When you’re writing a tender, bid or proposal, you need to follow the response schedule carefully. Plus, you must be sure to cover off these five areas.
Whether you are a new supplier or have an established track record with the organisation that’s issued the tender or proposal, you need to provide proof of your experience.
It’s important to always back up the claims in your response with hard evidence. For example, instead of saying simply: “Our customer service is best in class,” back it up with proof, such as:
“According to customer loyalty methodology Net Promoter Score, over 95% of our clients are ‘promoters’. This means they are extremely satisfied with our service and will promote our business to others.”
Case studies or testimonials from satisfied customers also make your tender more compelling. Don’t wait until you are on deadline to get these though; seek references from happy customers year-round so you have them to hand when you need them.
For each of your key personnel, detail their specific qualifications, skills and experience. Be explicit as to why their experience is relevant. All proposals and tenders are different – so the procurer may not immediately recognise the synergies with previous clients unless you spell them out for them.
Prospective clients want to be assured that you are an experienced and expert team with a strong methodology in place who can hit the ground running. Detailing how long key staff members have been in the industry and key projects they have worked on will strengthen the credibility of your offering.
The procurer wants to feel assured that you are a professional, well-run business. Governance is particularly important for public sector tenders as anything funded by the taxpayer requires extra scrutiny. It’s not enough to simply state that you have “solid processes in place”. You need to outline what they are; for example:
- How do you comply with industry standards and accreditations?
- How do you manage your customer relationships, stock and inventory?
- How you manage performance, training and development?
- What quality control measures do you have in place?
The answers to these questions demonstrate the rigor of your professionalism and can set you apart from your competitors.
A locally sourced product or service is a selling point so one that should not be missed; not everyone bidding will be able to make this claim. In addition, make sure you clearly outline the advantages of your location:
- Can you service the client faster than others or at short notice?
- Can you cover a large or important geographic area?
- Are you able to deliver where other providers cannot?
Your location can give you a strategic advantage – make sure you accurately identify the benefits of your location and articulate them clearly in your proposal.
It’s worth remembering that it is not necessarily about being the cheapest offer, but it’s always about demonstrating value for money. Your price needs to be fair and your proposal as strong as possible so that the procurer feels they can get the product or service they expect at a cost they are comfortable with. Work out your price response carefully, have confidence in your offer and don’t sell yourselves short. Good luck!