Writing a business proposal for the first time can be difficult. To make this easier we’ve compiled this list of ten writing strategies for developing your next sales, government or research proposal.
10 Ways to Write Better Business Proposals
- Understanding of Requirements – confirm that you have addressed all the business requirements as listed in the RFP and the supporting documents. This ensures that you’re bid is not disqualified as it must meet any requirements before it can be assessed.
- Industry Knowledge – demonstrate your awareness of the business sector and prove this with relevant case studies and white papers that illustrate your knowledge and where you can add value.
- Reference Projects – give examples of other projects of a similar nature with details of the cost value, project timescales and the key technologies used in the projects. This gives the client more confidence that you have expertise in the areas they wanted addressed.
- Strategic Fit – Explain how the different methodologies align with the client’s procedures, strategy plan, and vision statement.
- Technical Requirements – show that you understand their technical requirements by addressing and responding to each requirement with examples of how this will be realized. Make sure to avoid clichés and answer each point so there is no ambiguity in your response.
- Confirmation – make sure that you agree to accept their procedures, practices and the Terms and Conditions of the contract should you be awarded it.
- Proposed Solution – show how the system you propose to develop will work by providing business scenarios and process maps. These help the reader ‘see’ how the solution will work as it enhances the text description.
- Screen Mockups – provide mockups of the main screens and/or sections of the system with screenshots and wireframes. This helps the reader understand how the system will work by seeing a visual representation.
- Cross-reference – make sure you cross-reference all requirements against the RFP and to the site map if you use mockups and other visuals.
- Warranty Period – another way to make the buyer feel more comfortable is to offer a warranty period. This means that if any issues arise with the product, solution or service, you agree to fix them within this time period.
The key to writing successful business proposals is to get the right balance between understanding the requirements and then demonstrating how you will achieve this. You can further improve your chances by providing endorsements from satisfied clients and including these quotes in the executive summary.
About the Author: Ivan Walsh is a Business Proposal Consultant who has worked for IBM, Intel and NEC in the US, UK and China. Get his Free Proposal Writing newsletter and read his Business Proposal Blog here.
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