Training Industry Newsletter June 2013

The Course Sales Training Industry Newsletter (sign up here) provides advice and help to those selling, running, administering or managing training organisations. It is for:

  • Training managers
  • Training coordinators
  • Training company owners
  • Those marketing and selling training
  • Training administrators
  • Owner-operated trainers

Sales & marketing focus: Finding and writing tenders

Tenders are a common way for large organisations or government departments to procure training. As a training organisation it can seem daunting at first as there is often a large number of documents to read with strict guidelines that are unlikely to fit with your current quotes. Practise make perfect and in time the effort to write a response is reduced. There are multiple types of requests in the tendering environment, these include Expression of interest (EOI) or Request for Interest (RFI) is usually if the buyer does not have a clear idea of what they are looking for, Request for Proposal (RFP) is similar to a Request for Quote (RFQ) and means the company has a clear understanding of what problems they want to solve finally a Request for Tender (RFT) is more likely to be for a very specific solution.

Guidelines for preparing a response

1. Present your response in a simple format

While your response will be primarily evaluated on content the Request for Tender may specify that you fill in response schedules (templates). If no set response format has been specified, follow a general format (see below).

2. What is an example of a general format for a response?

Your response should provide all the information requested in the tender documents. If a response schedule (format) has not been specified a general format for a response should include:

  • Covering letter

  • Cover page: Match the title of your response to the Request for Tender title, clearly using reference numbering if appropriate.

  • Table of contents.

  • Executive summary.

  • Statement of compliance: Address all criteria in detail.

  • Price or cost schedule

  • Capability details: Detail the knowledge, experience, and availability of your proposed team for this project, including subcontractors.

  • Past performance: Include details of previous work of a similar nature to the tender. Provide a list of referees and their contact details.

  • Quality assurance achievements: Attach any necessary documentation to demonstrate your compliance.

  • Appendices: Attach any relevant, but not critical items eg. company profile and staff resumes.

 

3. Address all evaluation criteria specifications

Provide a clear and concise response to each of the evaluation criteria, give particular attention to mandatory criteria and that criteria that carry the most weight. Use simple, straightforward language and keep to the point.

4. Maximise compliance to the conditions

In addition to your response being assessed for its compliance with mandatory criteria it should also meet contract and tender conditions otherwise it may be considered to be non-conforming and eliminated from further evaluation.

5. Demonstrate ability

Demonstrate, don't just assert, the ability to fulfil each criterion providing details where requested. Include examples, offer certificates, samples, references and referees to further justify statements.

6. Complete the price or cost schedule

Do this for all items you are supplying. Clearly indicate how all costs are calculated eg. should prices include or exclude GST?

7. Provide additional information

It may be appropriate to include background information on your company's history, your employees, services you offer and any prior experience with the state or local government who are requesting the tender. This information may be included in the covering letter, as appendices or when addressing appropriate criterion. Where possible demonstrate your understanding of the particular buyer's business and how your company's skills and experience may compliment them.

Tips for successful tender writing

  • Evaluate each request based on likelihood of success, value, fit to your organisation, available resources, strategic suitability and past experience
  • Commit yourself to a limited time to create the response based on the likelihood of success and the value of the work
  • Keep a library of responses in a format that you can easily copy and paste or incorporate into future responses or use a content management system to automate your responses
  • Create standard resumes for your trainers, seek improvements and update at least annually
  • Keep a data sheet on the basic information used in most responses; including company registration numbers, registered address, background etc.
  • When a response is not successful follow up with the buyer to identify why you were not successful to ascertain if you can make any improvements
  • Do clear revenue & cost models of a best and worst case scenario
  • Compare your pricing to the market, and past successful and unsuccessful responses (even better; prices this customer has paid previously)
  • If available look at past requests, to ascertain possible contract values and who has previously been successful so you know your competition!
  • Clearly identify dates for submission, giving yourself time and ensure you have the correct registrations for lodging electronic submissions if necessary.

Steps to prepare yourself for tenders

1. Sign up to the tender websites (see below)

  • Keep your passwords for each site safe but within easy access
  • Edit both 'my details' and 'my business' with sufficient information to only get the tenders that will be relevant to you (don't be drowned by tenders for bridge building, cleaning and hospital supplies) ie. choose 'Education and Training Services'

2. Keep an eye out for tender alerts. Check that you are receiving them by logging in and checking the website, you may need to search and then alert the searches to receive automated email updates.

3. Monitor automated emails for relevant training tenders.

4. Proactively download the relevant tender documents and check to see if the tender/RFP fits your organisation.

Where do we get this information?

