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Writing winning proposals


Writing winning proposals Why write proposals? Work in industry and business is done through proposals The process: Requests for Proposals (RFPs) identify problems ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Writing winning proposals

Writing winning proposals
Why write proposals?
  • Work in industry and business is done through
  • The process
  • Requests for Proposals (RFPs) identify problems
    that organizations want solved
  • Other organizations submit proposals that
    describe the solution they can create to that
  • The original organization selects the proposal
    that seems to offer the best solution
  • The second organization wins the contract and
    creates the solution that it proposed

What makes a proposal good?
  • Carefully and thoughtfully analyzed content
  • Efficient and effective design of the proposal
    and the solution
  • Persuasively sells the solution it proposes
  • Demonstrates how its solution is better than
    other possible ones
  • Shows the experience and talent of the team that
    will produce the solution

What kinds of proposals are there?
  • Internal written by a division within a company
    to persuade management to approve an idea or
  • Solicited submitted in response to RFPs or
  • Unsolicited individual or company has identified
    a problem and devised the solution that the
    proposal presents
  • Sole-source contracts organization intends to
    engage only one company to supply a product or
    service (one company is usually selected prior to
    publishing the RFP)

What is a proposal?
  • Primarily a sales pitch that seeks to define a
    clients problem and/or opportunities and to sell
    the client on your companys ability to provide
    solutions and strategies. Robert Hamper and Sue
    Baugh, Handbook for Writing Proposals.
  • It shows how you can provide help to solve the
    clients problem

When to decline writing a proposal?
  • Deadline is too soon for you to write a good
  • The RFP offers follow-up work to a larger project
  • You are not equipped to produce the
    specifications listed, but your competitors are
  • The contract is outside your field of expertise
  • You have no real competitive edge over the
  • You lack staff and resources to prepare a good
  • Your chances of winning the proposal are less
    than 50

How are proposals evaluated?
  • Does the proposal writer fully understand my
    needs and problems?
  • Does the writer know how to solve my problem?
  • Is the plan, strategy, or program suitable and
    appropriate to achieving my goal?
  • Does the writer have the qualified personnel to
    complete the proposed project?

How are proposal evaluated?
  • Has the writers organization completed similar
    projects in a timely and satisfactory way?
  • What makes this writers organization superior to
    others who are also bidding?
  • How attractive and professional looking is the
    proposal and its presentation?

Important aspect
  • Not only show that you can solve the problem
    well, also show that you can solve it better than
    others proposing solutions
  • Persuasion is a key element of a winning proposal
  • You must sell your ideas, as well as your
    expertise and dependability
  • Price is not the primary criterion for selection
    professional competence and prior record are the
    deciding factors

Who is the audience for a proposal?
  • The individual or group that will evaluate the
    proposals and award the project
  • To gain information about the evaluators, analyze
    carefully the RFP itself for information
  • Examine organizational materials that are
    available in the public domain, such as annual
    reports, newsletters, press releases, etc. for
    insight into the culture, financial stability,
    and management style
  • Talk with clients if possible (if permitted)

Analysing an RFP
  • Determine what kind of proposal is requested
  • Examine the primary criteria listed in order of
  • Identify any secondary criteria
  • Once you feel you thoroughly understand the
    requirements of the RFP, you can start planning
    your solution and the pitch you will use to sell
    it to readers

In-Class Exercise 6.1 Analyze an Assignment as an
  • Read Major Project 9.1 on page 268 in the
  • Using the ideas outlined in the previous slides,
    analyse this RFP for information about the
    requirements of the assignment and the
    expectations of the reader.

Generic format of a proposal
  • Problem statement/Background
  • Methods/Procedures
  • Qualifications/Resources
  • Work schedule
  • Budget

Questions a proposal must answer
  • What problem are you going to solve?
  • Answered in the problem statement
  • How are you going to solve the problem?
  • Answered in the problem statement and the methods
  • What exactly will you provide for us?
  • Answered in the problem statement
  • Can you deliver what you promise?
  • Answered in the methods, qualifications, and work
    schedule sections

Questions a proposal must answer
  • 5. What benefits can you offer?
  • Answered in the problem statement and the
    qualifications section
  • 6. When will you complete the work?
  • Revealed in the work schedule
  • 7. How much will it cost?
  • Revealed in the budget statement

In-Class Exercise
  • Using the information on the previous slides,
    analyze the sample proposal distributed to your
  • First, describe what the writer has done in each
    section to develop his or her ideas.
  • Second, evaluate the effectiveness of each
    section of the proposal.
  • Third, make notes on how the proposal might be
    revised to improve the answers to the questions
    posed by readers of a proposal.
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