We’re often approached by companies who are hopping mad and wanting help. They lost a tender – sometimes when they were the cheapest – and naturally they want to know why!

More importantly, they don’t want to repeat the same mistakes next time. Whatever they are, those mistakes sure can be expensive.

Every smart business person knows that before you change things, you need to know what’s wrong. No point throwing out the baby with the bath water, right? Your first step towards winning more tenders is to take a fresh look at your most recent bid. You may even benefit from having an independent person – who is experienced in the tendering environment you’re working in – to review your tender or marketing materials.

You/they should look at things like:

  1. Did you give the evaluators what they asked for? (Everything? Are you sure? How do you know?)
  2. Did you make it clear what the benefits of your solution are, to your client? (As well as describing the amazing features of your gizmo, did you also show your client how and why this will make a difference to them?)
  3. Does your proposal offer something different and better than the competition? (And how do you know? How good is your competitor/market knowledge?)
  4. Did you get the greatest mileage from your Unique Selling Propositions or Win Themes? Were they reinforced in every section?
  5. Was it presented attractively, to maximise ‘information digestion’ by the evaluators?

Once you have some targeted, practical recommendations for improving your tenders, then, and only then, you can act on them to improve your win rate.

Don’t stop there though. This review activity should be carried out regularly to make sure your new business pipeline is in tip-top health – whether that’s every few months, or once a year will depend on how frequently you respond to tenders.