Techie Talk: Setting up an effective Social Media campaign

Social media is a generic term referring to the online interaction among people in which they create, share, and exchange information and ideas in virtual communities and networks. Face to face training is a social activity, extending this to the online environment for pre-course and post-course interaction can maximise learning outcomes and increase repeat sales. The following steps to success should help.

Steps to success

  1. Where is your audience? - ask your existing customers
  2. Do you have the necessary resources? - you need experts and supporters
  3. Can you afford it? - do you have the time to implement social media?
  4. What current efforts will be replaced? - will you drop existing campaigns to spend time and money on social media?
  5. Do you have anything interesting to say? - make a list of the past week's items you think might initiate a conversation with people.
  6. How will you measure success? Are 'Likes' enough or will you use subscriber numbers to measure success?
  7. Measure, tweak, improve. You need to continually improve your offering.

Now you can:

Training company market view: Meta Communicate

A different training company every time... to be featured contact scott.spence@coursesales.com

Meta Communicate is a one person training company that delivers workplace and personal communication and effectiveness training courses. These are one and two day events held in Queensland and other centres on the east coast. Run by Cate Crombie, she trains about 500 people per year. Like the experience of most training companies the training market has been patchy for Cate, some courses are bursting while others lack sufficient numbers to be economically viable. The lower priced end of the market and certification led courses are doing OK while the corporate and business related training market seems suppressed. Cate has a close network of people who have a sense of community, which she fosters by targeted email and phone communication. The most effective marketing and sales channels have been word of mouth, conference presentations, resellers and partners. A recent differentiator has been to engage foreign experts to visit Australia and New Zealand, using partner organisations to spread the risk, help with marketing and assist in administration effort. Partners who work with Cate incorporate her RTO accredited training in communication. She delivers on their behalf while giving them the ability to increase their course offering.

Trending topics

Topics currently trending in Australia over the past 90 days are:

  • personal training courses
  • security training
  • first aid course
  • barista course
  • microsoft certification
  • dance classes
  • cooking classes
  • yoga classes
  • art classes
  • zumba classes

Background about trending topics

There are many issues with scanning the topics and search terms used by people when using Google or YouTube. 'Training' for example has many other uses such as training horses, training with weights and military training. So instead we try to narrow down the options by excluding specific terms, eg. -military -horses, or searching for specific phrases like 'training course' or completely different words like 'class'. We also have a list of specific words like 'microsoft training' and 'first aid classes' that can reveal insights into the current trends. If you have terms that describe your training organisation please let us know and we can watch out for trends.

Some news agents and content providers are known to use trending topics to target online articles, increasing visits to their pages but also meeting a need for information about a particular topic. When ricin was send to President Obama a spike in searches for 'ricin' would be expected, if you have a training course about the first aid response to poisons then it seems sensible for you to republish any pages to include the word 'ricin' (in context), for those who might want additional information. Of course, you must include that content in your training to fulfil the expectations of those who register.

Where we look for trending topics:

Events

Here are events planned in the next few months (local and international) that might interest you:

June

  • Using social media to increase training course bookings ONLINE (10am AEST) - FREE 14 June, Brisbane Library, face to face training is by definition a social activity between the trainer, administrator and the participants. Extending this to the online environment for pre-course and post-course interaction will ensure learning outcomes can be maximised and repeat sales are more likely.

  • mLearnCon 2013 Mobile Learning Conference & Expo 18-20 June, San Jose California, is designed for professionals looking to build new technical skills and expertise in the tools, technologies and strategies for mobile learning development. mLearning DevCon offers close to 40 sessions to help you learn how to actually create mobile learning, all led by experts in the field.

July

  • Taking online bookings - a checklist ONLINE (10am AEST) - FREE,12 July, the benefits of online bookings are huge; save time, gather accurate data, give real-time responses to queries, take bookings and payments 24-7. You will be walked you through some options, and given a checklist to help you make the best choice.

  • Building Healthy Minds 13-15 July, Brisbane, The theme is Building Healthy Minds. We believe the stimulating and diverse program is sure to provide value and guidance to people working in psychology, counselling, social work, mental health, neuroscience, education and early childhood.

  • Visible Learning International Conference 18 & 19 July, Brisbane, Deepen your understanding about the impact educators have on student achievement and learning. The program offers a wide range of innovative and practical workshop sessions presented by classroom teachers, school executives, educational consultants and regional administrators who are implementing Visible Learning.

August

  • Pricing strategies that work for training courses ONLINE (10am AEST) - FREE, this presentation will focus on the top seven cost to improve your training course bottom line. It is well known that the best way to improve profitability in the short term is cost reductions, but these are long term, sustainable ways to maximise profit and remain competitive.

  • TVET 14-16 August, Melbourne, The Conference is themed “Global Learning – expanding the boundaries of e-learning in the global TVET community”.

