Every company wants to increase their bid win rate, yet very few businesses are willing to invest the time and resources in adopting a strategic approach.
Here are a few things to consider on your next tender to help improve your bidding win rate…
A shotgun approach doesn’t work.
While it might seem like you have to bid more to win more, implementing a shotgun approach and bidding for everything often backfires – losing tenders become commonplace and team morale diminishes along the way. In reality, bidding on fewer opportunities means you can focus your team on those bids you have the best chance of winning. Let other companies continue to tender for everything… only bid when you have a significant chance of winning, and where you know you can deliver successfully.
Reinforce your growth/sales strategy.
One rule that is consistent across all organisations is that the bidding process must be aligned to an organisation’s growth or sales strategy to have any chance of success. If your sales, bidding or even operational teams aren’t aware of, and aligned to, a consistent pursuit strategy, you will not have any hope of creating a persuasive pitch. Distil your overall growth/sales strategy into major themes and ensure your bidding and sales team reinforce these with potential new clients.
A robust bid qualification process is integral.
By implementing a bid qualification system which is closely aligned to your growth strategy, you can streamline your bidding processes and ensure that your resources are directed to only the opportunities that you have a strong probability of winning. Implementing a robust bid/no-bid decision process is one of the quickest ways to increase your win rate, which in turn leads to better qualified leads, reduced workload, reduced stress, and perhaps most importantly – more time and resources to spend pursuing the right opportunities for your business and improving your team, tactics and toolkit.
Answers must be tailored.
Providing a tailored focused response can be tricky and takes time. We often see businesses copying and pasting generic text to answer a question to cut corners. This approach rarely works and has little chance of impressing your potential new client. It may also mean you are scoring low against the evaluation criteria, or at worst, not submitting a compliant response which scores zero and may remove you from the competition altogether. Recycling previous material is absolutely fine in a lot of areas, but content must still be tailored to the client and opportunity. Winning bids are those that have answered the questions properly and provided a tailored response against what is being asked. You need to convince the buyer why your solution is more appealing than the others – and you can’t do this without taking the time to properly articulate your proposition and align it to their needs.
First impressions count.
Even the most amazing written response needs to look good too. You can spend hours on the content but if it isn’t visually appealing, what does it say about your company? And will anyone want to read it? It’s a bit like sending your staff out to site with a nicely pressed uniform.. versus an old ripped and mismatched one.
Use headers to carve up text, include boxes for key messages, use bullets to split out lists, add infographics and use pictures. Keep it simple, remove the jargon and place yourself in the reader’s shoes. Make it a pitch document that people want to read, and one that represents your company.
Consider your audiences.
The balance between too much and too little can be tricky. Try and make sure you appeal to different audiences. Make it easy for skim readers to quickly work out your solution and key messages, however, make sure you provide enough content for a reader that requires more detailed content. When bidding consider the three-audience types. “Assessors” will often sit in the procurement team and will require detailed analysis against weighted criteria, “Advisors” are key influencers who are often time poor and will skim read, and “Accounts” will be the operational team looking for how you will service the contract. Smart bidders know that different audiences are looking for different things, so consider the various ways your content will be viewed, and you might be in with a better shot.
Find out why you win or lose.
Once the bid is submitted it’s a waiting game. Regardless of the result, seek feedback where possible. If you were unsuccessful, find out why so you can fix it for next time. Congratulations if you won! But don’t forget to find out why they chose you. Understanding the reasons why you win and lose can help you refine and reinforce your position for your next bid.
Pitching can be a tricky business which is why businesses engage experts like PitchThis to help with their tenders and bids. We help clients navigate the process and offer a complete service ranging from initial development and structuring, to copywriting and design, through to bid submission, presentation and follow up. GET IN TOUCH with our team today for a no obligation 15-minute consultation.