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The challenges of developing a winning bid strategy

... and how to overcome them
By Theny Monteith on 19 February 2021

Winning work is difficult. To beat the competition, you need a clear bid strategy and your bid has to make you stand out from the rest.

To develop a winning strategy, you must understand the market, understand the needs of your customer and understand how your company can meet them. You also need to know what the competition looks like. To develop a realistic strategy, you need to know:

Your bid needs to include key messages that highlight why the customer should select you, whilst ensuring your answers score highly against the evaluation criteria and by emphasising how you are the best choice to meet their business needs and requirements.

The solution: a winning bid strategy

The foundation for a winning strategy comprises:

  1. Understanding what the customer wants, what makes them tick and what they are looking for, in other words what are the issues, concerns, hotspots from the customer’s perspective.
  2. Learning from previous experience – what has been successful in the past and what will win going forward.
  3. Analysing the market in terms of who the competition is and how the customer perceives you and them.
  4. Developing, at a high level, what needs to be done to maximise your chance of winning by:
    • Building on your strengths.
    • Mitigating your weaknesses.
    • Ensuring questions are comprehensively answered, bearing in mind the evaluation criteria.
    • Increasing your credibility.
    • Developing a commercial strategy that covers pricing, alternative offerings.
    • Partnering with others.
    • Developing themes, key messages and branding that will resonate with the customer.

We will help you identify and respond to your customer’s requirements and articulate your value propositions and your key win themes throughout your bid.

The Process – The eXceeding Way

Through our flexible, collaborative approach, using workshops, formal and informal sessions with your management and bid team, we will help you identify the optimal strategy for your proposal. We will work with you to describe those win themes that will make your bid shine against your competitors, and we’ll help you successfully embed them throughout your submission.

We can make a real difference to your bid performance with our range of services including:

  • Forward pipeline strategy – early notification of attractive business opportunities.
  • Client needs analysis – identifying explicit and implicit requirements.
  • Market analysis – understanding the bigger picture, trends and developments.
  • SWOT analysis covering you and your competition.
  • Bid/no bid decision process.
  • Bid strategy development.
  • Developing key themes and messages.
  • Articulating those key win themes.
  • Bid writers’ workshops – to develop proposal structure and writing plans.
  • Ensuring proposals are responsive, high scoring and compliant.
  • Helping you develop alternative offers both technical and commercial.
  • Reviewing proposal prior to submissions including red team, blue team reviews.

Our services can be the lightest of touches, simply assessing your existing strategy, assisting with identifying key win themes or facilitating occasional workshops, through to providing a complete bid directorship for your business or individual tenders.

The Benefits

Bidding is expensive – it eats away your hard-earned profits. By having a clear strategy, bidding for work that you have a high percentage of winning, having an efficient and effective processes the benefits are clear:

  • Improved ‘bid/no bid’ decisions
  • Higher win rates
  • Lower bid costs
  • Advanced market position
  • Upskilled and motivated bid teams
  • Repeatable, scalable and predictable processes
  • A sound foundation for improvement

Whether you need assistance with a single element of your bid strategy or win theme…or if you need a complete turnkey service please get in touch to discuss your needs.

For further information on responding to bids and tenders please visit our bid strategy page.

Theny Monteith, bid response lead

Theny Monteith

Theny is an experienced bid lead, with a demonstrated history of working in the management consulting industry. She is skilled in Communication, Facilitation, Management, Law, and Relationship Building.

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