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How to respond to a tender invitation

Updated on September 12, 2011

Tender response process

Responding to a tender invitation may seem about as appealing as pulling teeth however doesn't need to be arduous. Here is a basic outline of a process you can use when responding to a commercial tender invitation that lists the steps you should consider:

Steps to responding to a tender invitation

  • Receive Invitation to Tender
  • Acknowledge receipt of Invitation to Tender to issuer
  • Review tender documents to identify Tender requirements.
  • Make Y/N decision to respond
  • Indicate intent to respond to issuer
  • Facilitate a bid strategy session with key personnel
  • Establish time frame for clarification questions
  • Accumulate questions and submit questions to issuer
  • Develop a tender submission timeline (outlines key dates and milestones in the response creation process)
  • Develop a tender submission responsibility matrix (which outlines who is responsible for each part of the response)


  • Manage tender submission timeline to ensure content inputs, writing, design and the bid presentation are complied and delivered within deadlines (ongoing throughout tender response process)
  • Review all writing content and formatting; liaising with key people to create an accurate and consistent document which meets the tender requirements
  • Seek executive sign off of final content (if required)
  • Organise production of all covers, folders, tabs, discs, labels etc.
  • Compile the tender response in hard and electronic format as required
  • Submit tender response


Hmm, just how do you respond to a tender???

  • If a follow-up presentation is required, organise the presentation document/ PowerPoint
  • Carry out a 'dry run' of your presentation in front of impartial colleagues prior to presenting
  • Carry out post- award notification review with client (if required)
  • Archive response content
  • Update Tender record.

These basic stpes should give you an idea of the type of steps you should consider when responding to a tender invitation. By creating your own list of key steps you can help ensure you give yourself the best possible chance of being successful.

Responding to a tender invitation can be time consuming undertaking so it is also worth remembering that there are numerous companies who are able to help manage or write your response. Often, these companies can be employed to carry out as much or as little as you need and they can take away some of the more painful requirements such as proofreading, editing, formatting and assembling the tender response. What's more, they can add a professional edge to your response that can help you to stand out from the other responding companies.


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