Sourcing & Qualification: Step 1 of 7 of the SMARTER™ Methodology

by Thursday 21st September 2017Blog

The beginning is always a good place to start, and to bid for any opportunity, you need to have an opportunity in the first place!

How does your organisation source its tender opportunities?

The answer is usually a mixture of marketing campaigns, traditional client prospecting, social media efforts or lobbying strategies.

Many successful organisations use third-party Tender Alert Service subscriptions like ours to track and monitor future bidding opportunities, especially in regional and national markets. These programs can help identify upcoming opportunities based on specific filters used during opportunity searches.

But is it good enough to wait for an opportunity to land into your inbox?  And if you wait that long, do you really stand any real chance of winning?

Sometimes. But more often than not, no.

And here’s why:

As the Great British Public we tend to think of ourselves as ‘rational thinkers’. But in reality, psychology is clear that the way we make decisions is based on our emotional intuition first, with a logical justification for this afterwards.

When looking to buy a house, how many of us have told our estate agent we’re looking for a property with three bedrooms in a specific area, only to make an offer on the four bedroom house a couple of miles away because we’ve always really wanted a utility room (me) and a double garage (the husband)?

In the same way, before your customer has even issued the Invitation to Tender, they probably have a good idea of not only the solution they want, but the type of organisation, if not the organisation they want to provide that solution.  All that organisation has to do is provide the logical justification for them to say yes.  Unfair perhaps but true: post-ITT, everyone else is just playing catch up.

So while of course submitting a bad proposal will guarantee you will lose the business, the best bid in the world will not necessarily win a tender. You need some sort of early relationship or an exceptional understanding of the customer and what they really want.

Imagine if you sourced all of your opportunities by working with your customer, rather than for your customer.

Imagine if your relationship with your customer was so good that you knew what their pipeline looked like 12-24 months in advance.

Imagine if you had the opportunity to help them shape their requirements, or even wrote the specification alongside them?

If you did all of that then you’re clearly going to be in a much better position because your customer will start to think of you synonymously when they think about their opportunity.

But finding the opportunity is only one half of the process.  Once you have an opportunity, qualifying it rigorously is a key step to improving overall win rates. It may seem counter intuitive but in fact, the top performing bid organisations typically qualify out a third of their pipeline.

Ask yourself what your business’ qualification process looks like.  Is an opportunity deemed to be qualified out, unless there’s a good reason invest in your company’s time and effort to pitch?

If you do not, then you seriously risk overspending your marketing and sales budgets by pursuing too many opportunities with a low probability of winning, and diverting precious resources from more winnable bids and from delivery of projects that could lead to renewals.  Don’t do that: Bid SMARTER™.


Intellitender Limited is a boutique bid consultancy that supports organisations like you to bid better, improve tender win rates and ultimately deliver long term competitive advantage. Intellitender deliver a range of business-winning solutions to our clients, including positioning organisations to win more by helping to source opportunities, qualify opportunities and working with operational teams to develop winning solutions.

Our Bid SMARTER™ methodology is patented seven-step process that underpins the ways in which we help our clients bid better, improve tender win rates and ultimately deliver long term competitive advantage.  The SMARTER™ model spans the whole business development lifecycle, building on internationally recognised bid best practice and the foundations of consumer psychology.

Intellitender has an industry-leading tender success rate of 87%.  How can we help you Bid SMARTER™?

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Have a question?  Need some advice?  We’d love to hear from you!

Call: 01392 268164



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