Tips on Writing Winning Proposals and Bids
Whether you’re reading this at midnight before your proposal deadline, or are at the beginning of a month-long crunch to prepare a huge bid, Tenato is here to help you “up your game” and maximize your chances of getting to the shortlist, and ultimately being that winning bidder.
Before we begin, we’d like to introduce Marj Smith, our Business Development Associate, who is a certified member of the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP), Maple Leaf Chapter. This is a professional association that is the worldwide authority for professionals dedicated to the process of winning business through proposals, bids, tenders and presentations. The APMP offers the only industry-recognized certification program and is the global standard for developing and demonstrating proposal management competency and best practices in this field.
Without further ado, here are some of Marj’s best insights to help boost your chances of creating winning proposals:
- Don’t wait for the RFP to drop. Starting early to research new bid opportunities, plan your win strategy, and formulate a proposal plan will increase your chances of winning. (If it’s too late for this point, read on!)
- Document structure is crucial. In today’s market, bid evaluators are busy, and it is crucial that your proposals are not only compliant, but presented in a workable structure, well-aligned with the structure of the RFP itself. In addition, including an Executive Summary in your proposal will make it easier for the evaluators to digest the key messages, and improve your chances of winning.
- Make it visually appealing. A proposal’s visual presentation is nearly as important as its content. A quick and easy way to convey your message is by using graphics. Can you create simple diagrams from paragraphs of information? Flow charts? Hand-drawn doodles that are scanned in to the document? Well-planned graphics also convey quality of your solution, and can be reused in future proposal and presentations.
- Use competitor intelligence. There are many data tools available today that can give you clarity around customer needs, industry benchmarks and competitor insight. This information can then establish useful templates, such as compliance or bidder comparison matrices. Gathering customer intelligence is essential in a price-to-win process.
- Systemize the process. Rather than treat each proposal as a one-off, consider a systemized way to gather all your assets and content for proposals in one centralized location. This will streamline the process and continually build efficiency over time, speeding up development and reducing bid preparation costs.
Ready to learn more? Tenato can assist you with all of your proposal and bid management needs, including competitor intelligence, content writing, bid management and graphical presentation. Don’t wait until the deadline crunch!