We understand that bid writing is not an easy job. It requires thought, preparation, experience and perfect execution – together they secure the ultimate result that we always want – the win!
But the job does not need to be that difficult!
eXceeding’s consultants are experienced in responding to bids and running procurement, as well as evaluating bids. This means that we have the experience from both sides of the bidding process; from writing responses through to how they’re evaluated and scored.
When we review submissions completed by companies, we often come across the same errors time and again.
We have reviewed thousands of PQQs and tenders over the years and it is amazing how many people make the same mistakes. Because of this we have decided to put together a list of the most common errors we have found:
Ensure you are able to deliver all of the elements of the specification before you start compiling your bid response. If you cannot meet the mandatory requirements, you really need to evaluate your bid; no bid decision. There is no point in taking the time and effort in responding to a bid if you do not comply with the specification. Pick and choose your battles.
b) When is the deadline date? Do you really want to be the company who submits late? Make sure that you know your timings down to the last minute to avoid embarrassment. If you fail to deliver your bid when you were specified to do so, it can immediately result in rejection.
c) Do you know what needs to be answered? Don’t waste time answering questions that don’t apply to you. Waffling about a topic that has no relevance to you is a waste of resource.
d) Is there a page/word count limit? If you go over the word or page count limit then the additional text will be disregarded by the evaluation or your submission rejected. If you’ve read the documentation then it will be clear which answers need to be answered and word/page limits. Ensure you are within these limits to comply with the instructions.
e) Have you read and understood the brief? As it is said by many, failing to prepare is preparing to fail! If you don’t fully understand what is being expected of you, then how will you be able to confidently respond to your bid to the best of your ability? Preparation is key in order to avoid any uncertainty about what needs to be done, by whom and by what date. Plan, plan, plan!
The best place to start is to focus on the question that is being asked of you and stick to that. Answering the question may seem like the easiest task when bidding. But so many businesses fail to answer the question at hand and instead, just talk about themselves.
The evaluator doesn’t want to know what you can do; they just want their question answered properly. Make sure you know what the question is specifically looking for. Whether that’s having a prime focus on your credentials, experience, case studies or references, know what is needed in the response to avoid wasting time and effort.
We often find when we review tenders that we are seeing one word over and over, and we are constantly amazed how many companies we work with do this.
Yes, that’s right – ‘WE’. It is not just a pet peeve of ours but a common mistake that can cost your company dearly. In many cases it is a sign that your submission is focussed on the wrong area. It’s important to remember this whole process is not about you, it’s about the client getting the most suitable supplier possible so focus instead on the client and the specific contract.
Often bid teams will have standard responses which they ‘copy and paste’ into each bid response. This is a big no-no. Copying and pasting both from previous submissions and across different answers is a common mistake that results in an average submission and a lost tender.
If you must re-use old content, it is important that it’s re-written and updated to meet the requirements of the question being asked.
Reviewing your work is the perfect opportunity to check, and double check your work to make sure it is free from any errors. You can add in key information that you may have missed out. Be sure that your responses reflect the key messages that you want to get across in your submission.