The joy of bid content planning

In a complex bid or tender response, taking the time to plan content and evidence means you and your team will spend less time writing and rewriting. I call this the “joy” of bid content planning because to me, this is where the strategy comes to life. However, most people skip straight over this step because they’re impatient to get straight into writing. This is risky, because without proper planning there is always the chance that the most compelling elements of your strategy will never see the light of day.

A tender evaluation panel might contain anywhere from five to eight or more different stakeholders. They will come from the business area you are pitching to, and possibly also from its technology, legal and environmental sustainability teams.

Even when you are the incumbent supplier, there’s a very good chance that not everyone on the evaluation panel will be familiar with your work. Your proposal needs to explain this, and provide examples and evidence to support what you are saying.

Sit down with your team after the bid strategy session and examine each of the questions in turn. What are these questions really asking? Is there a question behind the question? What does the buyer really want to know? Are there potentially explosive issues here that you need to be aware of?

When thinking about how to answer each question, consider the major claims you want to make.

Then make sure you back them up with evidence.

This is exceptionally important in a bid or tender response, as the evaluation panel has to give each part of your proposal a score. What sets apart high scoring proposals is the believability of their claims, which is determined by the quality of the evidence that you provide. 

Robyn Haydon is a business development consultant who helps helps service-based businesses that compete through bids and tenders to articulate the value in what they do, command a price premium, and build an offer that buyers can’t refuse. Don’t let others dictate how far and how fast your business can grow – take your power back! Email robyn@robynhaydon.com to request the white paper for the Beyond Ticking Boxes program.