How to Answer Tender Questions and Score High Marks

This guide on how to answer tender questions will help you to create better tender responses. Previous posts have been combined with some new information to provide a comprehensive resource on answering tender questions.

To win a tender (or get through a PQQ) you need to score high marks. Answer tender questions well and submit a competitive price then you should score highly. And hopefully win the bid!

How to Answer Tender Questions and Score High Marks

Answer Tender Questions Effectively

Once you have qualified the tender and made a plan, you can start writing. NB make sure you avoid the most common tendering mistakes.

An earlier post explained best practice for Answering Tender Questions:

It explains how to approach each response so that it is correct, complete and succinct. So often I see answers where waffle or irrelevant information is used in place of a crisp precise answer. Sometimes this is due to copy and pasting of a past response which is similar (but not identical) to the current question. It is important that you focus your response on the question in hand.

Understanding Tender Evaluation Criteria

Tender Evaluation Criteria and Tender Evaluation Methodology

Understanding the Tender Evaluation Criteria and Tender Evaluation Methodology is a vital part of the Bid Manager’s toolkit. Using them can help you to qualify the tender opportunity and improve your score.

Tender Evaluation Criteria

PQQs and tenders will often include a guide on how they are marked. Below is an example tender evaluation criteria or matrix:

Tender Evaluation Criteria Example

They all look different and criteria differs depending on each customer’s needs. The scoring can range from simple percentage splits to complex weighting systems. But the basic principles of tender evaluation criteria remain the same.

How to Qualify Tenders – Bid or No Bid

How to qualify tenders is a topic that gives many business owners a headache! Here is a guide on qualifying tenders. It also applies to when you invited to quote for work. Bid or No Bid.

How to Qualify Tenders - Bid or No Bid

How to Qualify Tenders & Sales Opportunities

It’s all about Quality Not Quantity. This refers equally to formal tenders and when you get approached for a quotation.

I love winning bids! But absolutely hate wasting time on something that was never going to be a success. I try and take a realistic view on the likely return on investment (time and money). I can then make a more rational decision whether to pitch or not.

Too many times I hear about organisations going for lots of tenders and not winning any. This is often due to not qualifying tenders properly. If you are looking for new business and you find a tender, it can be very exciting when you go for it – the anticipation of a big win. But when you get rejected (once again) it is very depressing!

Over the years I’ve had some difficult and lengthy discussions with MDs about whether to bid or not. Deciding between ditching an opportunity to win new business and potentially your wasting time is tricky.

Making the decision not to bid on tenders can be hard. You may feel you are limiting your opportunities. But if you do it well, you are just freeing up valuable resources to do something more profitable. Like creating one excellent winning bid, rather than three mediocre losing bids. Or simply going home on time tonight?

2015 Procurement Regulations – How Will They Effect Tenders & PQQs?

Guide to Main Changes in the 2015 Procurement Regulations

I previously outlined the Government’s plans to simplify bidding for public sector contracts. The new 2015 Procurement Regulations come into force on the 26th February 2015. They contain many changes that will affect public sector tenders.

2015 Procurement Regulations

 Government’s Aims

“For contracting authorities, this means being able to run procurement exercises faster, with less red tape, and more focus on getting the right supplier and the best tender.

“And for suppliers, the process of bidding for public contracts should be quicker, less costly, and less bureaucratic, enabling suppliers to compete more effectively.”

‘More guidance’ is to follow from Crown Commercial Service in due course. But in the meantime, here is a guide to the main changes relating to new 2015 Procurement Regulations. NB

Helping SMEs

Vince Cable set a target of 25% of public contracts to go to SMEs. The initiatives below are very helpful in that respect:

  • Contracting authorities will be urged to break contracts into smaller lots to help SMEs take part.
  • A cap on required turnover ratio has been introduced to help smaller businesses take part in bidding. Authorities will not be able to set company turnover requirements at more than two-times contract value (except when justified).

The previous ‘turnover yardstick’ was that a contract should not represent more than around 30% of a bidder’s turnover. (But I’ve seen 10-20% at times!) So raising it to 50% is a big change. In light of this, our Fit to Tender Check-list has been updated.

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