Friday, 17 January 2014

The Pitch and Tender process, and you

Isn't the beginning of a new year the time for you to appraise your relationship with pitch and tender contract opportunities? Have you kept a record of the time and effort (therefore the total cost) that pitch and tenders have run up for you in the last year? Do you keep a record of the wins versus the losses and from that you can work out the positive or negative financial impact on your company? Do you regularly assess how to improve your success rate by understanding what went wrong?

Sorry about the spray quick fire questions but they need answering and every person in your company should be aware of the answers.

That's all very well, you may think, if your company is not even bothered with pitch and tender contracts. Perhaps you may benefit from a rethink. Many small and medium companies reckon they can't be bothered with pitch and tender because they such things fit the profile of larger companies better. That used to be the case. However, it appears that this might be changing and you could be missing out. Tenders, the UK and European online site, quotes 50% of local authority, 20% of central government contracts went to small and medium companies, and 16% of all European contracts went to micro companies (employing less than 10 people). Food for thought, don't you think?

You need to consider carefully which contracts to apply for, of course. They need to fit with your business strategy. It's no good rushing into this if you have little experience. There's a lot of expertise applied in the process. The site notes at 'Tenders' are worth noting.

On the other hand, if your company is well into pitches, what's the latest advice about making them successful? The Pitch Doctor has some answers that might influence you so take a look at, Good luck for your pitches in 2014, but don’t rely on it, where he gives 3 pieces of advice.The quality of the relationship with the client,
  1. The fit of your offering to the strategy, operational goals and value perspective – both logically and emotionally.
  2. Convincing the client that you want the work and will push them forward.
The ‘relationship’ aspect with the client is stressed at e>erthing d.fferent. . Do you take part in pre-pitch/tender meetings? What do you think the client is looking for? E>erythingd.fferent describes these meetings as ‘chemistry’ meetings and gives examples of where they got it right and where they got it wrong. These are insightful and ring true. This company advocates the IPA and ISBA (both companies representing British Advertisers) 6 principles for pitching that both agencies and clients should adhere to.
  1. Openness and transparency
  2. Respect
  3. Bravery
  4. Access and Navigation
  5. Timing
  6. Power of collective action
Things to think about then to feed into your pitch/tender strategy. You do have one of those, don't you?