The tendering season is well and truly upon us now, with government and private sector tenders hitting hard and fast. Typically, the next 4-5 months are always busy as financial year-end hits government organisations and people gear up for the spring construction season.
Now’s the time to gear up to win more tenders.
And here are four proven ways to do it.
1. Take a long, hard, and dispassionate look at your tender responses
Every smart business person knows that before you can 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 get an independent person who is experienced in the tendering environment you’re working in, to review your tender or marketing materials. They should look at things like:
- Did you give the evaluators what they asked for?
- Did you make it clear what the benefits of your solution are, to your client (not just rant about the amazing features of your gizmo without telling your client why this will make a difference to them)
- Does your proposal offer something different and better than the competition?
- Did you get the greatest mileage from your Unique Selling Propositions or Win Themes? Are they reinforced in every section?
- Is it presented attractively, to maximise the uptake of information by the evaluators?
Once you have some targeted, practical recommendations for improving your tenders, then you can act on them.
2. Set up a strong tender library
Most tenders these days ask for information about the quality of the solution you are offering. Evaluators want to know that they are buying a quality product or service that will be implemented efficiently, and will provide a cost-effective solution not only for now, but into the future.
In the space of a tight tender deadline, generating that material from scratch is a mission. So it makes sense to have compelling material on file that you can adapt for most tenders. Typically, this includes:
- Project case studies of recent, successful contracts you have completed
- Descriptions of your management systems (health and safety, project management, financial systems, quality management, environmental management, programming…)
- Detailed CVs and shorter bios for your key staff
- A company capability statement
- Description of your plant and resources
- Key aspects of your methodology for carrying out your work.
With a library of compelling generic material, you’ll be ready to hit the ground running to massage, polish and refine it when the next big tender hits.
3. Train your bid team
While it’s great to have good base tools to work with, the outputs are only as good as the people who are putting them together.
One of the down-sides to having an internal tender writer or bid manager is that they almost never get to see any other bids, so they won’t know where the benchmarks are for great tenders. They also are unlikely to get the chance to talk to evaluators!
By getting targeted, practical training in tendering, your people will gain hands-on knowledge of how to write proposals that stand out from your competition, and give the evaluators everything they need to maximise your tender’s scores.
4. Get professional help on the first one
Working shoulder-to-shoulder with experienced professionals on your next tender delivers a double (or maybe a triple!) whammy.
You’ll not only get to see how best practice tender programs are managed so that the outputs are cohesive, aligned, compelling and compliant, but you’ll also develop great tendering tools for future use AND train your people so that next time, they are better positioned to do it themselves.
A good tender specialist will manage the process so that the inputs from your senior people are captured, in writing, and reviewed early in the tender programme.
They’ll make sure that your Win Themes are interpreted and reinforced in every section of your document. They’ll have an eagle eye to search for relevance to your client; and they’ll ask the right questions to make your offer different and superior to your competition.
They’ll make sure that the deliverable is compliant and well presented, and has the best possible chance of winning.
Best of all, they’ll take the weight off your shoulders that the tender process is managed professionally, and you’ll be able to get on with your day job!