Tendering Top Tips

Version Control

When things are getting a bit fraught in the final stages of a tender submission, it is easy for document control to slip.

It is vitally important that you maintain naming conventions and filing standards to avoid mishaps.

Set up your systems at the outset and ensure everyone adheres to them to avoid overwriting, incorrect attachments or rework.

Remote Teams

If your bid team is working remotely it can be very difficult to maintain momentum and motivation.

While interruptions are not ideal, it is essential that you all stay in touch and bounce ideas around to achieve consistency in the response.

Think about the ways you would communicate in the office and try to replicate them for home workers.

Health and Safety Responses

Where you are asked about Health and Safety, you should convey ‘understanding’ and ‘adherence’.

The best response will usually be one which provides specific details and doesn’t just refer to a company procedure.

Try to keep your response practical (rather than theoretical) by linking it to the actual work whenever possible.

Read The Documents

When you receive invitation to bid documents from a client it can be tempting to skim through them, particularly if there are numerous files.

The danger of doing this is that you miss a requirement and therefore are not compliant in your final response.

Examples of things which are easily missed include tender declarations, community benefit templates and innovation invitations.

Contingency Planning

Where you are asked about business continuity, it may be tempting to focus on your recent experience of disruption due to COVID.

While it might be useful to cite this as an example, the client will be interested in all aspects of business continuity.

Your response should cover areas such as data security, office integrity and succession planning as well as audit procedures.

Identifying Opportunities

Many companies receive bid and tender opportunities through alert systems or directly from customers.

To stay one step ahead of the competition, you should supplement these channels by contacting potential customers who have been identified through market intelligence.

Furthermore, where you proactively seek out work, you have the potential to negate the requirement for a tender process.

It’s or Its?

Many people struggle to choose between “it’s” and “its” because they think it takes a possessive apostrophe.

Possessive adjectives (my, your, his, her, their, our, its) do not need an apostrophe.

Only use an apostrophe with “it’s” when the word means it is or it has.  Without the apostrophe, “its” means belonging to it.

Consultancy Proposal

When writing a consultancy proposal it can be very difficult to know how much to “give away”.

To resolve this, it is useful to focus on the way you work and the desired result, along with the approach you will take.

By describing the steps or phases you recommend, you avoid telling the client the actual solution. 

Persuasive Writing

Writing persuasively is a skilled task however there are elements which can be applied by any author.

You should always keep the reader, their anticipated response and your desired result in mind.

With tenders, this will ensure you describe the benefits and make the document customer focused

People Positive

The surest way to lose a bid is to think you will lose it. 

It is important that everyone involved in working on a tender has a positive mindset and understands the key messages you want to convey.

The bid manager’s role should include maintaining enthusiasm and consistency within the bid team. 

Template Errors

Templates are useful tools because they save you time and effort.

In theory, they are ‘ideal’ documents which contain all the relevant information and follow your company procedures.

In practice, because they have been repeatedly amended, they often contain superfluous information and typos.

Price Balance

A customer’s objective is never just to spend money, so leading with your price would be absurd.

Their objective is to pick a product or service that best meets their need.

Buyers are not allowed to make assumptions when evaluating proposals so check you have told them all the things you need them to know, not just the price.

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