Bid Feedback and How to Use It

May 12, 2022Bid Management, Bid Training, Bid Writing, General

As upsetting as not winning a tender is, you can learn valuable things from the bid feedback that you should receive from the Contracting Authority. Feedback can help you to recognise your strengths and weakness to improve your written responses, and possibly some practical work, ready for your next bid.

The feedback you receive can vary, some will offer honest feedback that highlights certain areas and others may provide you with a few generic bullet points – or sometimes no feedback at all!

If you don’t receive feedback, you can request further information, which must be given to you within 15 days of a written request being received.

A key thing to remember is that if you’re bidding on a public sector bid and they don’t give you feedback, they are in breach of the Public Contract Regulations.

What Questions Should You Ask When Requesting Bid Feedback?

When requesting bid feedback, it’s important that you also ask questions that don’t just relate to your company. This is your chance to find out as much information as possible to research and be ready for your next bid. This can include competitor analysis if the winning company is one you haven’t heard of before.

The types of questions you should ask are:Gold Question Mark

  • Who won the contract? – this question will highlight a competitor and allow you to research them, see if  they’re an established business or a start-up, and also help with your long-term strategic plans
  • How many bids were received & where did your bid place? – by asking this, you’re able to gain an idea of the level of competition you’re up against.
  • What was the winning score, and what was your score? – this allows you to understand how competitive your bid was, and also allows you to highlight any areas you may need to work on.

You should also ask for:

  • A breakdown of your scores against the evaluation criteria
  • Which, if any, criteria you didn’t meet the minimum standard required on
  • What areas the Contracting Authority would suggest you improve your approach on

Only request the above 3 points if you have not already been provided them.

Sharing Feedback With Your Bid Team:

Once you’ve received the feedback, share it with your team!

Doing this enables your team to identify any shortcomings and put together a plan for future bids. Not only this, but they can also see which parts of that particular bid did well, and by keeping a record of the bid feedback you receive from unsuccessful ones, you can reuse high-scoring parts in other bids, providing they’re relevant to the contract you’re bidding on.

Regardless of whether you were successful in your bid or not, you should always be offered feedback, if not, you can request this.

What Does Good Bid Feedback Look Like?

There is a difference between receiving standard feedback and receiving good feedback. You may find some only focus on what you did wrong, and not include anything that you did right, this is a sign of bad feedback.

To find out if you’ve received good feedback, you should look out for the below:

  • The feedback should start with a thank you, it should then set out what the feedback will cover
  • Good & Bad Signs  and how the scoring and evaluation were carried out.
  • They should then cover any questions you have on the process, evaluation, or project outcomes (if necessary).
  • It shouldn’t JUST focus on the negatives. Within the feedback, you should be
  •  made aware of what went well and your strengths within the response.
  • You should receive constructive feedback, not just criticism. This will include areas for improvement against the evaluation criteria, or even against the project KPIs.

Remember – losing a bid isn’t necessarily a bad thing!

It allows you and your team to grow as writers and gain valuable information for the next one.

Keep Up To Date With Bid For Success:

For more information on bid feedback, or bidding in general, please feel free to contact us at hello@bidforsuccess.co.uk.

Alternatively, you can follow us on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram where we post more helpful information to help you with your bidding journey!

Beth Yeomans

Currently an apprentice working towards a Digital Marketing Level 3 Qualification

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