The role of a tender writer during the different stages of a tender submission

Posted by Oliver Hogue on 02/09/2014

The day-to-day role of a tender writer is to work with subject matter experts to convert technical information into persuasive, easy-to-read content, so the client easily understands the benefits of the proposed solution. But what role does the tender writer really play in the submission process? For example, how is technical information converted into persuasive content? This post summarises the typical duties of a tender writer during the different stages of a tender submission.

Strategy workshop and contract kick-off

The very first stage in the tender process is typically the strategy workshop (once a company has decided to tender for a piece of work). This is where the key stakeholders i.e. managers come together to tackle the strategic elements of the bid.

At these sessions, the common agenda items will include: contract overview, client hot buttons, competitor analysis, lessons learnt, company strengths, key messages and bid process timeline. While the facilitator will lead the session, the tender writer should be proactive in helping to squeeze out the ‘golden nuggets’ of information that contribute towards a strong value proposition.

Content plans and key messages

The first significant role for the tender writer is to help the owner of a returnable schedule create a content plan. The purpose of a content plan is to provide a framework for answering each tender question. It will keep the writer on track and focused on creating a document suited to the needs of the client. A strong content plan will summarise the client’s worries, issues and hot buttons as well as the features and benefits, key messages and objectives for the document.

First draft

The first draft is the outline response for your document. The tender writer tackles each question and summarises your proposed answers, usually in bullet-point form. It is important in the first draft that the features and benefits of your offer are well-defined and that it’s clear how each answer responds to the client’s evaluation criteria.

Second draft

For the second draft, the tender writer converts your bullet-point ideas and solutions into fully written content. At this stage, the tender writer will also check the document against the objective and issues identified in the content plan – these should match.

Third draft

The third draft should be close to the final product. That means no gaps or missing information and the answers thoroughly address the evaluation criteria. As well as strong case studies or examples that support the claims made in the document. The document will also be checked again for compliance.

Final edit and proofread

The final steps for the tender writer are to ensure all your key messages are properly included in the document and complete the editing process. Then the documents get a thorough proofread and is formatted in time for printing.

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