Get to know the buyers and evaluators better by understanding what they dislike in tender submissions & win tenders

How do you win tenders? You need to impress the buyers and evaluators with your submission by writing a clear ITT response document that reads well.

Buyers and evaluators have multiple submissions to read. How do you make yours as reader friendly as possible and stand out from the others?

We recently discussed these questions with Public Sector buyers and undertook a poll of their pet hates and the common pitfalls they witness in submissions they receive. They suggested that to keep the evaluation panel happy and in a positive frame of mind when scoring your submission, you should avoid the following:

Do not:

  1. Submit late. It’s disappointing for everyone, as they just will not look at or consider your submission at all.
  2. Cross reference between answers and ask them to “see attached” or “see appendix” (Note: appendix documents should support the response, but not be a part of it)
  3. Re-brand the Authority’s documents as your own, through the use of logos and headers/footers.
  4. Change the order of the documents (Note: They are designed in the way that they are for a reason, often to assist with the evaluation process).
  5. Submit only in PDF format. (Note: also send in the original format, such as Word and Excel, as this helps the buyers prepare the submission for the evaluation by multiple evaluators.
  6. Give a single one line response when the question asks for detail.
  7. Answer questions, without detailing “how you are going to deliver” your product or service
  8. Use caveats based on your assumptions in your response. (Note: The buyers would prefer that you clarify the potential issue. Adding caveats can be interpreted as qualifying a tender submission, which can result in your submission being excluded.)
  9. Complete your tender submissions without fully reading the document and instructions. (For one buyer this was a particular issue in relation to TUPE and the tenderers understanding of what was expected.)
  10. Use inconsistent fonts
  11. Cut and paste from your website/brochure/other general marketing material
  12. Provide details and information that are irrelevant to the question asked
  13. Cut and paste from previous tender submissions where a) the response does not directly answer the question, or b) the response retains reference to the wrong authority/buying organisation
  14. Make poor use of grammar. For example one buyer quoted the following “it should be an HP not a HP and the organisation is an it not a they”
  15. Expect evaluators to hunt for the answer amongst numerous attachments which are poorly referenced.

When preparing your submissions, they encourage you to actively do the following:

  • Raise questions and clarify any areas that are not clear
  • Spell check your submission
  • Provide detail and evidence of how you can deliver the product or service


These are all areas that the buyers we spoke to felt strongly about. Keeping them in a positive mindset when reading your documents can only benefit the scoring of your submission. Make it easy for them to score you well and helping you to win that tender!

Want to win tenders? Need help,assistance or guidance in writing or formatting your submissions, please do not hesitate to contact us.

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