Tender writing consultants can be a useful part of your bid team, whether you’re the director of a small business who writes tender responses in your ‘spare time’ or the Bid Director of a Corporate who finds their bid team overwhelmed. At Bid for Success, we support both these archetypes, and a whole range of others in between, and we know that working with an outside organisation can be a big step. So, here’s how to get the most out of your tender writing consultants.
Choose the Right Consultant
Tendering can be stressful, and you need to be sure that the tender writing consultants you work with are going to have your back when things get tense; which they inevitably will. We’ve blogged before about why finding the right bid writer is key to your success, so we won’t go into too much detail here, but by far the biggest consideration is that you feel comfortable and confident that they are a part of your team.
One choice you do need to make is whether to work with a single freelancer or a firm of consultants. Having a good relationship with a freelance bid writer can be the perfect solution, but if you want to be sure that the bid is peer-reviewed, and that there’s a plan in place in case the bid writer is unable to work then a consultancy is the way to go.
Make the Most of the Kick-off
Once you’ve made the bid/no-bid decision, the next step is to pull the team together and have a kick-off meeting. Your tender writing consultants should be involved in this meeting, if not leading it, because while they may know how to write great bids, they need to gain an understanding of your business and how it relates to this opportunity.
The kick-off is the time to come up with solution architecture, designing how you will deliver great results for the client, and individual win themes that can be aligned to specific questions; for example are your products eco-friendly, or do the processes you use save time and/or money?
Single Point of Contact
We always ask clients to give us a single point of contact for the bid; that’s one person who gives us sign-off to say that the bid is ready for submission. You might want to take the bid to the board and have them do a page turn – and we’re happy to be there to support that, but we don’t want to be fielding phone calls from different people asking us to do different things.
On the other hand, tender writing consultants are happy to have access to your Subject Matter Experts. Spending half an hour talking to the site manager who delivered a particular project will help us pull out case study information and real detail on how you work that will help you win the bid.
Tender Writing Consultants, not Magicians
While good tender writing consultants will be able to give you the framework of a response to add the detail to, we can’t summon winning responses out of thin air. You need to have realistic expectations. If you don’t have the relevant skills or experience, it’s going to be an uphill struggle, no matter how skilled the writer, to get you into a winning position.
At Bid for Success, we’re honest with our customers. We tell them if we don’t think that they have enough to win the bid; in fact, we’re refused to work on bids for clients before when we think they’re wasting their money.
While we’re on the subject of not bidding – if your tender writing consultant is sending you a lot of opportunities that aren’t suitable for you, or seems to only appear towards the end of the month when they need to make quota? They probably don’t have your best interests at heart.
Make Time to Review
Put time in your diary to thoroughly go through the tender submission. Yes, you’re subcontracting this out to tender writing consultants, but ultimately, it’s your bid. You’re signing the paperwork and agreeing that what you’ve included is accurate.
We know that when it’s your first bid the temptation may be to defer to the consultants, to think that they know best and so there must be a reason that something has been included or left out. You’ll do yourself a huge favour if you take the time to review and challenge anything that you’re not sure about.
When the result of your bid is published, you’ll also get feedback to see how well you fared against other bidders, whether you win or lose. This offers a great opportunity to do a bid review and see how you can use that feedback to drive improvement for future opportunities. If you’re planning on using that bid writer again, then include them in the process so they can take the feedback on board.
Work with Us?
At Bid for Success, we have a team of bid managers and a pool of associates to pull in where we need specialist knowledge. We enjoy working with our clients, SME or corporate, whether we’re taking on the whole bid process or working as part of a bid team. As tender writing consultants, we have a track record of winning and delivering above and beyond for our clients, and we’d love to do that for you too. If you need help, get in touch today.