How to decide whether to tender, bid or submit a proposal

Putting together tenders, bids and proposals is often a huge commitment of time and energy. Unless you’ve got a dedicated bid team, they divert the attention of key personnel from the business. Therefore, tendering for new business can be a costly exercise, so it’s wise to carefully consider whether it makes strategic sense.

Will a win be good for business?

Clearly, the decision to tender should not be made glibly. All companies ideally need a business development strategy that identifies a specific client base and seeks to build relationships with targets over time. Keeping leads warm may mean that you are invited to tender when an opportunity arises. It may also mean that you have insight into the tendering organisation’s challenges and can position your offer, and any value-add services, accordingly.

Usually, a win is great for business: it often means regular work and revenue over a multi-year period, providing business stability and job security. However, in some instances it might not make good business sense. Perhaps you’ll need a significant financial outlay to fulfil the product or service demand? In this case, what are the long-term financial implications? Alternatively, can you deliver the offer you have presented? If you fail to do this, there’s the risk of reputational damage.

The Go or No-Go Decision

Be choosy about which tenders, bids and proposals to go for. In addition to considering whether it makes strategic sense for your business, consider the likelihood of success:

  • Do you have an existing relationship with the prospect?
  • Do you have the resources to submit a strong tender?
  • Do the selection criteria align with your company’s strengths?
  • What does the prospective client know about your business?
  • Do you know what value proposition will appeal to the prospective client?
  • Is your pricing, product or service competitive?
  • Is there a strong incumbent in place?

These are just a couple of points to consider when assessing whether or not to tender, bid or submit a proposal. If you would like help with your decision making process, head to the contact page or call Rosemary Gillespie on 02 8036 5532 or 0411 123 216.

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