IT Contracts: An In-Depth Guide

Published24th December 2021 AuthorJohn Hudson

How to win IT contracts

IT contracts can be expansive in their coverage. Over the course of the pandemic, a surge in IT contracts was needed to accommodate remote working. It’s even been argued that we’ve seen a shift in working, and technology is facilitating that. Contracts within the sector can include:

With this in mind, let’s look at how you can win IT contracts.

11 points to consider when bidding for IT contracts

For your IT contract response, you’ll need to give some real thought to the bidding process. This is where these tips will come in handy.

1. Can you meet the expectations of the contract?

Seems simple, right? But too many IT contractors overreach in their capabilities. Ultimately, it leads to disappointment for both parties when contractors can’t deliver. If the contract itself is worth more than half of your annual turnover, it’s not worth bidding for the contract. Only bid for contracts that line up with your experience. You’re wasting both your time and the buyers if you can’t meet their expectations. The closer the fit, the better your chances will be of achieving that contract.

2. How do you add value?

There’s no doubt that you’ll have competition in winning the contract. So, how will you convey your value to the buyer? This will be through your contract delivery, alongside what unique features you have to offer. Highlighting potential risks to the contract will also be a subtle method of showing your expertise. Providing solutions to these issues will help to show the buyer how right you are for the project. Ultimately, communicating that value will help you stand out from the market, impress the buyer, and prove your suitability.

3. Maintain a bid library

If you’re successful in your contracts, you’ll have quite the collection of written bids. This is an excellent opportunity to organise and use them when writing future bids. Be warned though, don’t copy and paste your past bids. This can confuse the buyer, and your bids can become unfocused and inaccurate. Frankly, they won’t be impressed if they figure out you’re sending previous bids to them. Instead, take some time to think about what the buyer is asking for and look through your bid library. Pick and choose the relevant parts and implement them naturally into your current bid. You’ll thank yourself for making the effort. Ultimately the buyer shouldn’t be able to tell that you’ve pieced previous bids together to make the current one.

4. Make sure your case studies are accurate

It’s great having some reliable and supportive case studies to back up your work. But if they’re not relevant to your buyer, their effectiveness will be halved. Really sharpen your focus, whether that’s through accreditations, training, or previous experience to the contract. Presenting irrelevant case studies to the buyer will not only confuse them, but they’ll conclude that you aren’t invested enough. This will decrease your chances of winning the contract significantly. For instance, you present a retail construction case study, when you’re bidding for a local council construction contract. The buyer’s confidence in your abilities will be diminished. The buyer ultimately wants to feel at ease, knowing that you’ve completed contracts of a similar (if not identical) nature. The closer your experience is to the project, the more likely you’ll be to win the contract.

5. Submitting your responses on time

Regardless of whether it’s IT contracts or any other form of contract, late submissions won’t be accepted. It doesn’t matter how amazing your response is, the buyer just won’t take your response into consideration. So, it’s imperative to stick to your deadlines and focus on completing your bids. The more time you allocate to a response, the more likely you’re going to win. Also, the earlier you submit your response, the less susceptible you’ll be to system errors. Ultimately, it pays to be organised, as it’s one aspect the buyer will admire once you start delivering the project.

6. Researching the buyer

Knowing as much as you can about the buyer’s needs is essential to tailor your response. And understanding why they’re posting the contract will help you collect relevant references/case studies. What’s the reason behind them needing this system/agreement? Let’s take cyber security for example. Why is the buyer tendering the contract? Was there a breach? Do they store confidential data? Focusing on the integrity of your security services will align with their needs.

7. Request feedback

If you lose this contract, it’s best to think constructively. Requesting feedback can be fantastic for your future bids. You can learn where you went wrong, and what went right for the contractor that won. There’s no downside to feedback, as the more you receive, the better you become in your future responses. It works both ways however, if the buyer requests feedback, provide it! The more constructive feedback you provide, the smoother an experience your future bids will be.

8. Proofreading

It doesn’t matter if it’s IT contracts, cleaning contracts, or a defence contract, poor grammar doesn’t reflect well on you. The bid could be full of persuasive writing and comprehensive plans, but it won’t compensate for poor grammar. So, block some time out to really work on your level of grammar. A good method for ensuring good grammar is having a colleague look it over. If the need is great enough, get it outsourced. We actually provide this service through ‘Tender Mentor’.

9. Substantiate your claims

It’s amazing if you can provide statistics to the buyer that reflect your level of success. But if they’re not backed up, you can find yourself in trouble. For example, if the buyer decides to fact-check your claims and you’re exposed, it could ruin your reputation. So, the best way to avoid this is through prior fact-checking. Make sure you keep your language engaging, but factual. If your claims aren’t realistic when bidding for IT contracts, it’ll bring your credibility into question.

