5 Reasons Why Bids Fail!

One of the often common questions we are faced with is “why did my bid fail?” Companies bidding for contracts will inevitably encounter failure at some point, but is important to understand the reasons a submission was unsuccessful. Always assuming you have selected an appropriate bid in the first place and priced it competitively, you must then persuade your prospective client that you are a capable organization with the depth of resource, the expertise, the empathy and the solution to meet with their objectives. Let’s have a glance over few points and make a conclusion:

  1. Research your potential customer thoroughly-To make your bid more engaging you must demonstrate a clear understanding of the corporate objectives of your company i.e. what is the rationale behind. Show that you have taken the trouble to understand them and mention their goals often. Provide details of how your products or services will help them achieve those aims, no matter in how small a way that might be. By doing this, you will help yourself to observe the first rule which is to be less generic. Have a Lucid Approach rather than a confusing one!
  1. Follow the Specifications ardently-The specification is your guide to completing the tender and not following it will inevitably result in failure. Make notes and pay attention to specific areas such as word count, font type, layout and style as these often trip companies up. Any aspect which is not adhered to is a potential area the evaluator will use to exclude you. As procurement procedures become more competitive, the contracting authority will look for any reason to narrow down the field, so stick to the specification.
  1. Have Conclusive Evidence-Each point you make within a submission must be backed up with evidence. You must be able to explain exactly how your services will benefit the contract. Without enough convincing evidence the contracting authority cannot be sure of the quality of your bid and you will likely lose out to a competitor.
  1. Do not be More Generic-Whilst this may appear to be self-evident, you will be surprised by the number of bids we read that are simple ‘cut and paste’ or template driven responses. Here the solution is straightforward; stop talking about you and start talking about them. If you mention your own corporate plans more than you do theirs, you are writing a bid that will fail. The more often the reader sees their own name the more they are engaged with the text. Ultimately, the bid is not about you – it is about them.
  1. Not matching the funder’s priorities-As with the eligibility criteria, a common mistake is that organizations apply indiscriminately to a variety of funders, without first checking that the funder’s priorities match the work they want funded. The funder’s priorities are the specific causes and areas of work they wish to fund.  For example, two different funders may each fund projects for the benefit of children and young people: one funder prioritizes sports projects whereas the other prioritizes creative arts.  If a charity working with children and young people applies to the creative arts funder for a sports project, they will not be successful.


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