Business StrategyOperations & QualityPeople & ManagementStrategy & Leadership

The 23 biggest mistakes that bidders make

One of the most challenging aspects of running your business is ensuring a steady stream of profitable contracts.

I’ve put together this SPECIAL REPORT to give you a comprehensive picture of where I believe organisations are going wrong when completing pre-qualification questionnaires, tenders and proposals. I have grouped the 23 biggest mistakes into similar categories; there are nine of these, each one forming a new chapter.

Perhaps you might recognise some of the mistakes and hopefully this will encourage you to take action to avoid these pitfalls when submitting PQQs, tenders and proposals and improve your chances of success. It could make all the difference!

Competitive Advantage
Mistake #1 – Pursuing unsuitable opportunities
Mistake #2 – Lack of innovation and creativity
Mistake #3 – Failing to differentiate your solutions

Relationships
Mistake #4 – Weak relationships with the customer and their evaluators
Mistake #5 – Failing to build trust and rapport
Mistake #6 – Not asking the right questions before the PQQ (pre-qualification questionnaires), ITT ( invitation to tender) or RFP (requests for proposal)

Processes
Mistake #7 – Unstructured business development, ‘capture’ and bid processes
Mistake #8 – Insufficient planning and preparation

PQQ and Bid Teams
Mistake #9 – PQQ and bid teams under resourced
Mistake #10 – Little commitment shown by key contributors

Understanding
Mistake #11 – Not understanding customer’s needs,standards, expectations, constraints and concerns
Mistake #12 – Misinterpreting the procurement process,instructions, questions, scoring and selection criteria

Strategies and Tactics
Mistake #13 – Being outsmarted by competitors
Mistake #14 – Pricing tactics which backfire
Mistake #15 – Late surprises
Mistake #16 – Running with the wrong partners

Evidence
Mistake #17 – Performance data is threadbare
Mistake #18 – Aspirational answers
Mistake #19 – Poor references

Content and Presentation
Mistake #20 – Demonstrating how your solutions will add value and reduce risk
Mistake #21 – Features and benefits
Mistake #22 – Poorly written and poorly presented documents

Post-tender Interviews
Mistake #23 – Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory