evaluation criteria

Common Proposal Mistakes: 4 of 10 – Not relating your response to the evaluation criteria

A simple enough mistake to fix going forward. You’re answering the questions but are you making sure you’re notching up points against each of the evaluation criteria?

Buyers don’t have to include the evaluation criteria or their weightings but often they do.

While you’re putting your responses together, repeatedly test them against the evaluation criteria. See that each response to each tender question is in some way proving that you are meeting and exceeding the criteria.

For example (see previous article for context) “Understanding of our organisation” may be a heavily weighted evaluation criterion. Wherever you can, include information that shows that you know the buying organisation. This can be done by spending time doing extensive research on their company website.

One Final Check Against Evaluation Criteria…

Once you’re done, go through the evaluation criteria again and reconcile your responses to them. Make sure that you have addressed all of them.


Extract from the eBook HOW TO PREPARE A WINNING TENDER… From the Procurement Marker’s Perspective


Other posts in this series:

proposal writing

Common Proposal Mistakes: 3 of 10 – Not writing with the reader in mind

Building Rapport

To build rapport with someone in a physical meeting, you can mimic their body stances and posture (subtly). This helps to gain their trust.

You may not have the opportunity to do this in a tender process. What you can do is carefully look at the language that is used in their RFT documents and repeat it back to them. They’ve likely spent a lot of time getting information to include in the documents from their colleagues internally. If you can use the same language, particularly if it’s about a technical aspect of the requirements, then it will feel to them like you’re involved in the ongoing conversation about their requirements and will help to build virtual rapport.


Extract from the eBook HOW TO PREPARE A WINNING TENDER… From the Procurement Marker’s Perspective


Common Proposal Mistakes: 2 of 10 – Not including clear additional value

When the numbers person (financial reviewer) is adding up the cost of each offer, there’s a good chance that they’ll include any responses to “value-add” questions.

Responding to the Value-Add Questions

Value-add questions tend to be open ended and the best way to respond is with as many suggestions as you can think of and, importantly, equate them to a monetary value.

For example, you might have offices with additional space that could be used for training and you could equate this to the cost of them having to rent this space elsewhere to give a dollar figure. Spend some time thinking about things you can offer over and above your direct response to their requirements – even if there’s a chance that they won’t take you up on them.

Extract from the eBook HOW TO PREPARE A WINNING TENDER… From the Procurement Marker’s Perspective



how to win a tender

Common Proposal Mistakes: 1 of 10 – Responding with a “No”

An example: an RFT asks whether the supplier has in place any sort of benefits tracking reporting for other clients. Rather than a flat-out no, a supplier could quickly integrate some sort of benefits tracking in an existing client’s report and then ask at the next reporting meeting whether they find it useful. Whether or not they do, you as a supplier can answer “yes”.

Industry Bodies

Another very frequently seen example of this is the response to “does your organisation have any relevant memberships to industry bodies?” with the response just being “no” from the tenderer. Know how to get maximum points for your answer instead? Just do a Google search for memberships and subscriptions and some words about your industry. There are so many out there and membership might be $100 or less (and may even be useful to you in future). Sign up and you can now answer “yes” to this question and potentially get full marks, and then get into the shortlist, and then charm them in the presentations and then… win the big contract.

Extract from the eBook HOW TO PREPARE A WINNING TENDER… From the Procurement Marker’s Perspective