Lesson 7: Tender Response Strategy

This lesson will bring together our learning so far. Your tender strategy comprises: 

  • Your organisation’s points of difference (Lesson 1) 
  • A clear understanding of the market in which you operate (Lesson 1) 
  • Your win themes (Lesson 2). 
  • A clear understanding of the client (Lesson 3) 

The Tender Strategy is the underlying message when writing your tender response, and is written utilising the key messages you’ve defined throughout lessons 1-4. It has focus, is very clear, and is repeated throughout the submission in a consistent way that shows that you know your business, you know the client’s business, and you have a very clear strategy to lead in your field. 


Download the Tender Strategy worksheet (from the Module 2 downloads lesson)

Use this worksheet to identify the client’s requirements and also outline your approach to meeting these key requirements. 

Key points to remember? 

  • What are the requirements of the tender? 
  • If you have an established relationship, use this relationship to understand the details of the opportunity.  
  • If you are the incumbent provider, then you will have valuable insight into the client and what is required. Use this knowledge as the basis of your response. 

Understanding Your Business 

Creating and Compiling your Tender Strategy (from Lesson 2): 

  1. Research the client and their company. Find out as much information as possible about the organisation, their responsibilities and goals.  
  2. What is your company offering? 
  3. Is your pricing competitive? 
  4. Does the project fit with your core business strategy (do you understand your market)?  
  5. Do you have a realistic chance of winning? 

Understanding Your Competitors 

Research your competitors and their solutions, to anticipate their potential offers. You want to win the business, but you need to compete to get it. You need to know your competitors. 

Do you know your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses? Do you have a compelling competitive advantage over your competitors? 



Download the Competitor Analysis Worksheet (from the Module 2 downloads lesson).

Use this worksheet to understand your competitors and the marketplace. 

Creating Win Themes 

  1. Brainstorm the win themes using the following: 
  • What is the biggest risk to the client in the successful delivery of this contract? How will you address this risk? 
  • How will you transition your business in to the new contract if you are taking over from the previous incumbent (transition plan)? The client will be seeking reassurance of a seamless transition. 
  • Is there any legislation, permits or certifications that govern the delivery of products/services? How do you address this? 
  • Are there any specific requirements that the client has addressed? How will you meet these criteria? 
  • What is your client’s vision for the contract? To what extent are they looking for quality, excellence and innovation? What other differentiation factors will address these? 
  • Sustaining quality for the duration of the contract. Whether it’s short term (six months) or long term (five years), the client will need to remain engaged for the duration. What are your goals? How will you achieve this? 
  1. Then list the following: 
  • Put yourself in your client’s shoes.  Rank the fears and risks you have just brainstormed from the biggest to the smallest to create an issues list in order of importance.   
  • Work out a mitigation strategy for each of the fears and risks. 
  • What solution does your company offer? What is the benefit and value of your solution – consider product/service, price, innovation, timeliness, ability to deliver etc. 
  • Rank your solutions against your competitors’. How do you offer greater quality, reliability, efficiency, cost-effectiveness etc.? 

Tender Tip

Representing your Win Themes 

How are you going to present your win themes in the tender document?  An effective way is to use a heading, such as: 

  • “Why Us?”; or  
  • “Why Would (insert company) Choose Us?” 

Then, list all the reasons why the client should select your company. The list should be concise, easy to read, and to the point. 

Tender Tip

Sample Win Themes can include: 

  • Experienced, Qualified Staff, there when needed 
  • Assistance 24/7/365 
  • Best prices in the industry – guaranteed 
  • Service and price, with bonuses for volume 
  • Guaranteed delivery on full in time (DIFOT) at 99% (monthly) or rebates payable 
  • Free domestic postage with every order over $50 
  • Free servicing for the first 12 months 
  • Children eat for free. 
  • Bringing the Industry Together 
  • Your business is our business