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Winning tips for successful tender writing



Writing a tender proposal can be a difficult task if you haven’t written one before. To write a successful tender you need to start long before submitting the actual response document. Here are some tips which you should consider before you submit a tender proposal if you want to win.

Review the business objectives

Before you get into the writing process, it is important to assess if tendering is the right approach for you and if your business is the right fit for the tender. If yes, then evaluate your business’ strengths and weaknesses to identify any actions that you need to take to fill the gaps.

The initial preparation

Read more about procurement processes and the requirements of the tendering bodies you wish to target. This will help you get enough knowledge of the different requirements in making a winning tender.

The next step is to research and understand market factors and your competitors’ offerings. It will help in understanding how you can best meet the buyer’s requirements.

Focus on the buyer

Always keep the buyer in mind while drafting a tender proposal. Think about how you can solve their problems and address their specific requirements. Get as much information about the organisation and their objectives as you can. Use this information in your tender to tailor your offering to the desired outcome for the buyer.  

Don’t forget to relate the tender to your organisation’s unique selling proposition (“USP”) which should also be a key message running through the whole tender. Make sure to include things that set your company above your competitors.

Never ignore the competitors and always focus on how your offering is better than theirs.  

Setting a competitive price

Setting the right price is a significant factor in winning a tender. You have to cover all the costs of delivering the business and at the same time show good value for money.. The buyer usually asks for a proposed charge rate so make sure you provide ate for all categories.

Present your tender well

It is important to present a proposal that is professional. Go through the documentation and carefully address all the requirements. Some specific tips are:

  • Include a cover letter that responds to the bid invitation and summarises the main messages
  • Use bullet points and keep the sentences simple and short
  • Use appendices for including additional information
  • Always include a front cover page with the tender title and contract reference
  • Also include a table of contents page

Value time

Your completed draft tender document should be sent to the client as early as possible to give them time to review it. Never underestimate the time required for finishing the proposal and keep some buffer time for rectifying any issues that are identified.

Failing to submit a tender on time will rule you out.  Companies will not consider your tender if it is not received on time because having the extra time is seen as an unfair advantage.

Proofread and review your proposal

Always get someone to proofread your proposal to avoid grammatical and spelling errors and to ensure that everything is properly cross-referenced.

Also make sure that the content experts have checked the submission against the RFT to ensure that the document will technically comply with the tender instructions.

Always ask for feedback

Whether your tender bid turns out to be a success or not, ask for feedback from the client. You will learn a lot from this exercise and it will help you position yourself better against future competitors.