Win contracts with pre-engagement

Whether you are an experienced bidder or just starting out, you can increase your chances of winning contracts by conducting pre-engagement activities. 

What are pre-engagement activities?

Pre-engagement activities are actions you can take before you start bidding for tenders to improve your chances of success. Researching the market, developing relationships with buyers, and prospecting for future opportunities are all examples of pre-engagement. These activities are conducted before contracts are issued, as once a contract is live, all supplier to buyer communications must be published publicly.  

Researching the public sector market

Before diving straight into bidding for tenders, it can be incredibly useful to get familiar with what is expected within the market – especially if you have never bid for work with the public sector. Learn about the market by: 

  • Creating a record of common expectations and requirements by reviewing live and expired notices – this will help you prepare for future tenders. 
  • Conducting competitor analyses using details provided within Contract Award Notices –  you will see who is bidding for similar work, and what their capabilities are.
  • Contacting buyers detailed within Contract Award Notices and enquiring about the procurement – this could give you a buyer’s perspective on the procurement and set the foundations for creating a relationship. 
  • Submitting Freedom of Information requests to get access to valuable information – this is worth knowing about but we recommend focusing on relationship building first.

Developing relationships with buyers

Early engagement with buyers outside of the procurement process can raise the profile of your business and provide you with significant insight into the market. You could start a relationship with any of these activities: 

  • Enquiring about past procurement decisions to learn about their needs while introducing your company.  
  • Requesting details about project pipelines to learn about future opportunities you could bid for.  
  • Seeking feedback whenever you have submitted a bid, no matter the result, to better understand the reasons for their decisions and shape future proposals.  

Staying ahead of the competition

There can be a lot of planning involved before a contract goes out to tender, and that means if you look in the right places and build relationships – you can find out about opportunities before they are published. You can stay ahead of the competition by:

  • Checking the news for project or funding updates – these types of articles are published regularly and provide details of opportunities your business can investigate further.
  • Reviewing Contract Award Notices for estimated renewal dates and keeping a record of when you should start investigating renewal possibilities. 
  • Developing relationships with buyers can help you stay ahead of the competition, by having your business considered for Early Supplier Involvement or invitation-only tenders.

How can Tenders Direct help?

To make your early engagement activities possible, Tenders Direct offers a range of easy-to-use services which allow you to effortlessly access the information you require. 

Track your competitors
With our Competitor Tracking Alerts, you can receive notices as soon as your rivals are announced as the winners of any public sector contract. Couple this with the ability to view all of their contract wins for the last 5 years, you can quickly build a picture of the opportunities they are going for – and contact buyers to find out why they were awarded the work.

Stay informed of contract renewals 
We can give you a head start of several months for contract renewals with our Advance Tender Alerts. You can set up a profile to receive alerts of when relevant opportunities are due to expire and renewal contracts are likely. This gives you plenty of time to contact buyers, gain more information, and develop relationships. 

Access to all UK, ROI, and applicable OJEU Notices
Our database gives you access to a 5-year archive of notices. With our wide range of search filters, you can effortlessly find relevant industry tenders– and access the valuable information contained within. We also include FOI request buttons on all expired, contract award, and Advance Tender Alert notices.
Support from our expert Bid Managers 
Have you conducted any form of competitor or buyer analysis to accurately assess your position within the market? Our consultants can work with you to make sure you have the right processes in place, helping to increase your efficiency and chances of winning contracts.

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