Tenders come in all shapes and sizes but there are a few essential points to keep in mind to ensure you are putting your best foot forward to win. Ask yourself the following questions and you and your team will be on the road to successfully winning your next tender.
Firstly, is this project for you? Do you have the right athletes available and does this project align with your long-term business strategy? This is essential to consider as winning a project that doesn’t align with your organisation’s long-term goals or your team’s capability can be detract from your long-term game plan and confuse your staff. Sometimes less is more, hone in on those key clients and key projects you want to win and go after them without distraction.
Once you have decided you are proceeding with tender, you need to know your submission details including; time, layout, font size and page and word counts. Knowing these considerations first up will ensure you can plan appropriately what you need to successfully submit your tender document. Don’t miss the opportunity to incorporate graphic design where possible to really make your submission shine. Some tenders allow you to submit in whatever format, so you can involve a designer to layout professionally in Indesign, whereas others provide the template and are pickier.
Consider your unique selling point. How will you convince the tender reviewers to pick your organisation and your team over others? Demonstrating experience is a common requirement, consider how you will highlight this. Choose previous projects that really show how you have faced this situation before, do not be afraid to explain your lessons learnt and approach to challenges.
This step is closely tied with the previous step. Develop win themes and key messages to really highlight why you should win the tender and deliver the project. These should closely reflect the criteria set in the tender documents and convey your unique selling point. Once these are developed you must ensure they are appropriately interweaved throughout your submission, providing a concise narrative why your team are the right team for the job.
Triple check you are addressing the selection criteria and answering every requirement mentioned. Make sure that your submission is laid out in order of questions raised (if a template is not provided) and reviewers can clear see where you are responding to their questions. Sometimes icons or headings above of responses can provide this road map for reviewers to quickly tick you have answered the questions appropriately.
Don’t forget to incorporate images, diagrams, infographics as much as possible to demonstrate how you meet the selection criteria. Images are powerful and make your submission interesting and stand out as well as helping with that pesky word count.
These days, the human element of infrastructure projects is even more and more important. Look for opportunities to share stories of your team or of the communities your organisation or previous projects have contributed to. This will help you stand out from the crowd and be more memorable for reviewers. If there isn’t space in the response forms, consider adding appendices, using divider covers to highlight these stories or embedding a link to a video of your team telling their story.
Be sure to double check your expenses and what is listed as included by the client. If you do not itemise what is in addition to the price you put forward it may be considered as covered and you may be picking up the final bill. Think ahead what you will need, travel, printing, materials etc and make sure you have listed it as additional expenses.
Your people are your biggest asset. Make sure your CVs really highlight their experience and why they are right to deliver this project. Sometimes adding a personalised quote on why they are excited about the project or what they will bring to the project to the CVs will add a point of difference and contribute to humanising your submission , as described above.
Price is not the be all end all but is a very important component. Make sure you have put forward a competitive price that does not put you so under the market you will struggle to deliver but is competitive. If this isn’t your area of expertise, make sure you have the right people to advise you on what this should be.