10. Prepare for the buyer’s questions

Once you have the right contract, how exactly will you deliver it? How will you fulfil the expectations (and then some) of the client? And in the case of software licenses/agreements, how will you support the client after the contract is finished? Preparing for the buyer’s queries makes sure that everyone is aware of your plans once you’re awarded the contract. It reassures the buyer of your expertise and efficiency. Without this preparation, your chances of winning the contract are seriously cut short.

11. Maintenance

As you probably know, a good chunk of your revenue comes from support and maintenance. So, you should have plans outlined for supporting the buyer during and after the initial work has been delivered. The software/hardware you deliver could falter, so having comprehensive plans in place to support clients is vital. A good support/maintenance system will remind the buyer of how right they were in awarding you the contract. By providing a detailed response about your ongoing support during and after the contract, your chances of winning will increase.

In summary

So, now we’ve come to the end of this blog on IT contracts. You now have a clearer idea of what it takes to win these contracts. For those who need a recap, we covered:

  • What IT contracts are
  • 11 tips to winning IT contracts
  1. Meeting the expectations of the buyer
  2. Highlighting your value to the buyer
  3. Creating and using a bid library
  4. Keeping case studies relevant
  5. Making sure responses are on time
  6. Researching the buyer
  7. Getting and giving feedback
  8. Proofreading
  9. Fact-checking your claims
  10. Making sure the buyer’s questions are answered
  11. Getting the maintenance and support system sorted.

What can we do for you?

Our dedicated Technology Tenders portal…

We source technology tenders on a daily basis, manually searching through dozens of sites across the UK. We know how important it is to source the right tender for your business.

You can sign up to our technology tenders portal and start receiving business leads today. Our Opportunity Trackers manually upload new live tenders daily. You’re able to filter the results by keyword, location, budget and more. You no longer have to rely on inaccurate CPV codes to find the right opportunity for your business.

Where can I find an IT Contract for my business?

Below are previous IT tenders sourced on our portal:

IT Support & Maintenance (1 Year)

Water Services Regulation Authority (Ofwat) – West Midlands Budget: £39k

Provision of IT Maintenance Services (Managed Services)

Abbey Theatre Amharclann na Mainistreach – Republic of Ireland Budget: £500k

IT Consultancy Services Framework

Forestry Commission – South West- Budget: £700k

IT Consultancy Frameworks for SSE Group

SSE Services plc – South East – Budget: £50,000,000

Onsite IT Maintenance & Support

Kildare and Wicklow Education and Training Board – Republic of Ireland – Budget: £400k

Bidding support

The tendering process is long and complex but the team are here to assist you in writing bids.  You can outsource the role to our dedicated Hudson Succeed team. They have 60 years of bid writing experience and an 87% success rate. Their team have secured contract wins totalling over £300 million for our clients.

They offer four bid writing packages:

Send your completed rail tender response over to our team. They can take a look at it with a fresh pair of eyes. They’ll notify you of any grammatical or spelling errors before you submit.

The Tender Ready programme is for those who have never tendered before. They work with you to ensure you’re on the right track to submitting a successful bid. The 4-week programme will develop your branded corporate literature and case studies. Their team will advise you on what tendering opportunities you should go for and guide you through your tendering response.

If you’ve found the perfect technology contract for your business but don’t have the time – they can help. Send it over to our Bid Writing Team and they’ll take care of the rest. They’ll even submit it on your behalf and provide a full Tender Writing breakdown.

If you’ve already tendering, but aren’t seeing the desired results from your efforts, the Tender Improvement package can help. Their Bid Writers will assess your submissions and provide guidance and feedback.

Additional support

If you only need the assistance with PQQs or SQs we can help. Send the information over to us and we can provide you with a quote for the work involved. 

Discover Elite

Our recently launched Discover Elite service offers an upgraded level of support to our technology portal. We can help you with an even more efficient service, offering a fully managed tender tracking approach.

Your Account Manager will personally find opportunities for you. They are on hand to help you decide on the ever-important bid question. This can help save you even more time to focus on running your business. This package includes a subscription to the portal of your choice

Get in touch for more information

The Ultimate Time Saver package offers your business:

  • A maximum of five tender breakdowns per month.
  • An annual subscription to a maximum of two Hudson Discover sector-specific portals. This option can help businesses that overlap two industries such as Technology and Healthcare, for example.
  • Pre-market and award engagement notices are monitored on your behalf.
  • Buyer portal management, including registration, password management, downloading documents and assessing viability based on your bid or no-bid strategy.
  • Weekly phone calls with your dedicated Account Manager to discuss viable tendering opportunities.

The Become a Pre-Bid Master package also includes:

  • All of the above.
  • Up to seven tender breakdowns per month.
  • Bid Strategy delivered by a Senior Bid Manager with a minimum of 5 years of experience. It will also be managed by our Global Bid Director.

On Technology Tenders, we source contract opportunities for:

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