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Professional Bid Services discuss Win Themes – How they increase your success rate

Professional Bid Services discuss Win Themes – How they increase your success rate

Whatever the bid, large or small, whether for a cleaning contract with a local authority or a facilities management contract for a large corporation, a bidder with strong win themes will have a higher chance of being awarded the contract.


So what are Win Themes and what are their purpose?

Win themes are a single, unique discriminator to a critical customer need. They are statements you make that illustrate why a client or buyer should choose your offering, and they apply to the entire bid submission. Win themes are essential for a successful bid. Below we outline how win themes should be customer-centric, how they enable focus for the bidding organisation on the benefits they can provide to the buyer, and we provide some examples of win themes.


Customer Focus

Win themes are customer focussed and need to be tailored specifically to each contract. Successful bidders align their win themes with the buyer’s procurement objectives, strategic vision, and core values. This alignment demonstrates an organisation’s understanding of the buyer and their intention to work in a collaborative partnership for successful contract delivery.

Win themes also address a buyer’s concerns. Organisations need to clearly articulate within bid submissions how they will address and manage any pain points raised by the buyer. Any added value propositions to overcome these issues that benefit the buyer will score favourably within the bid submission.


Internal Focus

It isn’t just the buyer who benefits from win themes. For the bidding organisation, win themes articulate a sense of purpose for employees involved with the bid. Coupled with a clear bidding strategy, bid/no bid process and early employee engagement, win themes enable collaborative working and shared knowledge across an organisation. They also provide a sense of direction for employees which in turn increases the probability of success.


Example Win Themes

Below are some example win themes which are common in bids:

Sustainability: With the government’s target for the UK to be net zero carbon by 2050, sustainability is more crucial than ever in bidding. Procurement strategies now address the importance of delivering contracts sustainably, with buyers asking bidders how they mitigate their environmental impact across their business operations. If an organisation demonstrates their commitment to sustainability and explains how it will support a buyer in achieving its own goals, it will be on its way to bid success.

Social Value: Social value is more prevalent than ever in bids and is frequently coupled with sustainability. Since 1st January 2021, The Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 goes a lot further. All major central government procurement must now clearly evaluate social value where appropriate rather than just “consider” it within their procurement strategy. It is also becoming more common for social value to appear in private sector bids to demonstrate the sector’s commitment to operating responsibly by delivering social, economic and environmental benefits. It is crucial for bidding organisations to align their commitments with the buyer’s social value targets and strategies to increase their chances of success. Equally, the new version also aligns social value to other relevant legislation, policies and initiatives, such as the Equalities Act, Civil Society Strategy and mapping across to the UN Sustainable Development Goals. So put simply, Win themes need to demonstrate how the bidding organisation will deliver those targets and measure success.

Continuous Improvement: Buyers will be assured of an organisation’s capabilities if they demonstrate an ongoing commitment to continually improving its services and processes. Continuous improvement, if executed correctly, achieves efficiencies, including time, costs and resources, which can be passed on to the buyer. Providing examples of actions taken from lessons learnt to improve services and processes score well in bid submissions.

Working in Partnership: Buyer procurement strategies usually incorporate a partnership/one team approach and work closely with contractors, stakeholders and other applicable parties. Bidding organisations can demonstrate their approach to developing a lasting relationship with buyers by providing previous examples and explaining how they will work with the buyer to ensure successful contract delivery.

If you require bid support, please contact our Professional Bid Service team via We work with our clients to identify win themes by conducting an in-depth review of the tender documents and researching the buyer organisation. Our analysis reveals what is important to the buyer and how their concerns will be addressed through signposting the win themes.

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