BidBetter’s Top Ten Tips for Winning Public Sector Business

By Anita Jaynes on 16 April, 2015

Here, Philip Norman of public sector bid management company, Bidbetter, shares his tips for helping companies win more public sector business. Following these recommendations could put you well on your way to increasing your public sector win-rate:

Relevant contracts

Make sure you can deliver all requirements. If you do complete the tender documentation, complete everything in full and avoid sending stock corporate sales material and standard copy.

Follow instructions

Even before your bid is quality assessed, it can be disqualified. Ignore the word count or fail to complete any part of the tender and you can be removed from the process. If asked to complete the tender in a particular format, do not ignore that instruction.

Get help

If you do not have the time or experience, you can get help in completing your bid. There are experts who develop public sector responses as a profession (Bidbetter wins 3 out of 4 public sector bids that we assist our clients with).

Be honest

It’s amazing how many companies bidding for the same work all profess to be the industry leader. Do not include bold statements that cannot be backed up with the appropriate evidence.

Understand the difference between the PQQ and ITT phases

The PQQ (pre-qualification questionnaire) is about selection criteria and short-listing, so the focus is backward-looking – you need to demonstrate your credentials as a company before getting the chance to actually bid for the work. Bidding for the actual work on offer is through an ITT (Invitation to Tender). These are forward-looking and focus on how you will seek to perform the contract.

Ask questions

If you are not offered supplier engagement activity or a pre-qualification event, this does not mean you cannot enter into dialogue with the buyer if you are unclear of any aspects of the tender. The tender will provide instructions for communication.

Add Creativity and Innovation

Add creativity to your bid and go beyond expectations. Show them you are capable and back this up with examples. Work out your unique selling point and make your response more relevant to the requirement.

Price appropriately

The public sector does not negotiate, so the price you bid within the tender is the price they will evaluate.  If you do price at a point whereby your market intelligence suggests you will win, ensure that the price is sustainable for you.

Submit the tender on time

Most public bodies have a zero-tolerance approach to late tenders. Plan your time methodically and allow at least 24 hours to upload the documents.

Introduce the correct people

If you are invited to undertake or receive a presentation, send the most appropriate representative from your company.

In general, the way to win public sector business is by approaching it in a planned, methodical, energetic and thoughtful way.  Follow instructions, stick to a strategy, take it seriously and you could be reaping the rewards.

Contributor Philip Norman has worked with SMEs and mulitinationals in a number of different sectors.  Connect with him on LinkedIn or visit