September

  • Learning live 2013 11-12 September, London, England, this is a must for all UK corporate and commercial trainers, training managers, L&D managers and HR managers. With over 20 focus sessions and seminars, split across five streams, the event provides an unrivalled amount of content for delegates.

  • National VET conference 19-20 September, the theme for the two day conference is Evolve, Adapt, Embrace and will focus on three distinct streams including; Policy & Compliance, RTO Business Management and Teaching & Learning. Plus the addition of a sixth elective stream for Master Classes.

Conversations...

RTO best practise Network (Linkedin account required)

ASQA Issues (Linkedin account required)

Australian VET Leaders (Linkedin account required)

Blogs

Where do we get this information?

Gathered from the internet (mostly Linkedin but public facebook groups, blogs and twitter are also good sources of conversations)

Education and training tenders

Tenders WA

WAPOL02113 Provision for Fire Evacuation and Fire Warden Training

Issued by Western Australia Police
closing 13 Jun, 2013 2:30 PM

 

2013038A Provision of Signalling Competency Training & Assessment

Issued by Public Transport Authority
closing 26 Jun, 2013 11:00 AM

DTWD23A2011 2013 Apprenticeship Program

Issued by Department of Training and Workforce Development
closing 30 Aug, 2013 4:00 PM

DTWD00032010 2013 Traineeship Program

Issued by Department of Training and Workforce Development
closing 30 Aug, 2013 4:00 PM

Early tender advice WA

GIOT535613 Provision of Specialised Training Services

Issued by Goldfields Institute of Technology
est. advertising date 19 Jun, 2013

DOT304513 Provision of Training Module Development and Delivery for Taxi Drivers who operate in the Perth Taxi Control Area

Issued by Department of Transport
est. advertising date 19 Jun, 2013
 

Tenders NSW

0802440 Prequalification Scheme - Audit and Risk Committee Independent Chairs and Members
Management and Business Professionals and Administrative Services

 

HSN_LC13_153HNEQ Request for Quotation for provision of Aboriginal Cultural Respect Education Program
Education and Training Services

 

Proposed NSW Government ICT Services Scheme
NSW Government ICT Services Scheme - Announcement to Market Notice
Information Technology Broadcasting and Telecommunications

 

PSC-2696 Safety Culture and Leadership Program
Safety training services

Tenders QLD

1213071 Noosa Aquatic Centre Squad Coaching Program  specification documents
Issued by Sunshine Coast Regional Council
closing 20 Jun, 2013

DETESOA101241 Pre-Qualified Panel of Trainers for The Bremer and Southern Queensland Institutes of TAFE (TBIT / SQIT)
Issued by Department Of Education, Training and Employment
closing 26 Jun, 2013
 

DETE101378 Provision of Pre-qualified Trainers for Tropical North Queensland Institute of TAFE  specification documents
Issued by Department Of Education, Training and Employment
closing 5 Jul, 2013

Tenders Australian Government

Update on Request for Information for the Refresh of the APS Commission's Capability Development Panel
ATM ID     APSC 2012/0113a1
Close Date & Time     14-Jun-2013 12:00 pm (ACT Local time)
Agency     Australian Public Service Commission

Update on Request for Information for the Refresh of the APS Commission's eLearning Support Services and Solutions Panel
ATM ID     APSC 2012/0113c1
Close Date & Time     14-Jun-2013 12:00 pm (ACT Local time)
Agency     Australian Public Service Commission

REQUEST FOR APPLICATIONS FOR INCLUSION ON A MULTIUSE LIST FOR THE PROVISION OF ADDON SKILLS TRAINING TO SEASONAL WORKERS
ATM ID     DEEWR RFT SWPAoST2
Close Date & Time     14-Jun-2013 4:00 pm (ACT Local time)
Agency     Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations

Provison of Educational Resources to Services funded through the Budget Based Funded Program
ATM ID     DEEWR RFT PRN28882
Close Date & Time     14-Jun-2013 4:00 pm (ACT Local time)
Agency     Department of Education Employment and Workplace Relations

Panel Arrangement – Learning and Development
ATM ID     2012-006212
Close Date & Time     26-Jun-2013 4:00 pm (ACT Local time)
Agency     Australian Securities and Investments Commission

 

Where do we get this information?

Other articles

In addition to our regular list of tenders, trending training topics, online conversations and events we have a collection of past articles that might interest you:

What is coursesales.com?

More than just AVETMISS reporting, as a course management system, course sales offers workflow management, online bookings, HTML to PDF automatic generation of certificates and 'etickets' integration with accounting systems and CRM packages. Multi-currency and multi-tax jurisdictions. Take a look at some of the features and online instructional videos here:

Æ