Too many times we hear about people going for lots of tenders and not winning any – this is often due to not qualifying tenders properly ie ‘can we really win it’. 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!
Assuming that you are Fit to Tender, the simple solution is properly qualifying tenders every time. Here are some ideas:
- Go for quality not quantity – this will improve your hit rates
- Ask yourself ‘can we win it? Is it really our business?’
- Consider the contract value – contracts are often not given to organisations if the contract value represents more than 50% of their turnover (are you big enough to service the contract?).
- Can you demonstrate working for similar types of customers doing similar work (and provide good references)?
- Look at the tender evaluation criteria – can you meet their requirements and score well in the high-value questions?
- Location – are you close enough to service the work? Unless you have a specialised offering, it’s often no good going for contracts out of your area.
- Too many other bidders? Are you just making up the numbers?
- Any PQQ requirements that you cannot meet e.g. ISO 9001? If so talk to the buyer to see if it’s mandatory.
- Existing relationship – you have good / bad / no relationships? What about your competitors?
- Competitors – who are you up against? Can you beat them?
- Is the customer going to change? Is it just a benchmarking exercise? Or a tool to beat the current supplier’s price down
- Do the buyers allow meaningful communication?
- Consider resources / cost – can you bear these?
If you find that you have too many negatives, maybe it’s time for you to give give a polite ‘no thanks’ and do something else more profitable…
Time is too short to waste on tenders that you are probably not going to win!