NEWS How to write a tender response that really wins

You’ve found a great opportunity for your business. You’ve got a product or service that can really deliver what the buyer needs. Everything is falling into place. But you still need to write a tender response before you win the contract.

Putting together a tender proposal is tricky, and the truth is that there’s no tried and tested template to follow each time you bid for a contract.

Every tender is different, and your tender response should be different too.

While there is no perfect template, there are great tips that you can use to make sure that your tender response shows off what you can do and makes the buying authority really take notice.

What is a tender response?

To win work with the public sector, your organisation must bid for work. You can do this by submitting a tender response to contracts that are relevant to your business.

Tender Response Template

Looking for a tender response example?

As every tender has different requirements, there is no standard “tender response example”. Often a contracting authority will create the template (response document/s) themselves.

Where there is no template provided or a supplier is simply writing a proposal (this occurs in the rare situations where there is no competition), the information provided within this guide should be helpful.

Writing a tender proposal

Tender writing is important, as there is no templates for tenders, we offer our advice below.With these tips from Tracker, we’ll ensure your proposal stands out and show you how to write a tender response that really wins.

1.Sell the benefit



The first thing you’ll want to do when writing your tender response is describe your product or service. You’ll list what it does, how much it costs and how long the project will take.

This is all crucial stuff, but there’s one thing missing:

The benefit.

While it’s absolutely fundamental to list the features of your product or service, you still need to sell the benefit of what you’re doing.

Do your research. Find out what the contracting authority really needs. What’s important to them? And, most importantly, what will they get from you that they won’t get from anyone else?

A tender response which not only outlines exactly what you can do but also explains exactly how the buyer will benefit from your product, service, your experience or expertise will stand head and shoulders above a proposal which just lists the facts.

2. Emphasise the impact

Tied to the idea of selling the benefit of your solution is this:

Focus on the impact your solution will have beyond the scope of the contract.

One area of tender writing which can be forgotten is examining the current market, relevant legislation or the social impact of the solution you’re offering.

For example:

In order to carry out the work required by the contract, your firm might need to hire additional staff to help deliver the project on time.

This means you’re creating jobs. It means your solution is having a real social impact in the community. You could be helping apprentices learn new skills or helping to boost local employment.

By describing exactly what additional, positive impact your solution will have on employment, the environment or the community, you stand a much better chance of winning the bid over a competitor which doesn’t think of this in their response.

3. Prove it!

Your company is the best at what you do, right?

Prove it.

It’s not enough to make an assertion, you need to go further. Back up what you’re saying with examples, statistics, awards you’ve won, charts, supporting information. Anything that proves that you can do what you say.

Don’t assume that the buyer will simply take your word for it. Even if you’ve worked with this authority before, don’t assume that they will remember the last time you won a contract with them or how well you performed.

Remind them and back it up every time.

4. Keep it personal

Never reply with a stock answer. It stands out like a sore thumb and, worse still, it looks lazy.

Always tailor your responses to this particular bid, there is no example tender response document for a reason.. Take the time to read the questions, answer them in full with this particular contracting authority in mind, then write, rewrite and write your response again.

Every tender is different and so is every buyer. If you aren’t sure what a particular question means, just ask! The more you know about the bid, the better placed you’ll be to answer the questions in the best possible light.

As well as this, if your company hasn’t been successful in its bid, this doesn’t need to be the end of the process.

If you feel you’ve been unfairly treated during the process, you can challenge the award decision. If you want more information about why your tender wasn’t successful, seek further clarification and information on the specification and learn from those who did win.

The Cabinet Office will provide you with best practice examples and information on why certain firms were selected over others. Use this information to your advantage next time around.

5. Go offline

It might sound crazy, but bear with us.

Online procurement is becoming more and more popular and for good reason. However, it can also make it really easy to introduce errors in your bids.

Completing your tender responses online means it’s easy to skip a step, miss out a page, submit the bid before you’ve completed the whole response and so on. It might sound unlikely, but it happens.

By taking the response offline first, it adds an extra security step. Complete the form offline then upload it in sequence, giving you a chance to double check everything.

Lastly, it’s always a good idea to proofread everything before you submit it. After all the hard work you’ve put in, giving a bad impression with a typo or bad grammar could ruin an otherwise winning tender.

How do I win more?

Your business can win more by enabling a proactive approach to tendering long before a tender notice is published.

Early engagement is welcomed when bidding for work with the public sector. There are a variety of benefits associated with proactive business development including the ability to plan resource needs, anticipate potential challenges and have time to understand the market.

Other benefits of early engagement include:

  • Buyers understand requirements better by speaking directly with industry experts and suppliers
  • Clearer requirements make the procurement process more efficient
  • You can find out important details before a contract has been published (e.g. when the buyer wants the work to begin, how long the tender may take to complete, how much resource it will require etc.)


Anything else?

Public sector procurement is a massive topic and we could spend days going through everything you need to know in order to really get your business ready to win.

Thankfully though, Tracker makes it easier than that.

With over 30 years of experience in helping businesses grow, our industry expertise and knowledge is what sets us apart – and we want to share it with you.

Tracker supports early engagement. With a wide variety of intelligence modules and a wealth of data at its core, Tracker enables early engagement by:

  • Providing named contacts for networking across both the public and private sector through Market Leads and Commercial Projects
  • Providing advance notification of upcoming framework renewals and recurring projects through Market Leads
  • Enabling users to understand previous requirements through Archive Data, thereby facilitating conversations around future contract requirements
  • Identifying buyer spend patterns including what they are buying and from whom via Spend Analysis
  • Providing alert notices and detailed breakdown of frameworks by lots, suppliers and awards

To find out more about how Tracker can help your business get on the front foot when it comes to public sector procurement, request a demo with a member of our expert team.


Whatever your business, Tracker is here to help

Last updated on November 8th, 2021

Jul 03, 2015.

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