Developing winning proposals requires discipline, knowledge and skilled proposal
people who have
sufficient time and direction to do a good job. Here are some of the tools that can
The proposals manager should hold a kickoff meeting to initiate proposal development.
At this meeting they discuss the key issues, compliance matrix, proposal outline,
executive summary and proposal strategy - all of which help all parties involved
create a first class proposal right first time.
To receive the highest evaluated score, proposals must be totally responsive to the
customer’s RFP/ ITB. A compliance matrix lists all the requirements in order and
helps the proposal writers meet all the tender requirements.
In a good proposal every section opens with a theme statement that highlights the
key features of the sections and links them to the benefits the customer receives.
The proofs of those benefits should appear in the body of the section.
The proposal manager should create a proposal outline to distribute to the writers
during the kickoff meeting. This outline should be based on the compliance matrix
and may include the themes or messages that each writer has to weave into his section
of the proposal. If it does contain themes this is called a thematic outline.
Visuals and Action Captions
Research shows that many readers receive most of their information from visuals rather
than text. So the proposal should be highly visual. In a good proposal the ratio
of visuals to text is about 1 to 3.
Every visual should have a caption that tells readers how to interpret it. One should
not leave to chance what the reader gets out of the visual. The caption should highlight
the key features of the visual and the benefits of those features to the customer.
Figure: Bulldozer pushing sand to reinforce berm. Illustrative example of visuals
supporting and making the narrative more eye catching.