Bidding to Win – Our Top 7 Tips

Successful bidding is more than just putting words and pictures onto a page. 

If you are not bidding to win then you are wasting time and money because – as clichéd as it sounds – there are no prizes for second place.  Quite simply, you may as well use the money you are currently investing in your bids in some other way to benefit the organisation!

Whilst this is a typical sales pitch for any bid consultancy it is nevertheless absolutely true. 

Here are some top tips for maximising your chances of winning.

1.     Like an exam, evaluation criteria are based around the question asked and so to achieve maximum points the response has to address not only the question asked but also each and every component of the question.

2.     Understand how to answer the question.  Construct the response structure.  Like every good story, a bid response should have an introduction, a middle and an ending.

3.     Each and every bid response must be read in isolation; it is highly likely the bid will be carved up and evaluated by section with the chance that no single individual will read through the proposal in its entirety.

4.     You should also assume that the evaluator knows about your organisation, your past history or credibility, products and services.  In effect, treat them as an educated individual but one that knows nothing about your organisation.

5.     This means that when responded to question, every aspect of your bid has been explained, repeating critical information across sections if necessary.

6.     Whilst some individuals may incredibly eloquently, communicating an excellent understanding of the solution or service, it is no good simply produce descriptive content that lacks any sales focus.

7.     A skilled bid writer must have the ability write in a ‘sales’ focused style that whilst provides an incredibly clear description of the service or product ensuring that individual pieces of content hang together as a single response, the value proposition must be articulated by interweaving the bid win themes throughout the entire bid in a consistent and convincing manner.  

Ask yourself:

What does the Commissioner want you to deliver?

What else could you deliver if you had the contract?

What do you want you to deliver?

A skilled Bid Writer has the experience to be able to collect and absorb huge amounts of raw information from stakeholders and turn it into ‘winning’ content.  This means that they have the experience to firstly, know where to get the information in the first place – who to ask, where to search, and as a last resort, if the information doesn’t exist – recognise the fact that it is missing and understand how it can be generated.

Play the game….

The tips above are important, but of course the basic rules always apply!

1.     Answer all the questions

2.     Be compliant

3.     Formatting

4.     Word counts

5.     Submission rules

6.     Use the supplied numbering and formats

7.     Make marking easy

8.     Give no room for challenge

9.     State your assumptions (where appropriate)

10.  Make the response interesting to read – engage the evaluator!

11.  Consistency