How a tender audit will help you avoid tender mistakes in 2023

What is a tender audit and why should you do one?

A tender audit is simply a review of your recent tender submissions to identify how good they are.

Completing a tender audit gives you key findings that you can apply when you come to write your next tender. You’ll use the tender audit findings to improve the content in your next tender and increase your opportunity for tender success. Improving your tender responses means making fewer tender mistakes too, which will up your rate of tender wins.

Like any other audit, a tender audit is a retrospective review of 3-5 recent tenders. It doesn’t matter if they were successful or not. The point is to review the tenders afresh to identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Who should complete the tender audit?

Ideally, you’ll have someone who wasn’t involved in the tender writing to complete the tender audit for you, even if this is someone who works at your business. They will give you an independent view of the tenders. They’ll see aspects of the tender responses that you didn’t notice when you were writing the tender. They’ll be able to give constructive feedback that will help you next time you’re faced with writing a tender response.

If you don’t have anyone available to give you an independent review of your recent tenders, you can complete the tender audit yourself. It’s best to give yourself a few months between the last tender and your audit to do this. The passage of time will help you to look at the tenders anew and gain a new perspective on their strengths and weaknesses.

Another option is to ask a tender professional to conduct your tender audit. This is usually a tender writing expert who has years of tender writing and management experience. They’ll have been involved with countless tenders. Hence, they’ll be able to give you their thorough expert view and advice on the strengths and weaknesses of your recent tenders.

What does a tender audit comprise?

A tender audit involves:

  1. Reading the original request for tender (RFT) or request for proposal (RFP) to identify what was required for the tender response. Most important is the explanation of the scope of work or prospective client’s needs, their evaluation criteria and compliance requirements.
  2. Reading the tender response. When reading the tender, the tender auditor should be asking:
    • Does the tender make the value proposition clear? Do the tender responses answer the questions properly? For example, do the responses include the question wording? Do they give evidence to demonstrate why the tenderer is the right choice, such as case studies? Do they present the benefits or outcomes that the tenderer will deliver, not just the features? Does the wording personalise the response – for example, include ‘you’, ‘your’. Does the content address the evaluation criteria and the organisation’s needs? Does the content explain how the tenderer will meet those needs?
    • Are there photos, illustrations, flowcharts or graphs to explain the key points? Good charts or images increase tender success. They make a tender response visually more interesting and attract those who prefer to look at images rather than read too many words.
    • Is all the compliance addressed? Were all the required attachments sent with the tender. For instance, insurance certificates of currency, quality policy? Around 60% of tenderers to government don’t get past the first check by procurement as they fail to include all the compliance documents asked for.
    • Is the writing of good quality. This means that there are no typos or grammatical mistakes, that the content flows, is interesting to read and is clear and succinct.

Choosing a professional tender auditor

Using a professional tender auditor offers good value. They offer you a truly independent perspective, with no agenda other than to see you win more tenders.

They’ll take 3-5 of your recent tenders and apply their long-term tender writing expertise to identify where your tenders stand out and where changes can be made to increase your opportunity for success.

Our tender audit service, for example, gives our clients at least 10 pointers to improve their proposals or tenders, all for a fixed fee.

We give really useful ‘before’ and ‘after’ examples so our clients can improve the content in their future tenders.

In particular, we give easy-to-action practical examples and suggestions of how to improve the tender content. This might be specific sections, sentences or even individual words that bring clarity to our clients’ proposals and help bring them to life.

We also review benefits vs features and outcomes to see if our clients’ strengths and the outcomes they deliver loud and clear.

Importantly, we review whether the tenders are hitting its mark in terms of value or sales proposition. Are the messages clear and simple?

Contact us for a tender audit today

If your tenders aren’t as successful as you would like, our tender audit service will identify where you can make simple changes to improve your opportunity for successful tenders.

For help with tender audits, tender writing and management, contact Tender Writers on 02 8036 5532 or 0448 566 377 or head to the contact page.

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