Rebid Survey Results

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A while ago we ran a survey asking procurement professionals for their expectations and experiences of incumbents at rebid. Here are some of the key numbers and messages from our analysis of the full results from the survey. To download the full summary of the rebid survey results click here or go here

Who responded?

The responses came from around the world and from a mix of private and public sector procurers. The split was around 45% private sector, 50% public sector, with 5% ‘others’. Geographically 40% were from the UK, 27% from the US with other countries making up the rest.

What did we ask?

We asked a number of questions about the experiences and expectations respondents have of incumbents. A few of the questions required specific answers to choices we gave, but most were open questions for respondents to give us their comments and experiences as responses. These questions were about why incumbents lose their rebids, what incumbents could do to improve their chances of winning, and the particularly good and poor experiences respondents had encountered with incumbents at rebid.

Below are some of the specific answers, plus an overview and some examples of the themes coming through from the comments we received.

What do procurers expect of an incumbent that is different to new bidders?

rebid survey results

Respondents could choose more than one answer (on average they picked three). Most are what we would expect to see. Though it was surprising to find the most popular answer being an expectation that incumbents would show a clear knowledge of the customer’s strategic priorities.

One of the lessons we took from these responses is to ensure as the incumbent you not only show you have a clear understanding of the details of the contract and how it is delivered, but to show how you really understand the customer’s wider strategic priorities – and how your solution is better at helping the customer achieve these than your competitors’. Take a look at your own recent rebids – how much emphasis on this have you included?

Impact an incumbent’s performance on the contract has on their chances of winning the rebid

Most of our respondents felt the incumbent’s performance on the contract has some impact on the rebid decision. We were surprised that nearly one in five said it was the single most important factor. More surprised that slightly more than one in ten said it wasn’t important in the decision. When we’ve spoken to bidders about this we have got two sets of reactions: Those facing a rebid where performance has been poor feel the figures give them some hope that if they write a fantastic rebid they still have a chance. Most however agree with us: If your performance has been poor on the contract you are on the back foot before you even start the rebid. In fact we would go further than that – if your performance has not been excellent and you have got gained the loyalty of the customer during the contract period, with 9 out of 10 customers you are in a worse position than you should be going into the rebid.

Answers to open questions

The open questions we asked respondents revealed a number of themes across the answers to different questions. And whilst many companies are very good at rebidding, the views and comments from our respondents would suggest others still have some way to go. We grouped the answers into a number of  ‘themes’ which we’ve listed below – to see a fuller version with the relevant comments made, go to the survey results summary.

Rebid survey results: Themes

  • Complacency is a killer;
  • Treat the rebid as seriously as a new bid;
  • Deliver and improve performance on the contract;
  • Build and maintain a strong customer relationship;
  • Be honest about performance;
  • Follow the tender instructions; don’t assume the customer will fill in the gaps for you;
  • Don’t assume more of the same will win the rebid;
  • Focus on the customer’s strategic and cultural needs;
  • Add value and innovate to beat the competition;
  • Use your experience to deliver focused improvements.


See how we can help you apply the lessons from what procurers are saying here