Our strategic bid support services, helping you to bid like you mean it.

Our expertise

Bid strategies and pre-mortems

Avoid the dreaded “if only”. Identify and fix the causes for losing — before they happen.


What could go wrong?

Ever thought a bid was yours to lose… and then ended up actually losing? 

Only focussing on how to win and ignoring the possible pitfalls can make you complacent. To avoid losing, you need to know what might go wrong as well as right. 

Where bid strategies focus on how to win, pre-mortems focus on how to not lose. And combined, they’re incredibly powerful. 


Bid strategies

A bid strategy is a plan to win — what you’ll say and do to influence the customer to choose you over the competition. They work hand-in-hand with pre-mortems to form a compelling combination.

Most bid strategies fall short because of knowledge gaps, or just end up being unused. Our approach is different.

Building on the pre-mortem, we help you develop an actionable bid strategy in three stages:

  1. Plan: identify and close knowledge gaps through research and analysis
  2. Do: facilitate a creative workshop to define your tactics and messages
  3. Act: co-develop an action plan to enact the strategy.

The output gives direction and focus to your bid, paving the way for all the activities that follow.

If you’ve already got this covered, we can independently review your strategy to check it passes the so-what and ‘why-you’ tests.


Pre-mortems are used in high-performance industries for a reason: they have a significant impact on results.

Only thinking about how you will win can lead to optimism bias and complacency, whereas considering why you might lose gives balance and realism, making the resulting tactics more complete.

We present your team with the ‘unthinkable’ they’ve lost the bid and now they need to work out why. We challenge them to identify the root causes and take preemptive measures to avoid them, while there’s still time.

Experience and research show pre-mortems create a space where people can be open and creative about their concerns, rather than hiding them for fear of sounding negative.

Conducting a pre-mortem at the start of each major phase of an opportunity can help you re-prioritise threats and increase your chances of success.


  • A 360-degree plan for how to win and not lose.
  • A stronger chance of winning by identifying and tackling threats.
  • An emboldened team motivated to overcome the prospect of losing.
Our expertise

Bid evaluation and scoring

Don’t leave winning to chance.
Evaluate your bid before your customer does, so you can submit with confidence.


Highest score wins

When public sector contracts are won or lost by the finest margins, you need to do what it takes to earn the highest score possible.

Experience shows internal reviews are often performed by time-poor execs untrained in the art of constructive reviewing. Reviews can also be subjective and more lenient than the buyer’s due to intrinsic company knowledge or sensitivities from being on the same team — especially true with consortium bids.

Engaging us as your independent critical friend will give you an impartial assessment of your proposal’s score with guidance on how to improve it.


Evaluation and scoring

We forensically assess compliance with the tender questions and evaluation criteria to check you’re fully answering the question and achieving the highest scores.

As well as awarding a score, we also look for readability, ambiguity, risk and win themes  the ‘so what’, ‘yes but’, ‘prove it’, and ‘why you’ to ensure your proposal is joined-up and compelling.

We breakdown the evaluation criteria into their singular parts and provide an assessment against each so you can see why we’ve scored you the way we have. Our approach lets you track and improve the scores as your bid develops, guiding you to submit the best quality bid you can.

Retro reviews

We look back at why bids were won or lost to help you learn the lessons and win next time. We provide a balanced assessment of strengths and weaknesses in a report with observations and recommendations you can act on.

We either review individual bids or a range to pick out trends that need attention — good or bad. One of those fiddly jobs it’s hard to make time for in your business.

Reviewer training

We help up-skill your own reviewers in how public sector evaluation works and how to be a constructive reviewer that coaches the bid team how to improve. This can be on a single live bid or more generally across the organisation.

This is typically a half-day course with exercises to help apply the learning. We find the courses are also beneficial to writers by helping them understand what reviewers look for.


