Governments across the world put out tenders for every kind of product and service constantly. TenderScout adds up to 10,000 new opportunities to our platform every day.
Without a doubt, there will be opportunities that are right for your business within these numerous tenders, but knowing which to compete for and which to bypass is really the secret to increasing your win rate.
What we’re talking about here is a lead qualification system. TenderScout’s platform has an in-built lead qualification process that helps our customers identify the tenders that they are most qualified to win.
How do you qualify tenders for your business?
Finding the right tenders for your business requires a combination of patience and asking the right questions.
Setting up a system where a team member regularly logs into the tender site your business uses and checking on tenders that are currently available is a good habit to develop. Some tenders have very short lead times and tender notices will change daily. TenderScout sends daily email notifications to our customers based on the keywords they entered when they set up their account so that they never miss out on new opportunities.
The worst mistake you can make when you decide to engage with tenders is to compete for all the opportunities you find. Initially this might feel counter-intuitive, but the most common factor in not winning tenders is failing to selectively choose which ones to compete for.
So how do you choose which tender opportunities to compete for? The questions below will help you separate the opportunities you should compete for from the ones you shouldn’t go near, increasing your win rate and reducing your tendering costs.
- What requirements do I have to fulfil to compete for this tender?
Government buyers want to be assured that they are awarding the tender to a safe pair of hands. Most buyers will ask for audited accounts for three years and will want to see evidence of stable cash-flow. This requirement is to ensure that the tender isn’t awarded to a SME that may go out of business while the government contract is still running.
- Can my business show relevant experience?
Proving that you can do the job the tender asks for goes a long way to proving that you’re the safe pair of hands that the buyer wants.
If you’ve got similar experience to what the tender is asking for, make sure you have references from your clients and case studies to prove your ability to do the task.
Think very carefully about competing for a tender that is asking for work that isn’t one of your SME’s core competencies. It’s not a successful strategy to compete for tenders that ask for products and services that are only a small element of what your business does.
If the tender requests some aspects that your business could manage well and some that you can’t, consider collaboration with another SME. Governments want to see more collaboration among SMEs and partnering with another business could strengthen your proposal.
- Who is the competition?
See what you can find out about competitors who may be going after the same tender. Do you know if a competitor has an existing contract with the buyer? TenderScout provides a lot of competitive intelligence to help customers evaluate tender opportunities.
- Is the tender the right size for my business?
A general rule of thumb is to not compete for a tender that has a value of 25% or more of your turnover. Buyers will check that the tender contract value isn’t too much for your company to handle as they don’t want your business to be compromised in delivering quality service.
- Can my business respond professionally to the tender deadline?
Crafting a tender proposal takes time. A lot of work needs to be done only once, such as creating a tender library. However, you’ll need to spend time thinking carefully about the value propositions you want to offer the buyer. This is where a consistent procedure can help ensure you don’t waste time or money compiling your tender proposal.
The questions above highlight how you can use your tender site in a more strategic way. Being able to identify the tenders you should compete for compared to ones you shouldn’t is the strongest way to increase your win rate. This strategy has helped TenderScout’s customers win €200 million in tenders this year.