Tendering Guide: How to Tender for a Contract

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So it’s your first time tendering, but the question you want to be asking yourself is not: ‘How do I tender?’; the question you want to ask is: ‘How do I tender SUCCESSFULLY?’

At Tracker Intelligence, our aim is to help make tendering for contracts easier, so you have the best chance of creating tender submissions that win. Alongside our tendering intelligence tools, we do this by providing resources such as this guide on how to tender for a contract.

The Tendering Process

It is easy to become overwhelmed during the tendering process because there are so many things to know, manage, and keep track of — from understanding the tender documentation to ensuring your tender writing hits the mark. Knowing how this tendering process works is the first step towards understanding how to tender for work successfully.

  1. Identifying the Right Contract Opportunities

It is essential to be able to find contracts relevant to you, and by using Tracker, you can source the right public sector contracts related to your business sector.

Where to Find Tenders

All public sector organisations are required by law to publish their contract notices in order to ensure fair competition. Most countries, regions and public sector bodies have their own procurement portals on which they publish these tenders.

Tracker Tender Alerts provides private sector organisations with easy access to valuable tenders from public bodies in the UK and Europe, including the UK government. Our research team checks every magazine, journal, procurement portal, and website and sends the contract opportunities that are most relevant to you and your business sector directly to your inbox.

Finding relevant tenders is easier with our tender alerts service. Sign up for Tracker to see how our tendering intelligence tools can help you find more of the right contracts

Bidding for the right contracts

The tender process can be time-consuming, expensive, and resource-heavy, so you need to be sure you’re bidding for the right contracts when you tender for business.

In order to be realistic about your expectations and chances of securing contracts, you need to ask yourself the following questions:

  • Does my business meet or exceed the technical skills and experience required?
  • Does the contract fit into my business strategy or positioning?
  • Can my business afford to spend the time and resources required, especially in the event that I don’t win?
  • Finally, will this contract help my business grow?

If the answer to all of these questions is YES, then let’s move on!

  1. Expressing Interest to the Buyer

This lets the buyer know that you are interested in submitting a bid and tendering for work with them. You will be issued with a Selection Questionnaire (SQ) or, in the case of a one-stage process, an Invitation to Tender (ITT).

In these initial stages of the tender process, time is of the essence; the sooner you express your interest, the sooner you can get started on creating high-quality bids and give yourself the time to produce the best bid response for that tender opportunity.

If you decide not to proceed, however, you are under no obligation to submit a tender and you can opt out at any time. Although this will have been time you could have spent on another tender opportunity, so be sure before you commit!

  1. Submitting a Selection Questionnaire (SQ)

The contract bidding process consists of a Selection Questionnaire (QS), previously known as the pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ). This tender document is designed to exclude suppliers that are underqualified and reduce the overall number of companies bidding for a contract.

Your company should concentrate on evidence and firm reassurance of its ability at this stage to improve your chances of a successful tender. This is the point where the awarding authority is looking to eliminate any applicants that don’t have the ability or experience to be considered at the tendering stage.

Furthermore, while the SQ and ITT stages are entirely separate, any positives a company can get across at the SQ stage will benefit them when they come to the ITT stage.

  1. Bidding on an Invitation to Tender (ITT)

If your company succeeds in being shortlisted, you will be sent an Invitation to Tender. While the SQ looks at your past and what you’ve achieved, the ITT stage looks to your future and what you can offer should you win the contract.

You will use this tender document to write a fitting tender response.

You should be able to offer a service based on the specification, but keep in mind you will have competitors — so to secure a contract, you will have to offer something different from the rest of the field. Identifying key differentiators will help you stand out from your competitors and hopefully secure you that public sector contract.

Sign up for a free Tracker trial to see first hand how our tendering intelligence tools can simplify and improve the process of tendering for contracts in any business sector

Still Stuck?

The Ultimate Guide to Winning Government Contracts is designed to help suppliers like you understand the market and how you can improve your chances of success when tendering for a contract from public bodies such as the UK government.

This online guide provides a clear, comprehensive overview of the public sector procurement marketplace, the market opportunities available, and everything you need to know to help you win more public sector contracts.

Tendering for contracts doesn’t have to be complicated with Tracker. Request a free live demo to see how our tender tools can help your business win more contracts.

How Tracker Intelligence can Help

Tracker makes it easy for you to identify public and private sector opportunities and access meaningful market and industry news while providing you with the vital competitor insight you need to keep your business one step ahead of your competition.

Using Tracker Intelligence, private sector organisations and companies can easily access new business opportunities and the associated tender documents, upload and work on winning bid responses, and track progress and collaborate with anyone, anywhere, at any time — all at the click of a button.

Tracker is the only end-to-end business development solution with the unique tendering intelligence you need to find, bid for, and win more business. Our tendering intelligence tools are designed to make bid management and tendering for contracts easier so you can focus on what matters — winning valuable public sector contracts for your business.

Now that you know how to tender for a contract, start your free Tracker Premier trial and see how our tools can help with all the stages of tendering for contracts!


Who are we?

From publishing the first national directory of public sector contracts, to being the first to market with our online Tracker solution, we have been the true pioneers of technology and innovation in the public sector marketplace. Throughout our 39 years, we have continued to evolve and chart new territory – placing our customers at the heart of everything we do. Take your business to the next level with Tracker now.

Try out Tracker Today

Try out Tracker Today