How to be a Bid Winner: gain your competitive advantage in the post-tender phase
How to be a Bid Winner | London 16th March 2016
If you have read our previous blog posts (Overview, Speakers and Reasons to Attend, Align you bid strategy to your business strategy and From bid writing to bid management) you now know that to be a consistent bid winner requires a full understanding of the three vital phases of the tender process common to all bids: pre-tender, tender and post-tender.
This blog post focuses on the third phase: Post-Tender.
THE POST-TENDER PHASE OF THE BID LIFECYCLE
This phase is the one that is probably exploited the least, and yet has the greatest opportunity for you to easily gain competitive advantage with the customer in a non-competitive environment.
Assuming you become the Preferred Bidder, you will initially enter into final negotiation with the client to agree final terms and conditons – during which time your competitive advantage will essentially be flat. However, as soon as that is complete, there is plenty of opportunity to cement and enhance your competitive advantage with the customer through expanding the products or services you deliver, impressing the client with your KPI results and developing case studies.
If the relationship is really strong, you can also seek out opportunities for joint marketing – through trade/professional publications showcasing the effectiveness, and mutual benefits of your collaboration, or submitting entries for industry awards. Ideally, your work through the pre-tender and tender phases will have highlighted such opportunities and this will be a very natural extension.
Evidence both from our own experience and that from Bid Cost Survey (download here the executive summary) published in April 2015 by MarketingWorks supported by the University of Reading shows that regular bid winners outperform their less successful rivals in two key process areas: Negotiation and Feedback.
So, our ”How to be a bid winner” masterclass will feature presentations on both of these key areas, followed by a Q&A panel session, where you get the chance to pose some questions of your own.
1. What clients look for and expect in a negotiation: Simon Addyman
Programme & Project Manager at London Underground Limited for Bank Station Capacity Upgrade, Simon won the ‘Project Professional of the Year’ at the 2013 APM awards. He has 30 years of construction project management experience, both in the UK and overseas, in a number of sectors including property, public infrastructure (rail & utilities), international development and humanitarian relief
For his session during the masterclass Simon will share an interesting twist on how and when the negotiation phase should occur, and how this has been a major benefit on the Bank Station project. This highly innovative approach is sure to spark great interest and debate.
2. Internal & external feedback and review: Adnan Zeb Khan
Adnan is a chartered waste manager of the CIWM, with over 18 years’ experience in the waste management and street care industry, within both the public and private sectors. His experience ranges from planning and design of waste management and cleansing services; single, joint and tripartite procurement mapping and processes; competitive dialogue procurement; contract and service reviews / analysis; soft market testing, logistical reviews and value for money analysis.
For his session, Adnan will focus on why it’s important to conduct proper review and feedback, even when you win the tender! He will also outline, from the procurement viewpoint, what the client is prepared to share and the sorts of questions that will illustrate to the client that you are going to be professional and competent supplier.
3. Summary: The post-tender opportunity
Once the tender is won, there is a natural tendency to breathe a sigh of relief and simply pass the buck to the operational / delivery team. However, that would be a big mistake.
The handover from the bid team is crucial and should include details on the key assumptions and financial modelling used, as well as the main selling points to the client. This should then be tracked and matched through the post-tender phase, so that lessons can be learned and fed back to the next tender – especially the comparison between budget and actual figures
The post-tender phase is your chance to gain competitive advantage in the market, to expand your business and also to boost your reputation – make sure you don’t miss this session!