How to plan your response to a tender

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Responding to a tender is a complex experience.  There are huge amounts of variables that can be the difference between winning and losing.  You must remember that for the people reviewing your tender this could be the first time they’ve met your business, the first time you can explain your service offering, and your opportunity to separate yourself from your competitors.  Assembling a winning response takes time, dedication, and resources.

The first stage to is review the tender against your bid decision process, if you don’t already have one in place, you can download a free template from our Library which you can tailor to meet your needs.

Once you are satisfied you will be bidding, the next step is to systematically break down the tender to read and understand it.  By breaking the tender down into more digestible chunks, it is less likely you’ll skip over or misread the questions.

Clearly understanding the tender is essential, pay particular attention to the award criteria and quality questions, ensuring you prioritise the high marked questions.  The negatives of not reading through the tender carefully is that you will be forced to rush the document producing a bid that with more understanding and clarity you could have substantially improved upon.

Assigning a bid manager to oversee the whole tender process ensures there is accountability within the business to deliver.  This person should have the ability to guarantee that all the resources are available, project manage the process, and write responses to ensure you are able to submit your tender prior to the deadline.

After a bid manager has been appointed it’s time to start planning.  This again is where breaking down the tender is key.  Any plan needs to set aside enough time to complete each section to the best of your ability, ensuring you have enough time to answer each question completely, prepare any supporting information and most importantly allow time for an independent review and sign off. Depending on the submission requirements, you should also consider whether you need to build in time to improve the overall presentation of your submission.

When preparing your answers to the quality questions, you must always back your answers up with evidence and case studies to provide and demonstrate your organisation can deliver the bid. Examples of this would be using references or testimonials from previous or existing clients.

It is critical that you prove you are the best organisation to win the tender. You must come across as authentic, do this by demonstrating your values, experience, and ability to deliver.  Demonstrate something that your organisation has had to overcome, specific industry challenges and how you have grown as a business from these issues.  Most importantly is to be 100% confident in what you have produced and ensure that it is the best example of what your organisation can accomplish.

Our team at Value Match are experienced private and public sector procurement and bid management professionals who have demonstrable experience in managing bids across multiple sectors as demonstrated in our case studies.  

Our online practitioner led bid management training will provide an overview of fundamentals of bid management.  Purchase our online course today to further understand the importance of bid management.