Proposal writing for (anything but) dummies

The biggest challenge in proposal writing?

It’s typically not a talent thing, or a targeting thing, or a systems thing (unless you’re still doing things manually and not using a CPQ solution--then YES, it’s definitely a systems thing).

It’s a mental thing.

People think, “I can’t write” and they avoid it, and they avoid it, until time runs out, then they cobble together a quote at the last minute, send it without taking time to review it, et voila! A self-fulfilling prophecy: you say you can’t write proposals and then—thanks to beating yourself up and procrastinating—you make it so.

We can help you change that. It’s simpler than you think.

online proposal software overcoming challenges

Proposal writing—as easy as “measure twice, cut once”

We don’t know who coined this chestnut, but where overcoming challenges in proposal writing are concerned, it basically means being prepared. This doesn’t mean you need an MFA and an MBA—it means only that you need a few opportunities to test and refine your proposal.

Make no mistake: the first proposal you write will likely be the toughest one because you have nothing to measure it against. I.e., how do you know your writing is effective if you’ve never gotten feedback before?

The good news is that after you send that quote and get that initial client feedback, you’ll have a baseline—here’s what works, here’s what doesn’t, etc. You’ll build on your successes, and learn from your failings, and make every following proposal better.

And @@it gets even easier when you automate.@@

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A templated approach makes proposal writing easy

If you had all the time in the world, you’d test proposal templates ad infinitum, and ideally on the same client—imagine that: being able to send a client quote after quote until you deliver the winning combination!

Since you have less than all the time in the world—typically, you want to reply to an RFP within a day or two—you want to hit the ground running. That’s where a proven template can save the day. (And most CPQ solutions have a selection of built-in templates that have already been proven effective.)

Proposal templates aren’t just time savers, they’re efficacy multipliers. Because starting with a template means a head-start—you’re getting a sales quote “infrastructure” that’s been tested and refined, one where you typically only need to fill in the blanks.

And even if you’re not using preconfigured templates, don’t start with a blank slate. Find proposals that you, as a business person, have responded to. Borrow what works, ignore what doesn’t, and add your own “spices” to the mix.

The thing to keep in mind as you write up a proposal: the ones that win need not be works of art. They need only be effective. So don’t sweat your writing skills or experience—send the best proposal you can, knowing that each one you send after will only get better and better and better.