The recruitment agencies that win the most tenders are those that take time to create unique, customised and compelling proposals from scratch. It’s all about tailoring your proposal to suit each and every opportunity – sound stressful? Well it doesn’t have to be! We’ve created a step-by-step guide on exactly how to win more tenders with less stress.
Here are 11 ways to create a water-tight tender pitch (without any extra stress!)...
1. Assess each opportunity before taking it on
Before approaching any new tender, it’s worth first having a meeting with your team to assess whether it’s worth your time: realistically, what’s the likelihood of winning? What’s the time to respond and what sorts of costs will be involved (including the costs of sacrificing other potential opportunities).
Don’t be afraid to turn an opportunity down if it doesn’t make sense – sometimes you will get a good feeling about a tender, but it also pays to be objective.
Having your own criteria on exactly what you will and won’t bid for as a company can help qualify or disqualify opportunities at an early stage.
2. Get important dates pencilled in early
The most stressful part of putting together a bid comes from time pressure! As with any deadline, the best way to take control of it is to plan accordingly.
Some key dates include in your plan:
- Submission date
- Questions submission date
- On-site presentations
- Internal Proposal Reviews
- Internal Proposal Approval
- 3rd party reviews and approvals
Get all the dates written down in your diary, in your company calendars and set reminders for a few days before each date to give you time to make any necessary last-minute changes.
3. Create a compliance checklist
Create a clear checklist of everything you need to do to be compliant for each tender. Include any outstanding questions, special requirements, a copy of your accounts and a hard copy number. As the final approvals are complete and the questions are answered, tick them off, and at the end of the process, use your list to go back over the bid and check you’ve got everything covered. If it’s a particularly large bid with lots of different sections that require your attention, use your list to also keep track of your progress.
4. Capitalise on your team
If you’re fortunate enough to have other people to lean on during the tendering process, this will be a huge help. Just make sure that the right jobs are delegated to the best people for those jobs, and give them enough time to do the job well. Try not to fall into the trap of thinking you can manage with just a handful of your team working on a tender, only to find later down the line that you need more help.
Keep everyone who’s involved motivated by providing regular updates on the project’s progress, and make sure you communicate back to them immediately with any changes to your plan, or any updates that have come in from the client. If you’re running late on your schedule, book in some overtime sessions in advance to get everyone focused on what needs to be completed in that session.
Alan is an advisor here at Firefish with experience in both sales and marketing.