  • Identify how bids can be improved, leading to higher quality submissions.
  • Ensure bids are evaluated based on their merits rather than any external factors, such as relationships or previous engagements.
  • Understand why bids are won or lost to drive continuous improvement.

Tactical support

Successfully navigate the complexities of bidding with a team of experts ready to step in and guide the way.


A team of sages by your side

Public sector bidding is complex. It takes years of disciplined practice, and no two bids are ever the same. 

You need to adapt and respond to the latest methods, regulations and market realities with each new procurement that comes along.

We’ll help you make sure your team is ready and equipped to get ahead of the game.


Bid resources

Do you have too many bids and not enough people? Are procurement delays disrupting your resource plans? Faced with parental leave or long-term absence? Whatever the reason, sometimes you need experienced experts to bolster your bidding capacity.

We have the in-house expertise and experience to perform the role of Bid Director, Bid Manager, Bid Coordinator on live bids. We also have a little black book of excellent contract bidding experts who we know and trust to deliver our services as though they were ours letting us flexibly scale to meet your resource requirements:

  • Capture Managers
  • Bid Directors
  • Bid Managers
  • Bid Coordinators
  • Bid Writers/Editors
  • Graphic Designers.

Talk to us about your short term or long term resource needs.

Get in touch

Procurement readiness

We use our extensive and up-to-date knowledge of public sector and defence procurement to help prepare you for the various regulations and procedures, including competitive dialogue, frameworks, innovation partnerships — and even single source.

We guide your team through what to expect, the nuances of each procedure, how to approach them, and what to avoid; all to give you a competitive advantage.

We’re as involved as you want us to be. Whether you need an occasional sounding board or all-in consulting, you’ll find we’re as invested as you are. And like you, we’re always responsive to changing priorities and emerging situations.

Targeted interventions

Need advice to weigh up the pros and cons of your tactical approach? Or someone to plan and run a workshop so you can focus on the here and now? Or maybe you need someone to intervene in a deal to maintain momentum. 

We give independent and practical advice about every aspect of the bid process. While your situation will be unique, our external perspective and expertise will help you find answers to keep you on-track towards your goal.

Consulting should leave a legacy of improvement. It’s in our nature to teach and share insights, and many of our customers invite us back to deliver formal training.

Pitch planning

We help teams prepare for presentations with an approach that puts customers first and slide decks last. Having an independent audience to plan and rehearse with can make all the difference.

What does the customer want to hear? What’s your ‘end in mind’? How will you make the right impact? It’s the small details that make a big difference.

Discover creative ways of presenting to make the right impression, putting you front of mind with the audience.

Learning lessons

Are lessons learned part of your bid process but rarely heeded? We think there’s a better way and it forms part of continuous improvement activity that can improve results as well as team retention.

Our service is about far more than facilitating a lessons learned workshop after a recent loss. It’s an enduring and measurable change for continuous evolution.

We hold a mirror up to identify the root causes and recurring themes for why you win or lose bids. This involves consulting with internal stakeholders, external partners, and customers to systematically gather vital insights across your bidding operations over a period of time.

Once themes are identified, we create a business case to help you make informed decisions about priorities and investments, giving you:

  • A definitive understanding of why you win or lose vital contracts
  • Insights-driven development decisions
  • A progressive bidding capability optimised through experience that ‘uses what it learns’.

  • Focussed expert guidance when you need it most.
  • Troubleshoot and fix tactical issues on live bids.
  • Become self-sufficient through our coaching and knowledge sharing.
Quote mark
Secure the deal

“BidCraft provide Logiq with excellent support and recently helped us win a strategic MoD tender. At all times BidCraft are flexible and adapt to our bid process. They integrate seamlessly and work as one team from the outset bringing rigour, expertise and focus to the tender process. Secure by Design was a strategic target for Logiq and throughout it was clear that the tender was as important to BidCraft as it was to us. They are highly professional, committed and we enjoy working with them.”

