Every Point Counts

In a close race where the competition is strong – every point counts.

Often, the bid team will concentrate on the questions with the highest score values, and invest most of their writing focus there.

To win a public sector bid, obviously, you must score the highest number of points.

That is why you need to make sure you don’t overlook the lower score value questions. Instead, try to score the most you can for them because the sum of their scores can represent a sizeable percentage of your overall score.

It All Adds Up

Have you ever looked at your credit card statement and been shocked by the amount you’ve spent? And I’m not talking about a month where you’ve made one or two large purchases – just your average monthly spend.

It has happened to me more than once. I look at the statement and see a huge total. In a panic, I go through the statement looking for possible fraudulent transactions to explain this surprising total.

99 times out of 100, the answer is no – there is no fraud. It’s just a “normal” monthly spend, and all those little items have added up. All those small ‘under £50’ amounts have added up and before you know it, there is a large amount owing on the monthly statement, as shown in Figure 1.

Figure 1: Credit Card Statement – for this month, there was one large transaction for £800, but 7 transactions under £50 contributed £154.55 to the £1,733.03 monthly total

The same thing can happen with bids and proposals.

You might be thinking that questions with low score value are not worth putting in a lot of work and, instead, concentrate your proposal writing efforts on those answers that get the highest number of points.

But as indicated in Figure 2, where a scoring matrix taken from an actual bid shows how the total from those low score value questions, can add up to a significant percentage of the overall score.

Figure 2: Small Scores Add Up – in this actual bid example, the scores for Solution Design questions contributed 25.79% to the overall Technical section score. The 8 items scoring only 0.76% contributed 6.07% to the overall Technical score, and the 9 items scoring 1.52% contributed 13.65%. Taken together, these 17 low scoring questions contributed 19.72% – an amount that no bid team can afford to ignore.

Every Answer Is Important – Every Point Counts

Treat each answer as important. Ensure it is fully compliant, that you understand what they are asking, and that you have provided a comprehensive, high-scoring answer.

Think of the score for each question like those transactions on your credit card statement. The small amounts may seem insignificant, but, before you know it, all those little questions have added up to a big number.

The scores you achieve for low score value answers might be the difference between winning and losing your next bid.