So you’ve written the tender response draft, and now it’s time for the all-important draft review, or red team review. Reviewing might sound simple, but when you’re scrolling through a fifty-page document for hours, everything starts to blur together. That’s when key details get missed.
The best way to avoid becoming dazed and confused is to have a plan going in. Know what to look for before you start a review, and the process becomes more effective and easier for everyone. Don’t know where to start? For your convenience, we’ve put together a handy guide for your draft review.
Do the responses answer the questions?
This one sounds obvious, but it’s always a good idea to go through the responses again and make sure they fully answer the questions. While bids all have similar themes and categories of questions, no two are exactly the same. Responses aren’t one size fits all, which is why you have to ensure that the questions have been thoroughly read and answered in full. If possible, go above and beyond.
Have you shown you can provide the services listed in the RFT?
No one wants to accidentally submit a non-conforming bid. Make you’ve shown your company’s ability to meet all the service requirements outlined in the RFP/RFT. Generic content won’t do – you should have said what you will do for the company and how you intend to do it. Even if the details aren’t in place yet, demonstrating that you have put thought into how you are going to provide the services and proving you have the infrastructure and support in place to do it shows you are serious about the bid.
Will the messaging appeal to the audience?
Responses tailored to each RFT are responses that win. Generic, vague bids are obvious from a mile away, and companies appreciate the extra effort put into really thinking through the requirements and crafting a targeted message.
Remember, when it comes to messaging, repetition is key. The main idea of the tender response should be woven throughout the text whenever appropriate, from the executive summary to the ‘additional comments’ question. Whatever the key point that distinguishes you from the competition, drive it home. Whoever is reading and scoring the bid needs to come away with that message cemented in their mind.Should Marketing Collateral b
Is all the information accurate?
Don’t get carried away and make promises or statements that are inaccurate, as this can get your company in trouble should you win the contract. Double check the information provided is accurate, and that nothing is promised that can’t be delivered.
The best method to ensure accuracy is to check the supporting documents. That’s where evidence comes into play.
Have you provided enough evidence?
Show and tell. Check that you’ve provided all the required evidence, and be sure to include any additional evidence you think would serve to demonstrate a point or support your argument. Double check the referencing, and make sure that you have access to all the documents referenced. A good rule of thumb is to gather them all in one place so you aren’t scrambling at the last second to find that flowchart or certificate.
Is the formatting visually appealing and easy-to-follow?
Don’t underestimate the power of formatting. A document that looks good, has a logical numbering system and relevant headings is going to make a good impression and set the tone for the reader. A poorly constructed, messy document not only makes reading the bid difficult – it undermines the audience’s faith in the tenderer’s abilities and professionalism.
While reviewing, make sure the formatting is consistent from section to section. Check that numbering is logical. See if headers divide the content into readable chunks and describe the section accurately. Tables and images should be inserted wherever relevant to make the content less wordy and more engaging. Speaking of wording . . .
Is the language simple enough for non-technical readers?
Write for your least technical reader. As you review the draft, look for language that is difficult to understand or overly complex. Something that is second nature to you might not be so obvious to someone outside your industry or a less-technologically-savvy reader. Anywhere you can simplify language, do. Sometimes less is more, particularly when it comes to tech jargon.
If you’ve sourced content from different documents, make sure the language flows and isn’t too repetitive.
Lastly, are grammar mistakes and spelling errors eliminated?
Last but definitely not least, weed out errors. Nothing undermines confidence in your company’s professionalism quicker than a bid riddled with typos. If your company can’t submit a tender free from errors, the potential client won’t trust you with more important matters, such as providing the required services.
As you can see, reviewing is an in-depth process. Looking first at the tender as a whole entity, before breaking it down and examining individual components makes sure you catch every potential problem. Be sure to leave enough time for the final tender review. The red team review shouldn’t be a rush job, and no one wants to be working against the clock to make last minute changes. A thorough tender review takes time and effort to do well.
If your company needs another pair of eyes before submitting a bid, PitchThis can help. We offer draft review packages to make sure your bid is polished and ready to go. Feel confident that you are submitting the best work possible with our thorough tender review services. For more information about taking the pressure off your internal team, contact us or visit our bid management page.
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