A check-up on the health of your proposals and tenders is always beneficial. It helps you to understand the effectiveness of your proposal and tender process, and identify any room for improvement.
Our health check below will help you to measure the current fitness-for-purpose of your tenders and proposals.
1. Do you generate new tenders and proposals using recent versions or templates?
It’s very usual to start a new tender or proposal by opening and editing a recent one to suit the requirements of the new opportunity. Cutting-and-pasting saves time and effort and if your content is in good shape, it’s worthwhile. There are three dangers to be alert to, however. The first is leaving the previous prospect’s name unchanged.
It’s also a mistake to rely too much on cutting-and-pasting. Every single RFT or RFP is different, and therefore each tender or proposal will have different key messages or selling points. Your tender response needs to reflect what it is that your prospect is looking for. What you told a prospect in a previous proposal may not be completely relevant for this new one.
Thirdly, your previous tender content may not have been performing at its peak. It may be out of date; for example, it may not include recent experience or new team members’ profiles, or up to date policies.
2. Can you easily find the information you need for your new proposal or tender?
Some companies have haphazard document management systems, making it difficult to find useful information that can be adapted for a new proposal. For example, do you know where the most up to date team profiles are saved? Do you know when they were last updated? When seeking colleagues’ comments on the draft tender or proposal, is email your only way to distribute your draft? Or does your document management system enable you to collaborate on a single document at the same time?
3. Is your final draft prospect-friendly?
Does your tender or proposal address the prospect directly? Have you used their name and words including ‘you’ and ‘your’? Is the prospect mentioned more often than your own business? Have you described the reasons the prospect has put this product or service out to tender? Have you clearly described how you will help the prospect to overcome their challenges?
4. Do you include a final review and compliance check?
Before your tender or proposal is submitted, someone who has not been involved in its writing needs to review the content for typos, sense and grammatical errors; check that it addresses all the criteria; and make sure that all the compliance requirements are met. This may mean attaching your policies and procedures, financial statements or insurance certifications.
If you believe that your tenders and proposals could do with an overhaul, Proof Communications is here to help. We’ve written and edited hundreds of proposals and tenders for SMEs and large corporates across Australia. We’ll be happy to help you, too.