Tendering is a crucial part of winning new business and securing long term contracts. So, if you’re a business owner, or in charge of a bid team, your tender submissions need to be of the highest quality. But with more and more businesses investing in their bid writing, it is now becoming fiercely competitive in many industries.
How will you stand out from your competition and ensure your submission is a winning one?
How will you present or communicate your information? How do you capture the buyers attention and instill the confidence that you are the right business for the job? As bid writing experts, these are questions our clients ask us every day.
And after thousands of tender submissions, we can safely say we have the answers. By the end of this article, you will have the knowledge and confidence to write a tender response that you can be proud of - and that your buyer will love.
So, let’s get into it.
When to submit your tender
First of all, it’s really important to understand and read the tender documents that are submitted by the buyer. It may be that after reading them you decide not to bid as you cannot fully meet the requirements.
Deciding whether to respond or not is one of the most important parts of the tender process. Your business may not always be the right fit for every tender, so choose wisely and make sure to thoroughly read the tender documents.
Developing your tender submission
As we mentioned above, it’s very important to understand each of the tender documents that the buyer sends out as your tender submission will be developed around these.
We’ll now break down the typical tender documents that a buyer would send out and that you would need to engage with.
- An invitation to tender - A formal document issued by a procurement authority outlining the scope of a project and invites businesses to bid for the work.
- The contract overview - This will vary depending on the tender documents, but it could contain pages of information or a short summary of works.
- Instructions about next steps & deadline - The buyer will outline their deadline and any specific requirements and expectations they wish. This also includes the contract information and terms and conditions.
- The evaluation and specification information - Here, the buyer outlines what they expect to see and how they will evaluate the tender responses.
How do you complete a tender?
By now, you should know what to expect from the tender documents and have an understanding of when or if you should submit your tender.
We’ll now share some best practices when it comes to submitting to ensure that you stand out from the rest and create a winning tender.
Evidence your achievements
When you are coming up against a variety of competitive companies, you need to be able to clearly demonstrate the results that you have achieved. It’s no good to just talk about these either, you need to give clear tangible evidence. This could be reports, statistics, testimonials, value of cost savings, organisational structures, team bios, policies etc.
This will help you to come across as a reputable organisation that can firmly back up their claims and instill trust in the buyer. So, if you make a big claim or say you are the best at ‘X’, make sure you can back it up with some kind of data.
The companies that can provide the best evidence of relevant work and their results will usually be the ones who stand the best chance of winning the contract.
Structure your tender document clearly
Another really important tip when it comes to submitting your tender is how you present the information. Your submission should be professional and have consistent design throughout.
Some companies may not worry too much about the presentation of their documents, however, spending time on the aesthetic and structure can really help to make a good first impression.
When lot’s of established companies are competing with each other, and it’s very close, this type of attention to detail can make a huge difference.
Sometimes there may be restrictions on design elements in tender submissions, so just be sure to carefully read over the specifications. In terms of structure, you need to make sure that you clearly reference the question numbers in your document and ensure that everything is labelled consistently.
Let’s not forget one of the most important elements of a tender: the selling process. Many organisations forget that a tender submission is the opportunity to really sell yourself as individuals and as a company as a whole.
The key here is to not just be descriptive with the content you write, it needs to be persuasive. Of course you don’t want to come across as too salesly but you need to have the buyer's needs in mind and demonstrate why you are the best fit to fulfil them.
Not only do you need to highlight the attributes your company brings to the table, you also need to state how you differentiate yourself from competitors and their results.
Framing is key here when communicating with the buyer. Your points need to be framed around the benefits that the buyer will receive by choosing you. Simple but effective.
Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of how to submit a successful tender. With this knowledge, you should be able to craft a winning tender and secure more long term contracts.
It’s important to note that once the buyer receives the tender submissions, they will evaluate them and score them based on their criteria. The benefit of this is that you will get feedback on your submission and will know where you may have gone wrong or where you can improve in future.
If you would like some assistance with your tenders from bid writing professionals, our experienced team can be on hand to guide you through the entire tender process and ensure you win your desired contracts.
Get in touch with us below and find out how we can help you win more long-term contracts for your business.