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Successful Tender Writing

Unveiling the Art of Successful Tender Writing: Your Ultimate Guide

Monday 8 April, 2024

Tender writing is both an art and a science. Crafting a winning tender response requires a strategic approach, a keen understanding of the procurement process, and the ability to articulate what makes you the perfect supplier for the contract.

In this blog, we unveil the secrets to effective tender writing, providing you with a comprehensive guide to enhance your success rate in securing valuable contracts!

1. Understand the Tendering Process

The tendering process for public sector contracts in the U.K. is a structured procedure that public sector organisations must follow when procuring goods, services, or works. This ensures transparency, fairness, and value for money in public spending. Once a need has been identified, the council, government, NHS department etc. must publish the opportunity on either Contracts Finder or Find a Tender.

For some tenders, particularly larger ones, potential suppliers need to pass through a pre-qualification stage where they demonstrate their capability, experience, financial stability, and compliance with certain standards, this is known as a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ). Qualified suppliers are invited to submit detailed bids through an invitation to tender (ITT). The ITT document includes all relevant information about the project, criteria for selection, and instructions for submitting a bid.

2. Read the ITT in detail

Be sure you can meet the requirements of the contract and read each question through in detail. When looking at your responses, make sure you are clear on what the question is asking, and if needs be, ask questions to clarify if you are unsure.

3. Answer the questions succinctly yet thoroughly

Be specific to the questions asked, you may have previous responses but be careful not to simply ‘lift and shift’ from your bid library. These stock answers are a great starting point but be sure to tailor the answer to the question and look at the selection criteria to make sure you cover what the buyer needs to know. The selection criteria is your roadmap to success so master the art of responding to selection criteria, providing clear and compelling evidence that you meet or exceed the specified requirements. It’s also important to be succinct and stay within the word or character count – this is factual and specific and not a sales piece.

4. Showcase Your Unique Value Proposition

What sets you apart from the competition and makes you the ideal supplier for this contract? Dive into the process of identifying and effectively showcasing your unique value proposition. Understand how to emphasise your strengths and address the needs outlined in the tender. Often smaller, local businesses have advantage over larger corporates as they are rooted in the community and understand local issues and needs – draw on these if appropriate.

5. Highlight Relevant Experience and Expertise

Experience matters. Make sure you collate case studies, success stories, and testimonials. These are powerful tools to demonstrate that you can meet the buyer’s needs and showcase what you have done in the past. Don’t forget your team – what experience do they have, what training have they undergone? Do you have a training matrix?

6. Use Data and Metrics

You will need to support your response with data and metrics, buyers will need to be assured of what you are saying and such quantitative information will be used to strengthen your tender. From demonstrating cost-effectiveness or customer satisfaction to understanding your carbon footprint or levels of productiveness, ensure you have access to all the numbers you require.

7. Collaborate Across Departments

Tender writing often involves collaboration across various departments and it’s a good idea to get the ‘project team’ involved right from the start. You will need to foster effective communication and collaboration to ensure all aspects of your tender response are cohesive and aligned.

8. Proofread your Tender Response

Attention to detail is non-negotiable. Explore quality assurance and proofreading techniques to ensure your tender is free from errors and presents a polished, professional image.

9. Give yourself Time

Responding to a tender takes time, you need to be clear on what the tender is asking, build your project team, collate the information, craft the responses, check you have answered all the questions, and stayed within word counts, and then ensure it’s submitted within the allocated time frame.

10. Learn from Feedback

Tender writing is an ongoing learning process. Embrace a mindset of continuous improvement and learn from feedback received on past tenders. Each submission is an opportunity to refine your approach and enhance your chances of success.

Effective tender writing is a skill that can be honed and perfected. By embracing these tips, you'll be well-equipped to navigate the tendering landscape with confidence and increase your likelihood of securing contracts.

If you’d prefer to hand this over to experts within the field and would like to find out more about how we can support you with your tender writing, get in touch. Our experienced and winning team of tender writers can harness their experience to craft you a winning response.


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