I’m new to tendering. Where do I begin?
For the uninitiated, tendering can seem daunting, time-intensive and costly. However, you can avoid many problems by systematically qualifying opportunities, provided you have sufficient knowledge about your client and a clear understanding of the competitive playing field. Check out our New to tendering? Where do you start? article for some helpful tips on deciding whether an opportunity is right for you.
My business or industry is unique. Can BidWrite really help me?
Yes! There is an important distinction to be made between writing for industry and writing to win. The former presupposes some degree of specific industry knowledge. BidWrite, however, applies its experience, techniques and processes with one objective in mind – winning. You are a vital part of the winning process, contributing important knowledge about your industry and more specifically, your business. We work with you, contributing our expertise on the art and science of winning. The strengths and inputs we each bring to the table are complementary. When combined, they make for winning partnerships.
How is BidWrite’s live bid support different from using a professional writer?
Put it this way. If you wanted your expensive watch repaired, you’d use a specialist watchmaker, right? Tendering is a specialised work-winning activity, with its own language and conventions that the average professional writer isn’t likely to be familiar with. And sustained tendering success results from careful attention to far more than just the text within the final submission document. We know this because tendering is all we do – we are specialists. As in most situations, you can’t beat experience.
Will BidWrite provide support to more than one organisation competing for the same tender?
No. BidWrite’s long-held position is that we will never support multiple organisations competing for the same opportunity. Regular clients seeking to lock in our services for known future opportunities can secure exclusive first right of refusal with a subscription to one of our long-term Secure or Transform In cases where there are no Secure or Transform clients competing for a particular opportunity, the organisation that first commits to engaging us will enjoy our exclusive support.
I often submit tenders but am unsuccessful. Can you help me improve my win rate?
Winning tenders is never easy, and success depends on many factors. However, BidWrite’s live bid support service provides a platform of experienced staff, tips, tools and techniques to give you the best possible chance of success. And BidWrite’s training courses teach these tools and techniques so you’ll be producing higher quality content before you know it. The ultimate proof is in the win rates of our clients. These are regularly better than those they achieve when working in isolation. Of course, we can’t guarantee that you’ll win every tender. But we can guarantee a dramatic improvement in your submissions.
I have been unsuccessful in previous bids because I did not comply. Can you help?
Many companies don’t even make it to the first cut in a bid evaluation simply because they haven’t provided all they have been asked to. This can be common with Government related submissions where probity and compliance is justifiably paramount. However, you should view compliance as a basic tender requirement, irrespective of the buyer type. It’s an initial gateway process that may not be enough to see you win, but can certainly stop you from losing. BidWrite ensures compliance by establishing a detailed writing plan at the start of the bid process, and a checklist at the end, to ensure you comply with all tender requirements so you ‘stay in the race’.
Can you help me decipher the overwhelming amount of complex tender documentation?
We know that the sheer volume of Request for Tender (RFT) documentation can present challenges to inexperienced organisations. But practice makes perfect. Collectively, we’ve read thousands of RFT documents. We know what we are looking at, and we know what to look for. Furthermore, a number of our staff have both tendering and procurement experience, we understand ‘procurement speak’. We can help you decipher it so you can focus on what’s really important – your response.
How does BidWrite deal with potential conflicts of interest?
Given the privileged role we play in our clients’ tendering activities, conflicts of interest can arise from time to time. We keenly understand commercial sensitivity, and therefore will disclose any conflict (potential or otherwise) to the relevant parties.
What is BidWrite’s approach to confidentiality?
We are critically aware that company information disclosed during tendering is often sensitive and that reputations, livelihoods and even business survival can be at stake. BidWrite has a strong and well-earned reputation for ethical business practices and we willingly enter into client confidentiality agreements whenever we are asked to. We can even provide our own agreement document to you if required.
Who is APMP, and why do you provide their training?
The Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) is the global industry body for professionals dedicated to the process of winning business through proposals, tenders, bids and presentations. Designed specifically for proposal professionals, APMP’s certification program is the only internationally recognised professional qualification pathway.
BidWrite is Australasia’s only APMP Accredited Training Organisation (ATO) and is approved to provide APMP certification training. Our trainers hold the highest level of APMP certification and can confidently guide participants through the training content and exam processes.
Why is it important to BidWrite for its staff to have APMP certification?
Because we believe in it. Based on a global best-practice body of knowledge, the APMP (Association of Proposal Management Professionals) certification program is the only internationally recognised professional qualification designed specifically for proposal professionals. BidWrite views APMP certification as a commitment that offers both quality assurance to our clients and a professional development pathway to our staff.
