Tips about responding to tenders – what to include in your response, how to present to and negotiate with buyers, debriefs and the complaints process.
Tendering can be expensive, with many hidden costs, like having staff away from their regular jobs to respond to the RFx – sometimes opting not to compete in an RFx may be a good decision.
To decide whether to apply for an opportunity, consider:
You can make an unsolicited proposal to an agency, but it must meet strict criteria to be considered.
Check you know what's required, get the team together and make sure everyone knows the deadlines you're working to.
When you're putting together your documents, make sure you:
What to include in your response
You can ask the buyer any questions about the RFx document during the RFx process.
The buyer will usually include details in the RFx document about asking questions, including:
Unless your question includes commercially sensitive information, the buyer will make the question and answer available to all tenderers.
After you’ve submitted your tender response, you might have to meet and present to the evaluation team. This requirement should be mentioned in the RFx information.
The presentation is a chance for the evaluators to test how you work as a team, how well your team might work with theirs, and how you respond under pressure. It's your chance to convince the evaluators you know what you’re doing and can deliver everything you’ve promised in your proposal.
When you present to a buyer:
Be prepared to negotiate on things like price, timeframes and deliverables if you're chosen as preferred bidder.
Develop strong and logical explanations for your key positions. Try to move the conversation towards value, not just price, eg volume, payment terms, early payment discounts, length of contract and exclusivity.
Make sure you record whatever you agree in writing.
Any bidder can request a debrief after the tender process is finished. Use the debrief to find out the buyer's thoughts on where your solution can be improved, your capabilities, credibility and value-add components.
You can ask about:
If you have feedback or concerns about a procurement process, raise it with the agency directly, use our supplier feedback service or make a formal complaint.