Putting together a tender, bid or proposal is hard work. There is inevitably a lot of information to include and brain power to expend. After all that effort, many companies want to know how they are doing; in particular, how their win rate stacks up against their competitors.
However, this is not a worthwhile metric because it assumes a level playing field. The reality is some companies tender from a significantly stronger position than others. For example, incumbents will win most tenders – some estimates suggest their win rate is 60-90%.
What this means is that you should be highly selective about which clients you tender to. This is the best way of improving your tender win rate, while ensuring you use your resources wisely. Here are some tips for future success:
Only tender for winnable contracts
There is little point tendering for every contract that comes your way. Tendering is time-consuming and can be a drain on resources, diverting key personnel from business as usual activities. Some incumbents are firmly entrenched with clients and are very unlikely to be unseated. In this case, only tender if there is a strategic rationale for you to do so; a ‘you’ve got to be in it to win it’ mentality just does not apply here.
Make the sale before the RFP comes out
It’s very hard to win a contract as a newcomer. The client needs to trust you and your offer, and this conviction is something that is built over time. Therefore, what you really need to do is make the sale in the years preceding the Request for Proposal being issued. Relationships matter and building them is of paramount importance, so that you are not tendering as a stranger. With open lines of communication, you can find out what is important to the client and, when the opportunity arises, tailor your offer to address this.
Get professional help
While we can’t guarantee a win as we don’t know whether the contract is winnable, a professional tender writer can ensure that your tender, bid or proposal is:
- Best practice in the industry
- Client and benefit-focused
- Addresses all submission criteria
- Is compliant
- Written in plain English
- Professionally presented
As for our win rate? 70% of the tenders we write are shortlisted for presentation or awarded the contract. When you’re ready to tender, we’re here to help.