Winning a public sector ITT requires a three pronged approach of:
- Best practice bid management processes
- Sales involvement with the potential customer
- Proven methods to achieve high scoring answers
1. Best Practice Bid Management Processes
Implementing best practice bid management processes will produce the optimum answers for the ITT. There are a number of key steps involved that include:
- Competitive analysis before the ITT is received
- Development of key sales messages to:
- Address any negative customer perceptions
- Position against the competition
- Establish key differentiators
- ITT analysis and planning for the production of the ITT response
- Structured processes for writing high scoring answers
- Review teams assessing answer outlines and the final answers
2. Sales Involvement with the Potential Customer
Through the public procurement process, governments are trying hard to reduce the influence of sales people. Nevertheless, every ITT is still part of a sales process.
Despite the ITT being full of requirements and specifications, it rarely provides information on what the potential customer places value on, and why. In addition, it doesn’t give any indication of what the customer’s evaluation team thinks about your capabilities to provide it.
The key decision-makers have their ideas for solutions shaped by many individuals, both in-house and outside of their organisation, and also by their research online.
So your sales person needs to perform the role of a consultant, meeting with these decision-makers to discuss their needs, bringing added value and insight to shape the vision of what they need to procure.
They can influence the client’s decision-making process, through their expertise on how your products or services can meet their needs, and provide the best solution.
3. Proven Methods to Achieve High Scoring Answers
The way to gain high marks for each answer is to train the subject matter experts (SME) in techniques that ensure all the requested information is provided, and that the entire response is easy to evaluate.
In most cases, SMEs have little or no training in writing answers for ITTs – which are, in actual fact, sales documents. Instead, they rely on their technical writing skills, almost guaranteeing lower scoring answers, and jeopardising the chances of winning the bid.
The key to produce high scoring answers is to apply proven, effective techniques in:
- Analysing and deconstructing each question – ensuring every single required point is identified
- Producing an answer outline – structured approach for quickly producing compliant first drafts
- First drafts review – ensuring the drafts are on the right track before committing to detailed writing
- Writing high-scoring answers – creating an easy-to-read document, which fully meets the ITT requirements, using graphics with captions, and providing relevant evidence
- Final answers review – review team scoring the entire written bid as if they are the evaluators