Business Devel

Suppliers are increasingly shifting away from reactive tendering and instead applying business development processes as part of a longer term bid strategy. Why is this the case and how can your company follow suit?

The award of public contracts is based on stringent criteria with well-defined metrics that prioritise value for money. In tendering competitions, the art of persuasion can only be enacted by suppliers if they know and understand their potential customers.

While you can’t win a public contract based purely on an effective sales pitch or by arranging a meeting with a potential buyer, there is no impediment to suppliers proactively engaging with buyers prior to the tender competition starting with a view to raising awareness of their services and laying the groundwork to influence future bids.

Are buyers receptive to being approached by suppliers?

Market awareness is as important to public sector buyers as it is for any other decision maker with a limited budget, and can be a critical factor in shaping procurements.

Knowledge of available solutions allows procurement teams to draft well-informed invitations to tender that reflect market reality, and this is precisely why many buyers conduct supplier engagement exercises ahead of procurements via Prior Information Notices and meet the buyer events.

I want to begin tendering proactively. Where do I start?

At Tenders Direct we encounter many suppliers who bid reactively and blindly without having had any previous contact with buyers. This “firefighting” approach can leave you on the back foot, put pressure on time and resources, and ultimately prevent you from maximising your chances of success.

The acquisition of market intelligence and the formulation of a long term bid strategy are key. Cultivating relationships with buyers lets you gain an insight into their specific needs and preferences, making it more likely that you can create a customised bid that makes you stand out from the crowd.

Identifying opportunities ahead of time including renewals of existing contracts can allow you to create a pipeline of prospects, conduct go/no go assessments, and begin pre-engagement efforts and bid preparations long before a tender is even published.

Access a free recording of our Business Development for Tenders webinar for an in-depth discussion of how to take the initiative in your tendering activities, including how our Advance Tender Alerts tool can help.