Many clients come to Tender Victory to obtain expert help in writing their bids and tender submissions, because they are keen to win contracts and grow their business. A service we are delighted to provide!
However, we find that a number of these businesses are reactive in their bidding strategy rather than proactive. The public sector tendering process is conducted within a strict timeframe and imposes strict limits on communications (through the official clarifications process). Quite often tender publication timetables are subject to delays, meaning reduced preparation times and the risk of the tendering timescales spanning holiday periods.
These tendering issues can mean that bidders are:
- Unprepared when important bids are published
- Not clear on the strategy when their most critical contracts are out to tender
- Not clear on their USPs for their business overall
- Overwhelmed by the volume of questions which they need to prepare responses to, in a short timeframe
In short, they react to bids, as they come out, rather than be proactive about the process and set up and prepare as much as they can beforehand, so they are ready for it when it is published. A proactive stance might also afford bidders the opportunity to engage with buying organisations prior to tenders being published – gaining useful insight into the buying organisation. When evaluating a bid, you can often distinguish between those bid responses which have been written ‘reactively’, and those who are proactive – the latter ensuring their bid reflects the very best of what the company has to offer and this has been demonstrated in their written responses in a way that is meaningful to the buying organisation. That’s what makes these bids ‘winners’.
Tender timescales and pressures can also have an impact on the person or people writing the bid. Regardless of how big or small an organisation is, working under pressure is not easy. This is especially true when you’re gathering information from across your organisation, clarifying aspects of contract delivery and getting sign off from more senior levels of management – particularly if bid writing is in addition to normal duties.
A company bidding ‘everything and anything’ means it’s difficult for bid writers/managers to juggle their time and energy effectively, because they don’t have the opportunity to plan and effectively utilise their resources. Bidding without your team having an understanding of why or how you’re deciding to go for contracts and the parameters you put round your bidding resources can waste time and money, and decreases morale within your organisation. No one likes to lose!
What is the answer?
Whether you’re new to bidding or are used to the process of writing and submitting tenders, having a clear bidding strategy ensures that you utilise time, effort and energy effectively and maximises your chances of winning. Until you and your senior management (and certainly the team who are writing the bid) are clear on your approach, selling points and delivery, your lack of clarity will be reflected in the bid. You can also run the risk of missing key points that you want to communicate to the buyer, and do yourself a disservice by diluting your brand.
A good bid strategy will ensure you and your team:
- Know what bids you are targeting – and that they are in line with your overall business development or growth strategy.
- Are ready for the actual bids (or type of bids) you want to go for – both in terms of time, resources and delivery.
- Maximise the limited time that’s provided for the tendering process – so you are way ahead of your competitors.
- Feel confident about your offer(s) and so your staff can do their very best work for the bid.
You know your business and industry best, so rather than give you a template to follow, Tender Victory support you to develop your strategy through coaching.
We work through a step by step process to clarify:
- What’s not working (and what you need to put in place in order to get it working)
- What your goals are for bidding
- What resources you have in place and how you can maximise them
- The plan you need to achieve your goals
- The strategy you’ll employ to get there
This can uplift your bidding to make the difference between feeling confident about your bid approach, key messages and win themes, rather than the bid team feeling demoralised at every stage.
If you’d like to know more about how Bid Strategy Coaching can increase the quality of your bids and ultimately your win rate, please contact Tender Victory .