Can you help make my bids look more professional?
First impressions matter. Your bid document provides evaluators with their first insight into your company’s professionalism and commitment. BidWrite provides advice on bid structure and how to display information more clearly and concisely, using charts, graphs and tables. Our bid consultants are expert users of MS Word and know exactly how to present your bid in a digestible, professional, on-brand format. We can also supply professional graphic designers for situations where higher levels of cover page, executive summary and diagrammatic design are required.
Can you help me avoid the late nights and last-minute rush to meet submission deadlines?
A well-resourced and carefully planned bid, using an experienced and disciplined team, is the key to avoiding late night pizza runs. BidWrite can help you successfully plan and resource your bid to avoid the last-minute rush. Because we work in partnership with you, you’ll also need to prioritise the tender work, especially during the bid open period.
Doesn’t the lowest priced bid always win?
No, the best value bid is usually the winner. Clear articulation of value, in a way that matters to your buyer, is often more important than price alone. Although BidWrite cannot price your bid for you, we can help articulate your pricing strategy and influence how value is perceived by your buyer, either through live bid support or our training courses. This is of great worth, particularly to organisations who offer premium goods or services but struggle to sell their price.
What level of sales jargon is required in bids?
None. Sales jargon is meaningless. We focus on the art of persuasion, which is a vital part of tender submissions. We use a range of tools such as the Pyramid of Persuasion, the ISBP® technique, action captions and diagrams, as well as the correct use of headings and headlines, to improve the level of persuasion in your submission. In our bid response training courses, we teach you how to use these techniques so you feel more confident and empowered to implement them yourself. Persuasion ensures that your key messages are heard loud and clear, giving your tender submission a compelling edge.
Can you help me with grant funding applications?
Yes, but only if we have a prior relationship with you. While many of the principles for preparing a winning tender submission apply equally to industry grant applications, the ROI case for one-off grant submission support is often difficult for our clients to make given the effort required, the level of industry intimacy needed and often relatively modest grant sums on offer to successful applicants. Given our tender and proposal management specialisation, BidWrite does not offer a ‘grant finding’ service. Nevertheless, we are always happy to discuss opportunities, especially if grant applications are an important component of a wider work-winning relationship established through one of our Secure or Transform subscriptions.
What types of audience are your training courses designed for?
We have a training option for everyone, from beginners to seasoned bidding professionals. Our training caters to two broad audiences – those for whom bidding is a full-time profession, and those who hold other roles but have connections or responsibilities to the bidding activities of their organisations, e.g. sales people, senior managers, administrators and subject matter experts. Our APMP training offerings are designed for professional bidders seeking a focussed professional development pathway. BidWrite’s own course offerings are less theoretical and aim to develop practical bidding skillsets. This makes them suitable for early to mid-stage professional bidders and anyone with an interest or involvement in the bidding process.
Is all of BidWrite’s training conducted online?
Although we’ve delivered hundreds of in-person workshops in the past, the unpredictability of COVID-19 has made this very difficult. As a consequence, we currently deliver all our public tender training courses online. This makes them accessible to participants in any location and working environment with access to a reasonable internet connection. Added benefits of online delivery are the broader perspectives and networking created through a greater diversity of participants.
What online platform do you use to deliver training?
BidWrite uses the Zoom Meetings platform to deliver our online workshops. This enables us to utilise functionality such as screensharing, breakout rooms, reactions and polls.
I’m a new client who’s never used external bidding support before. How do I test drive your services without committing to an engagement plan?
I’m an existing client. Can I just call you when I need you, without having to commit to one of your engagement plans?
You don’t have to commit to a plan. But by not doing so, you risk us not being able to support you when needed due to other organisations already having made an ongoing commitment to use our services.
What is your training cancellation policy?
You may cancel your training registration at no cost up to 7 days before the scheduled training date. You’ll receive a full refund of all payments, except Eventbrite’s booking fee (which is non-recoverable). No refund is payable for cancellations made less than 7 days before the course date. However, in such cases you are welcome to nominate a colleague to attend in your place.
Minimum and maximum registration numbers apply per course. Any decisions by BidWrite to cancel a course due to insufficient numbers will be made no later than one week prior to any published course date. You’ll be notified should this occur, at which point you can elect to transfer your booking to the next available date or request a full refund.
Can you create a customised training program tailored to staff in our organisation?
Yes, we have designed and delivered many bespoke tendering capability training courses for companies, not-for-profits and industry associations. On request, and typically for teams of 8 or more, we can develop customised training to suit your organisation’s specific needs. If you would like to discuss a customised in-house training course, please contact us.