Tim Wardrop, MD, Logiq Consulting
Quality and quantity

“BidCraft supported us with the largest (by potential value) tender we had ever submitted – worth £3.5bn. We had to work against almost impossibly tight deadlines and weave in costs from suppliers on both sides of the Atlantic. The fact that the tender document consisting of 5,404 pages was submitted to The Ministry of Defence by the deadline and looked, read, and felt totally professional was almost entirely due to BidCraft’s diligence, organizational skills, and previous experience. BidCraft prove to be patient in adversity and never lose their sense of perspective and humour.”

Col(Retd) N J W Moss OBE, ex-Apache Force Comd 2010 to 2012, Boeing Defence UK (via Harmonic)
What could go wrong?

“After successfully navigating multiple procurement stages of a major blue-light bid, we entered the home straight in a strong position. Recognising the marginal differences between competitors in public procurement processes, I engaged Bidcraft to provide a pre-mortem exercise to challenge bid team group-think, and to support our internal quality evaluation through an independent ‘cold-eye’ review. From day one, BidCraft worked collaboratively to help us tailor our competitive strategy and understand how we can make marginal gains in quality. We subsequently went on to win the competition. I have since engaged Bidcraft on other strategic opportunities and consider them as one of my trusted partners.”

Business Development Director, Public Sector Outsourced and Digital Services Company
Best of (critical) friends

“Bidding large public sector deals is never easy, and when we took on two mega deals (one in Defence and one in Education) we knew we’d be facing strong competition and would need a critical friend to help our teams deliver consistent evaluator-friendly and high-scoring responses. We decided to engage BidCraft’s Reviewing and Scoring team for their proven hands-on experience and public sector evaluation expertise. The BidCraft team quickly slotted seamlessly into our proposal production teams and provided excellent levels of responsiveness, coaching and challenge that really helped our authors step up their game. I have no doubt their focus on scoring, the quality of their feedback and their guidance on how to improve content has significantly increased our win probability on these deals.”

James Frost, Bid Director, Major UK Outsourcer
You never lose it!

“We have partnered with BidCraft on a number of projects including workshop facilitation, which helped us improve our ways of working, supporting the team with their professional APMP accreditations and working alongside us on live bids. The BidCraft team are supportive and collaborative partners who really do work hard to understand the outcomes we are striving to achieve and work alongside us to help get us there. I highly recommend them to any organisation looking to #BidLikeYouMeanIt, and we will be continuing our collaboration in the future.”

Nats James, Bid Hub Lead, Leidos
Bidding excellence

“The BidCraft team helped us pull together a very compelling and detailed response with a high level of professionalism. The BidCraft approach was truly collaborative and enabled them to work as if they were truly part of our business whilst ensuring that we followed the best practice approach to bidding. They provided excellent communication and feedback, and overall helped us to deliver what we believe is an excellent response. We will take a lot of learning from the BidCraft way of working to support us with writing and managing future tenders.”

Head of Bid Excellence, £1.5bn revenue transport & logistics service provider
Rest assured

“The investment in Gareth’s time saved us more than it cost, as he quickly identifies key themes and guides the early bid process to make sure the approach is right first time. I have no doubt that our bid was significantly better because we used BidCraft for early advice and answering questions through the writing phase. I certainly had more confidence in the bid, with fewer sleepless nights as a result! We shall be using BidCraft again.”

James Schofield, MD, Survivability Consulting Ltd
Right tools

“I can’t recommend BidCraft’s services enough. They supported us through our successful application to Crown Commercial Service’s G-Cloud 13. From the start, they were supportive and concise, outlining what we need to do and providing us with the tools to achieve it. Taking any ambiguity out of the process, they ensured we were prepared in good time and made it a stress-free process. BidCraft goes one step further, not only did they make sure we had what we needed for this application, they also gave us the tools to be able to successfully repeat the process on future applications. We always have a fantastic experience working with them.”

Katie Frost, Sales & Client Relationship Director, Infrastar
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