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Bid Writing Consultants: Pricing strategies & tender pricing

Written by Thornton & Lowe


Apr 16, 2024

Understanding the Role of Bid Writing Consultants in Pricing Strategies

Professional bid writers, often referred to as bid consultants, play a crucial role in enhancing the quality of tender submissions, making them stand out with effective tendering strategies. Their expertise goes beyond merely writing a bid; they are instrumental in formulating a bid strategy tailored to client and buyer requirements.

While they are adept at crafting win themes and managing the bid process for competitive submissions, there is sometimes a misconception that we also handle tender pricing.

This article will clarify the responsibilities of bid writing consultants, why we ‘don’t price bids’ but how this should not be an excuse to totally disengage with commercials. By understanding how you formulated your price and your tender pricing strategies, we can often further understand your solution, it’s merits and ensure we provide a real granular and practical level of bid content in the quality submission as a result.

The Distinction in Responsibilities

Bid Writing Consultants Focus:

  • Understanding Client Requirements: Gathering in-depth knowledge about what the client needs and expects from the tender.
  • Solution Development: Working closely with the client to develop a solution that meets the tender requirements.
  • Evidence Collation: Collecting and organising evidence that supports the bid's claims and propositions.
  • Win Themes Development: Identifying and refining the key themes that will make the bid stand out.
  • Storyboarding: Planning the structure of bid responses to ensure coherence and maximum impact.
  • Project Management: Overseeing the bid process to ensure timely and high-quality submissions.

In our Bid Writing Ultimate Guide, you can read further tips and advice on bid writing.

Bid Pricing Strategy

  • While bid writing consultants focus on the qualitative aspects of a bid or tender submission, the pricing strategy, including the determination of bid prices, typically remains the client's responsibility.
  • Consultants often state that they do not directly engage with pricing or commercial aspects of bids.

The Importance of Understanding Tender Pricing

Although bid writing consultants do not usually get involved with pricing tenders, understanding the bid pricing strategies, including the nuances of competitive pricing, can significantly elevate the calibre of a bid, so can provide essential insight for bid writers or bid writing consultants. For example:

  • Insight into Practicalities: Understanding how the price is determined can provide valuable insights into the practical aspects of service delivery, which can be crucial for crafting a persuasive and realistic bid. For example, you may be able to further quantify your statements as a result, "Our solution will reduce operational costs by 20% within the first year."
  • Challenging and Questioning: By being able to challenge and question the pricing strategy, consultants can ensure that the proposed solution is not only competitive but also feasible and sustainable.
  • Alignment with Win Themes: Knowledge of the pricing schedule and costs, including TUPE costs, can help ensure that the financial aspects of the bid align with the developed win themes and narratives. For example, an analysis of the return on investment could involve a comparison of upfront costs versus long-term savings or gains, which could apply across your written quality submission or within specific added value or efficiency tender quality questions. Or being able to understand and highlight how higher initial costs providing increased satisfaction, continuity and control, could be offset by lower maintenance costs or increased efficiency throughout the lift of the contract.
  • Value Propositions: Identifying and quantifying the unique benefits that set your solution apart from competitors in financial terms.
  • Customised Pricing Models: Explain how your pricing model is tailored to the client’s specific needs and how it offers flexibility or cost savings over time. This insight could be detailed within both your mobilisation and service delivery tender questions, which is an area we are often asked to support by providing bid writing services or bid reviews.

Pricing Strategies in Case Studies and Testimonials

  • Real-Life Examples: Incorporate case studies or testimonials that highlight the financial success of your solution in similar projects. This provides tangible evidence of its value.
  • Comparative Analysis: If applicable, include a comparative analysis showing how your solution offers better value or savings compared to alternatives.

Transparent Cost Breakdown

  • Detail Expenses: Offer a clear and detailed breakdown of costs. Transparency builds trust and helps the client understand exactly what they are paying for.
  • Explain Cost Factors: If your solution is more expensive, explain why. This could be due to superior quality, additional features, or long-term cost savings.

Bridging the Gap

To effectively bridge the gap between bid writing and pricing strategies, bid writing consultants should focus on understanding the pricing approach and mastering the nuances of tender pricing.

  • Collaborate Closely with Clients: We engage in open discussions about pricing strategies, not to advise, but to understand the rationale behind them.
  • Educating Bid Writers: By having an understanding of pricing models, cost estimation techniques, and financial terminology relevant to the bids they work on.
  • Integrate Financial Insights: Allowing bid writing consultants to incorporate insights from the pricing strategy into the bid narrative to provide a more comprehensive and convincing proposal.

While bid writing consultants do not dictate the tender price to secure a win, their insights into competitive tender prices and tendering strategies are invaluable. Their understanding of how prices are derived and the financial soundness of proposals empowers consultants to amplify the persuasiveness and realism of their bids. A collaborative approach, where bid writing consultants are well-informed about tender pricing yet concentrate on their writing expertise, results in a balanced and triumphant tender submission strategy.

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