The world of pitches and tendering is ever evolving. We anticipate further changes in 2022, particularly in light of the big impact the pandemic had on procurement decisions last year.
Having worked on bids for decades, our team has experienced many changes and has adapted our approach to bidding along the way. A quality bid consultancy will foresee changes in procurement and will advise clients on how best to respond to the new challenges that lie ahead.
Here are some of the key trends we expect and some simple tips for the coming months:
Procurement teams more robust.
We are seeing risk being pushed further down the supply chain. Bidders are increasingly being asked to take on additional risk to help them secure new, or retain existing, contracts. This can put additional pressure on the companies who are tendering – you might need to ensure you have additional policies, insurances, processes etc in place to give the procurement team confidence that you don’t pose an unnecessary risk. But even more importantly is putting forward detailed and compelling solutions for your client that show you have thoroughly reviewed the scope and thought through your operational requirements in detail.
More rigorous tendering guidelines.
With greater focus on the procurement process, more structured requests for proposals (RFPs) and request for tenders (RFTS) are likely. This means tender requests are getting longer, more detailed and are often more complicated to navigate. Building upon the previous point relating to risk, you may also find more documents being issued that bidders need to review – onerous legal contracts, detailed terms & conditions and ambitious KPIs. Bidders should be prepared to spend more time reviewing proposal documents and build in time for legal and/or professional services input.
New bidders competing.
Many businesses missed out last year, or only just managed to secure that all important contract. Simply relying on an existing relationship is not enough; businesses are looking for tender opportunities they previously didn’t need to rely on. This is likely to mean more companies putting their hat into the ring and a much more competitive landscape. Particularly in sectors where it’s hard to differentiate, you need to stand out from the crowd. Bland statements and generic responses won’t make the cut. Tailored, well-constructed content and professional, visually appealing proposals that articulate your key messaging succinctly will become all the more important.
Sophisticated solutions expected.
Commercial offers are being reconsidered and/or rescoped. Businesses are looking to “get more” from their supply chain. Even though they are asking for “x” there is an expectation that you can also offer “y” and “z” too. The only real way you can achieve this is by doing your homework and not cutting corners. Demonstrate that you understand the company you are bidding on – ideally you have a previous relationship to draw from – but if this is a new opportunity, show that you understand their industry, likely issues, upcoming policies/legislation that will affect their operations. Once you know more about their business you can look more broadly and will be in a better position to show how your solution will improve efficiency, reduce risk, or save money in other areas.
Cold leads will get colder.
Gone are the days of bidding for biddings sake. We have heard clients in the past say things like “you never know…”, “you’ve got to be in it to win it”, “it’s a good branding exercise”. It’s often hard for businesses to turn down an opportunity to bid when it’s right in front of them. We get it. However, a shotgun approach is rarely successful. A more focused and strategic approach will likely be more fruitful. A well-considered “bid or no bid” process in encouraged.
Pitching can be extremely time-consuming, expensive and draining. It’s now more important than ever to be honest with yourselves – unless you are in with a real chance, the best decision is probably to decline and focus your resources on opportunities where you have a much higher chance of success. If you are using it as a way to get closer to a potential new client, then we suggest a different approach. Build it into a proper pursuit or account management plan to work out how you can get closer to the client outside of the tendering process. It may mean working hard to build a relationship so that you bid next time it goes out to tender. Using bids as a tactic to get closer to a client can, potentially, have the opposite effect if your solution doesn’t hit the mark. With procurement teams having to evaluate many proposal submissions, you are potentially in danger of annoying them and creating ill-feeling for the future.
These are just some of things we are expecting as we progress further into 2022. The only thing we can really be certain about is greater uncertainty!
We are helping to guide our clients so their bidding strategy is more sophisticated, and they are positioned as well as they can be in light of the trends mentioned above. If you would like to have a fresh perspective or need a sounding board, contact us to see how we can work together and take your business to the next level.
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