ without backing this up with evidence), complete all sections in full and don’t send in stock corporate sales materials and standard copy.
- Be Creative – having your bid designed by a professional doesn’t necessarily add value to a public sector bid, but you should still be creative with your content. Make sure that you have understood the question and then go beyond expectations with your answer. Show that you can go the extra mile and include examples. Detail your USP and make your response 100% relevant to the requirement.
- Know the difference between the SQ and ITT phases – the SQ (selection questionnaire – formerly ‘PQQ’) is about selection criteria and short-listing, so the focus is backward-looking. Here, you need to demonstrate your credentials as a company before getting the chance to actually bid for the work on offer. Bidding for the actual work on offer is through the ITT (Invitation to Tender). This document is forward-looking and you need to focus on how you will seek to perform the contract.
- Price appropriately – the price you bid within the tender is the price they will evaluate. If you do price at a point whereby your market intelligence suggests you will win, always ensure that the price is sustainable for you.
- Submit the tender on time – most public bodies have a zero-tolerance approach to late tenders. Plan your time and allow time to upload the documents (we always recommend submitting a bid at least 24 hours prior to the deadline).
- Get help – if you do not have the time or experience, you can hire a company which specialises in tender writing services to complete your bid. These are tender writers who develop public sector tender responses as a profession (here at Winning Tenders we have many years of experience and can provide references if needed).
If you would like more information on anything related to public sector tenders, please contact us for a no obligation chat. We’re on 01392 247997 or email email@example.com). You may also find some of our other blog posts useful – we recommend you read Tips on Approaching a New Tender for starters.