27 Feb Information, research and Management.
What can you do to improve your chances of winning an opportunity? The answer to this lies in many factors of the bid writing process but a key area of this is researching the customer, their needs and also identifying the competition, their strengths and weaknesses.
Customer and Competitor knowledge is a key building block to submitting a wining bid. In many public sector tenders it is not always possible to know your exact competitors, but it is important to know the market you are in, and therefore potentially who you make be up against. When bidding for an existing contract finding the incumbent provider is a great place to start, or perhaps someone you have lost out to previously on work.
They can provide you with ideas on what you could do to make your offering comparable and then what you need to do to make it better. Look at Case Studies on their website have they talked about this client and does this give you some insight into the challenges faced by the client.
Understand the customer and what they are looking for not only in the tender but as business. What does their website tell you about them as a business, what makes them tick, and therefore what may be the priorities of the tender, history of the contract. It’s essential to understand their policies and performance expectations.
Where do their strengths and weaknesses lie, how do you compare and what opportunities lie within those. Looking on social media is a great way of understanding what a competitor is doing as well as what the public think of them.
What is your solution for the customer, what can you bring to the contract – your past experience, resources, past performance, added value and initiatives which set you apart.
Having this information to shape your tender is one of the first building blocks to ensuring your tender is successful. Make sure this information is kept up to date and is relevant to each opportunity you bid for. Customers don’t want to read generic statements about you – they want to know that you’ve understood them, understood their requirements and are going to help them in some way – beyond what others may be able to achieve