The majority of companies we work with are stuck in the trap of reactive tendering. By reactive tendering I mean that you simply wait to see what contract notices come out day to day and then tender for the ones you want to win.
What’s the problem with that? The problem is that your competitors may well have been engaging with the buyer for months beforehand, showcasing their product or service, influencing the specification and moving themselves into a favourable position to win the bid.
If you aren’t doing this work now then you probably have low win ratios on bids and are struggling to understand why you can’t seem to break into the public sector marketplace. You will be putting in an awful lot of effort with a low return and that is just not good for business. You need to get ahead of the game and take control of your business development activities.
So what can you do about it? Here at Tenders Direct Training and Consultancy we have produced five top tips to help you move from stressful reactive tendering into calm and collected proactive tendering:
1) Set your goals
You need to decide how and where you want to grow your income streams and select tenders based on these goals – not just see what bids come up and let them dictate your business direction.
2) Use the information available to you to map out future tenders
One of the huge benefits of working in the public sector is that there is a wealth of information out there that can help you understand when a bid is likely to come out in advance so you can pre-engage with buyers.
3) Have defined processes in place to make sure your desired outcomes can be achieved
There are no shortcuts unfortunately, business development in the public sector requires effort at the outset and having clear guideline internally on how to approach people and when will support your organisation to stay focused.
4) Pre engage with any buyer you are serious about getting business from
Although it might not be realistic to engage with every single potential buyer, you should be on first name terms with your top 10. You also need to know how to make initial approaches and what questions to ask to help you become an attractive potential supplier.
5) Test and adjust your strategy
As with any plans in business (and in life for that matter!) you need to regularly review and adjust your approach if necessary to streamline your processes and increase your chances of success. This could be changing your focus from Local Government to NHS for example or reassessing your service offer in light of the requirements of potential buyers.