Using Bid Metrics to make Calculated Tendering Investments

David Lunn, CP APMP, MCIPS – BidWrite Principal.

Strategic sellers understand that tendering is a numbers game that needs to align with overall business revenue goals. Strategic sellers also know that the quantification of tendering performance is a guaranteed pathway to more effective and efficient bidding.

Four bid metrics that matter

In our previous article, we covered the four key bid metrics:

  • Annual bidding revenue
  • Proposal win rate
  • Average contract value
  • Bid investment ratio

But what can they tell you about the way your organisation is bidding, and where you can make improvements?

From calculations to targets

How efficient and effective is your bidding strategy? Should you compete for everything, or focus your bidding resources on opportunities you have a better chance of winning? Do you need to invest more in your tendering? Or do you need better templates, collateral and content to reduce your overall bidding costs?

You can’t hope to answer all of these questions at once, but knowing your numbers is the only way to start finding out. So once you have your four bid metrics listed above, run your numbers using these formulas:

  • Total annual value of bids to pursue =
    Metric #1 divided by Metric #2
  • Number of opportunities to find/submit =
    Calculation A divided by Metric #3
  • Annual bidding investment =
    Calculation A multiplied by Metric #4

Here’s an example. If your metrics look like this:

1. Annual bidding revenue
$10 million
2. Proposal win rate
25% (one in four)
3. Average contract value
$2 million
4. Bid investment ratio


Then your target calculations look like this:

A. Total annual value of bids to pursue
$40 million
B. Number of opportunities to find/submit
C. Annual bidding investment budget


If you measure it, you can manage it

This is where the numbers get interesting. If you can improve your proposal win rate from 25% to 50%, this halves the number of opportunities you need to find to reach your target of $10 million. The doubling of your proposal win rate also halves the annual bidding investment budget required – reducing it to $400k.

If you were then able to bid more efficiently, and bring your bid investment ratio from 2% down to 1%, your annual bidding investment budget would halve again – reducing further to just $200k.

Strategic tendering requires an investment mindset.  Calculate targets, measure often and focus on changing the things that matter so you can take small steps towards long term improvements in your bidding effectiveness and efficiency. And if you need help telling your sixes from sevens, the only number you need is ours – 1800 243 974.

 David Lunn is a Principal of BidWrite, a specialised, multi award-winning tender and proposal management services company based in Perth.

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