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What buyers look for in a DOS bid

To make a success of a framework you’ve got to think about things from the perspective of the buyer. Here, we take a look at what they look for.

The best way to win business through the Digital Outcomes and Specialists framework is to know exactly what buyers looking for in a response to their posted opportunity – and then meeting it. So without further ado, here are the fundamentals of what buyers look for in a DOS bid.


How buyers score your DOS bids

Firstly, the scoring system for each individual response to the buyer requirements is as follows:

0 – Not met or no evidence

1 – Partially met

2 – Met

3 – Exceeded

It sounds obvious but when bidding for DOS opportunities, in order to achieve top scores you’ve got to make sure you’re addressing all components of a requirement. This means breaking them down into smaller chunks in order to hit each point when drafting your response. And, at the end of the day, the only way you’re going to be in the running is if you’re exceeding their expectations to most if not all of the answers – that means scoring 2s or 3s. In fact, anything 1 or below on a single answer will exclude you from progressing. In short, aim for 3s!


Answer the Nice-to-Haves!

For DOS opportunities questions are split into essential and nice-to-have requirements. However, that does not mean that you should ignore the nice-to-haves. On the contrary! By responding to the nice-to-haves, you’re likely to put yourself ahead of any supplier who didn’t bother responding to them. In our experience, the marks for these requirements can make or break a bid.


Use great examples

It is absolutely crucial that you use the best case studies or examples at hand in your responses. Remember, buyers want to see real evidence of how you can deliver their requirement, and the best way to do this is by showing them the great work you’ve done before.

So, for each response provide an example that demonstrates how you have executed that specific requirement, using easy-to-read sentences. Remember, you’ve only got 100 words for each answer, so they’re going to need to be as concise as possible! Buyers wont want to have to wade through needless information, especially when there’s only so much they can get from 100 words!

The best way to clearly show off your past work is to use the SWR structure…


Situation, Work, Results

By structuring your responses in this way, you’re clearly and succinctly demonstrating why you’re more than capable of delivering the buyer their required solution. Start by splitting your response into three sections, we recommend allowing yourself 20 or so words for the Situation, 60 for the Work carried out and 20 for Results. Obviously this doesn’t have to be exact, but it gives you a good guide to make your responses as clear as possible for the person reading it.

Plainly lay out what was required of you; including the scale of the project and the timeframe required for completion. Then go on to detail how you delivered this, with what members of your team went about doing so.

A big part of your responses are the results; namely, measurable results. Tell the buyer how much money you saved a previous customer, or how much time was saved. Be specific if you can – how much did you reduce software release timeframes by? How many members of the buyer’s team gained access to the new solution?  How much were delays and costs reduced by? At the end of the day, buyers want to see how you can help them make their life easier!


Go above and beyond 

Beyond meeting the requirements, here at Advice Cloud we strive to help our clients score those 3s and exceed buyer expectations. This is because buyers want to see how you can surpass their requirements. For example, did you deliver a solution quicker than planned? Did you provide additional training to members of a team, in order to support a customer’s digital transformation? Did you provide a software solution with extra customisable features post-implementation?

It’s these small nuances that, when included in your bid, will demonstrate why you’re the most suitable supplier for the job.

That’s it. Remember, getting onto DOS isn’t enough to secure business. The real work comes in when bidding for opportunities, but stick to this guide and you’ll be winning business in no time!

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