Bid Writing – Common mistakes and how to avoid them

It’s easy to write something, but difficult to write something interesting and impactful. It’s the same with writing bids, it’s easy to put words onto a screen, but difficult to make them easy to read, compelling and high scoring.

Over the years we’ve seen the same mistakes again and again – and sometimes all at once – so we’ve listed some of them here:

  • Non-compliance with the specification and its mandatory requirements
  • Ignoring the evaluation criteria/not understanding how to achieve top marks
  • Not answering part or all of the question(s)
  • Providing insufficient evidence of previous work undertaken to prove competence/expertise
  • Failing to highlight and sell the benefits of the service/solution to the customer

While these are fundamental issues, they are easy mistakes to make, especially when an individual is juggling bid writing with other responsibilities or they are inexperienced at tendering.

Over the past decade we have developed a process to support clients and ensure their tender responses are as compelling and high scoring as possible. Here are a few of the steps from this process that we recommend implementing to avoid these common mistakes:

  • First, have a kick-off meeting with the key stakeholders who have read the documentation, recording key insights and actions. This will encourage discussion and promote understanding
  • Second, provide subject matter experts with guidance. For every bid we produce instructional documents for the scored questions, which, for example, highlight the evaluation criteria, relevant sections from the specification and break down questions to make them easier to answer
  • Third, don’t settle for the first content that’s drafted. Utilise an iterative review process to strengthen the response and ensure it meets the necessary requirements/specification and addresses the evaluation criteria

Our tried and tested process has resulted in us achieving a tender success rate of 90%+ and a 100% framework contract success rate. Leeds City Council recently stated that Impart “ensure all the content within our submissions has gone through a rigorous process of challenge and improvement”.

If you’d like to know how Impart could support you, please email Simon at simon.esbach@impart.co.uk or call for a no-obligation chat on 03333 448789.