BD tips and insights

Winning tenders, bids and proposals: what matters most?

November 16, 2016 | Posted in: Tenders Bids Proposals | Tags:


Clients often ask me what will help them write a winning tender, bid or proposal.

Look through the following list of proposal or tender attributes (or key pieces) and pick the three you think will have the most impact on whether you win (or not):

  • content accuracy
  • clarity of writing
  • completeness
  • conciseness
  • persuasive language
  • addressing the requirements of the RFP
  • addressing your client’s needs and objectives
  • pricing plan and options for pricing and billing alternatives
  • tailored CVs
  • credentials of your team
  • prior experience, case studies, and success stories
  • cost justification
  • graphics, presentation, and colour
  • relationship management
  • project and service delivery plan
  • references and testimonials
  • technical innovation
  • technical details and implementation
  • value-added services
  • your firm’s history and longevity
  • proof of your capabilities and experience.

Yes, they’re all important! And, depending on your client, what matters most may change when it comes to winning a tender.

However, in terms of winning there are three elements we see time and again that seem to matter most:

  • addressing your client’s needs (spoken and unspoken)
  • addressing the requirements of the tender, bid or proposal request
  • cost justification, return on investment, and overall value for money.

So remember, in order to win tenders, bids and proposals and, for that matter, clients at all, the three things that matter most are:

  1. That you will supply what they need (including things they don’t realise they need)
  2. You will deliver it in a way that meets their expectations and technical requirements
  3. That it offers good business value.

Ultimately, if you don’t get these three key foundational pieces right, the rest won’t really matter.

What next?

If you want more on guidance on JMA’s approach to winning tenders, bids & proposals, why not download our free resource, What really needs to go into a proposal?  Or check out our  Dos and don’ts: top tips for winning tenders and proposals.

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