Three Things we Expect to see More of in 2023

Bidding can be a tricky business. It’s often hard to navigate the stringent procurement rules in place and ensure you have ticked all the compliance boxes whilst also convincing your buyer you have a winning solution.

This year, we expect to continue working on bids that require careful balance of these things. When it comes to tendering, here are three things we expect to see more of in 2023.

Greater focus on the audience.

Companies often write for one type of audience and assume they will read everything in the order it has been written. The competitive tendering landscape has changed significantly, and procurement processes are getting more robust, more intelligent, and much more structured. Your tender is being evaluated by a team of different people and for different reasons. We consider three alternative types of audience members when putting together a bid:

  • ASSESSOR: Increasingly, companies are engaging formal procurement personnel to run their tender processes. They will often have a set of pre-agreed weighted criteria that they are looking for when reviewing the tender responses to put companies through to the next stage.  This type of audience typically is detailed-orientated and means your response needs to be compliant and be as clear and succinct as possible.
  • ACCOUNT TEAM: The account team are the operational key contacts who will run the contract and are not always involved in the initial procurement analysis exercise. Even if you have an existing relationship with the client, you cannot rely on this being known to the assessor. This type of audience will be focusing more on what how the relationship will work. Demonstrating a proven track record will be of key interest, so we recommend clear and compelling case studies, visually appealing CVs that highlight experience easily, putting your referees front and centre, and making project management plans easy to understand.
  • ADVISOR:  It is important to understand that there are still informal influences that occur during the process. This audience may consist of members of the senior management team or specialist and trusted advisors. And they will most likely never read the full tender response you’ve submitted. This type of audience is usually time poor with limited availability. It is important to make sure the layout and formatting of your bid highlights the win themes and key points, in a way that captures the attention of this audience. Pull-quotes, larger font, diagrams and infographics work well for this audience.

More rigorous bid qualification discussions.

Pitching can be extremely time-consuming, expensive and draining. Every company wants to increase their bid win rate. While it might seem like you have to bid more to win more, implementing a shotgun approach and bidding for everything often backfires.

It’s now more important than ever for businesses to be honest on their chances of winning a bid. Unless you are in with a real chance, the best decision is often to decline and focus your resources on opportunities where you have a much higher chance of success. In reality, bidding on fewer opportunities means you can focus your team on those bids you have the best chance of winning.

If you are considering bids as part of your sales strategy for this year and using tenders as a way to get closer to a potential new client, then we suggest you consider 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.

New and more competition.

Many businesses missed out last year, or only just managed to secure that all important contract. Now more than ever competition is increasing. And companies bidding for work as a business growth strategy is getting more commonplace. Even if you have been the incumbent for years – more stringent bidding rules could mean you are no longer in the running.

When you’re responding to a request for tender this year, there are a few key things to keep in mind. It is no longer entirely about who you know, or what relationships you’ve established. Of course, these things still play a part, but not to the same degree they perhaps once did. The advice we give to clients is that it’s the combination of relationships and process that come into play for a successful contract retention.

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.

Our PitchThis experts help companies navigate the tender process. We provide a range of business consultancy, training and mentoring services offer a complete service ranging from initial messaging development and structuring, to submitting the bid, design and presentation. GET IN TOUCH with our team today for a no obligation 15-minute consultation.



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