Table of Contents
Our Tender Consultants are often told by companies that they don’t tender as it takes too long, they’re never successful, they don’t have the time, and the buyer already knows who they want to work with.
Tendering for contracts is a powerful way to generate new business, so powerful in fact that many businesses use this as their sole route to winning new business. We think every business should at least try tendering. We understand why businesses are put off from the long, in-depth process you’ve to follow, but spending the time upfront to learn how to tender could be vital to the success and growth of your service-based business.
Our Growth Director, Jill has been winning work via tendering for well over a decade, and she is sharing with you below, her top five reasons for tendering.
Responding to tenders means businesses have already established the need for your services and have allocated a budget to carry out the work. This reduces the need for selling the benefits of the services and establishing the benefit of investing money.
Responding to a tender means your core goal is to ensure they see that you are the best fit for their business. Surely, it’s worth a try? Just make sure you follow a strict process of what you will and won’t apply for.
When tendering the client usually outlines when they would like the work to start and end, meaning you can work your internal timescales around this, the project may not run exactly on time, but it will give you an overall indication.
When selling directly B2B, we often have projects on hold waiting for particular aspects to be confirmed or budgets to be agreed upon. We’re not saying this won’t happen when tendering, but your client is likely to be more prepared.
As the budget, has already been allocated, you know what constraints you’re working within, allowing you to best advise your client where to allocate spend.
You won’t always be successful when tendering, but completing a tender document often gives you additional clarity on other areas of your business, or how you can productise service offerings. It also allows you to benchmark your fees against what people expect to pay.
Tendering allows you to see how businesses are spending their budgets. This helps you to better understand where you should be spending your own time marketing services and what services are the most popular. If you see an influx of a particular type of tender, that is relevant to your overall offering, read the Invitation to Tender documents and align your service descriptions to ensure it is suitable for the market you’re selling into.
So, the top five reasons above may have convinced you to tender for contracts. Now, you might be wondering what the typical stages of tendering are and where to begin. Luckily for you, our Growth Director Jill, has developed her 10 stage process which she still uses to this day. Here goes…
Don’t just assume that every project is right for your business. If you are clutching at straws for a suitable experience, it’s probably not for you. Create a checklist with 5-10 questions to ask yourself when deciding if to bid for a project. Mark these questions between 10-20% depending on the number of questions developed.
Searching for suitable tenders takes time and commitment. Did you know, we scrape over 1,000 websites every day to populate our portal with suitable public and private sector opportunities? No agency has the resource or time in-house to do this. Searching for tenders is critical for agency growth and a great source of new business, so make this process as streamlined as possible by signing up to Creative Tenders or another suitable portal.
Once you have sourced relevant tenders, score them against your checklist. If you don’t score 80% or above, don’t tender for the work, put your sales efforts into other activities.
For those tenders that score 80% or above, agree on roles, responsibilities and deadlines between the sales team, ensuring you’re not leaving things till the last minute.
Research really is king when it comes to tendering. You need to look into the tendering organisations business, look at what they’ve done in the past, read the tender document from front to back, and compile a thorough understanding of what they are trying to achieve, who their key buyers/audience are, and who they are competing with.
Draft one is critical as it’s about putting all of your thoughts down onto paper. It’s important to see this as the first draft as you’re bound to think of additional/relevant knowledge and experience as you’re producing the response. Make sure that during this stage you’re answering the information that is being asked of you, and make it 100% relevant to the company your bidding too.
The review process should take a while, it’s not about proofreading at this stage, it’s about ensuring you’re answering the right questions, that the response has been correctly levelled against the scoring criteria of the tender and that you’re happy with the message the tender response gives about your business.
Once you’ve edited the response, sleep on it. We’ve all been there when we’ve submitted our tender response and instantly thought, ‘I should have included XYZ’. It’s important to plan your time ahead to give you this important down time before the response is due.
Only then should you proofread your response for spelling and grammatical errors. During this stage you should also ensure you’ve kept to any word count or font suggestions from the Invitation to Tender document. After you’re happy with the response, ask someone else to read it, it’s hard to see mistakes with our own content when you’ve read it so many times before.
Submit your response, giving yourself plenty of time before the deadline is due. Consider how long this might take when using online public sector tendering platforms, as they are not always as straightforward as they may first appear.
We have covered the five reasons you should tender and the 10-stage tender process. Now, Jill has given us her top 10 tips for submitting a tender. This list is essential to any business looking to tender.
This may seem like standard guidance. However, if you remember these tips for submitting a tender, it’ll make it impossible for the buyer not to choose you as a supplier.
Looking to work with an expert bid consultant? – Look no further than Hudson Succeed.
Once you’ve found the perfect bid for your business, send it our way. Our Bid Writers can take care of the whole thing for you they’ll even submit it on your behalf. They’ll let you know what they need from you, providing you with a full Tender Writing breakdown.
Our Tender Ready 4-week programme is perfect for businesses that have never tendered before. A Bid Writer will work with you to ensure you have everything in place to tender successfully. They can also help you better understand the tendering process. Tender Ready offers your business:
If you’ve been tendering but aren’t seeing success from your current efforts, our Tender Improvement package can help. Our Bid Team will assess your previous responses and tender documents. They will work with you to improve for future submissions. This package includes a 12-month subscription to a Hudson Discover portal and additional tendering development services.
If you’ve written your own tender response and need it double-checked for errors, Tender Mentor can help. A Bid Writer will proofread your work for any inconsistencies, grammar or spelling mistakes. They will also ensure it’s in line with the specification before you submit. This can help you formulate a winning submission.
If you only need assistance with PQQs or SQs we can help. Send the information over to us and we can provide you with a quote for the work involved.
Upgrading to Discover Elite can help optimise your tendering efforts – even when you’re busy. Our two new time-saving tools can improve your competitor awareness and success rate when bidding for a contract.
Contact us to find out how we can help your business grow.
All our bid writing services require an initial consultation. This will be conducted contact-free and usually takes place over the phone, or via a video call if preferred.
The Hudson Succeed team is proud to support over 700 businesses globally. Throughout the pandemic, we have been thrilled to work with almost 100 new clients. Our Bid Writers have been working tirelessly to support these businesses with their tendering strategy during this difficult time. Find details of our previous successes in our testimonials area.
Find more helpful tips and advice in our blogs. We cover topics including:
Win Tenders in the Hospitality Sector: Laundry, Catering and more! Winning hospitality tenders relies on…Read More