12 Feb How To Content Plan Your Bid
Why Is Content Planning Necessary?
Content planning is essential for writing a coherent and engaging bid that contains the necessary information buyers are looking for.
By planning your content thoroughly, you can make sure that your bid demonstrates compliance and meets your buyer’s marking criteria. Plus, effective content planning will help you reach your targets and hit the assigned deadlines, ensuring that your tenders are not submitted late.
It is for these reasons – and more – that content planning plays a critical role in bid writing.
In this article, we will address the key points you should cover during your content planning process, and outline how to plan these sections effectively.
Handling Mandatory/Compliance Questions
Demonstrating that your company is fully compliant and qualified to carry out the work is critical when writing your bid. If you are not compliant, or are not qualified to carry out the job, you will not win the contract!
First and foremost, you should read the compliance questions several times to ensure that you have fully understood what information the buyer requires you to provide. During your first look through the tender document, you should compile a compliance checklist to ensure that you meet the requirements of the contract.
Copy down each requirement in full and note the action needed to answer the question effectively, including how you will demonstrate your compliance – such as by supplying references, certificates, and written certifications, for example.
If you do not meet the compliance requirements, you have the option to clarify with the client whether you can still submit your bid for the contract. However, if there is no chance of winning the bid, your time and resources will be better spent applying for a different opportunity.
When you have completed your responses, check them against the compliance checklist to ensure that you have met the requirements in full and provided sufficient evidence to prove this.
Handling Written Quality Questions
When responding to quality questions, it is crucial to be conscious of what the buyer is asking of you. It’s easy to fall into the trap of listing the quality assurance measures you have in place, without properly reading or answering the question.
Instead, consider what information the buyer will require to accurately assess the quality of your service. This information may include factors such as:
- Standard Of Service
- Quality Of Workmanship
- Material Quality
- Overall Quality Assurance Process
Relevant case studies and reviews can be used to back up your claims, and will help demonstrate how you have satisfied the needs of previous clients.
The Mark Schemes, Mark Weightings, And Evaluation Criteria
The marking criteria will tell you everything you need to know about how to construct your bid, and what your buyers are looking for in your responses. Some questions may be scored more highly than others; these are the questions on which your team needs to concentrate their time and effort.
You can also use the evaluation criteria to formulate your section headings. This not only keeps your bid on track, but also helps to signpost your responses to the buyer, so that they can more easily check your answers against their marking criteria.
The Word Limits
Whether or not your responses meet the word limit can make or break your bid.
Tenders vary in their approach to word limits. While some may simply not count any additional information that goes over the word limit, others may disqualify your bid automatically if any of the responses exceed the specified word count.
Remember: word limits are there for a reason! If your response is too short, there is a high probability that you have not addressed all aspects of the question. This likely means that your response will not satisfy the marking criteria. Therefore, you should ensure that your responses go into the necessary detail, as well as provide adequate evidence to back up your claims.
When content planning your bid, you should have a plan of how many words you will allocate to each aspect of the question. This will ensure that you answer the question in full while meeting – but not exceeding – the word count.
The Client Requirements
When planning your bid response, you should prioritise your client’s requirements to ensure that you meet their expectations of your bid. You can gather information about their needs from the tender document, the marking criteria, and your background research of the client.
The tender document should be clear about the requirements, including the compliance and qualification criteria. However, if you are at all unsure about what the client expects from your bid response, you can gain further information by contacting them and asking for clarification.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions! Gaining clarity can improve your chances of winning the bid and will illustrate your interest in the opportunity to your buyer.
Agree Who Will Contribute What To The Bid
Your bid writing team should be comprised of members with a diverse set of skills who work well collaboratively. By assigning sections, roles, and responsibilities to the team members who are most qualified to fulfil them, you are more likely to compile a successful, well-crafted bid.
Some of the roles in a bid writing team typically include:
- Bid/Proposals Manager
- Subject Matter Experts
- Bid Writer
- Graphic Designer
You can find more information about how to build a brilliant bid writing team here.
Gathering Tender Information Through Interviews, Meetings, Research Etc.
You should plan plenty of time to research your buyer in advance of writing your bid. This should include scheduling dates for site visits, interviews, and meetings, as well as conducting buyer research.
The additional information you acquire will help to inform your bid and may provide you with inside knowledge not included in the tender document.
In addition, making the effort to reach out to the buyer and learn more about them can also signal that your business is seriously interested in the opportunity they are offering.
Creating this kind of connection with the buyer may give you a slight edge when the time comes for them to evaluate the bid responses they have received.
Want to know more about how to create content plans that will win your business more work? Contact our expert team!