Eight Steps To A Winning Proposal
By Bruce Johnstone, Director Of The Business Growth & Development Programme At Cranfield School Of Management
In the world of business-to-business sales, successful new business usually comes about because someone has prepared and presented a winning proposal. A proposal is essentially a sales pitch for the products or services you offer.
Writing a winning proposal involves identifying a need or an opportunity that a client has, and proposing to provide goods and/or services to meet that need or opportunity. Your business needs to pitch for new business in order to grow, so the ability to produce winning proposals is critical to your...
Who writes the proposals in your business - is it you as the owner-manager? Or do you delegate this task? How good are the proposals you produce? Do your management team have the skills to create winning proposals? Does your team follow a step-by-step process such as this one?
Step 1. Conduct a needs analysis. It is important to begin by defining the need or the opportunity. Ask who your customers are, what do they want and what is their solution at the moment?
Step 2. Design your offer. Consider what you will offer to meet this need and define the purpose of the proposal. What is the transaction you wish to achieve by producing this proposal? What will you provide, for how much money and in what time frame? Are you providing a standard offering, or are you customising an offer just for this client? At this stage you should also consider carefully if you are sure you can deliver on your offer, and what special conditions will need to be included.
Step 3. Create an outline. Often this will follow a standard form. Your proposal outline could be: Cover Letter, Title Page, Proprietary Notice,... continued on page two >