6 Characteristics to Look for in a Good Proposal Writer

Whether you’re selecting an individual from inside your organization or hiring an outside contractor, choosing the best writer for your proposal is a crucial part of the process. And in order to ensure you hone in on the right individual, you need to understand exactly what you need.


What Do You Want From Your Writer?

Start by thinking about what you really want from your writer. You can’t expect to find a writer that fits your proposal needs unless you’ve already clearly defined what these needs are.

Based on your needs, you should be able to determine whether the writer needs to be brought in from the outside or whether the position can be filled internally by using a writer that’s already on your team.

Perhaps the biggest thing to consider is the technical side of your proposal. How much of the proposal is based on information that’s specific to your organization? And how complex and technical is this information? If you bring in an outside writer, it could take days or weeks for that individual to fully understand what your business does, what voice it uses, and where the proposal fits into the picture.

An individual within your organization already has a very good feel for what your business does and the voice it possesses. However, they may not have the same writing skills as someone you’re able to bring in from outside.

When searching for a proposal writer, make sure you know exactly what you want from the writer. There will always be tradeoffs and it’s up to you to determine what’s most important to you.


The 6 Characteristics Your Proposal Writer Needs

While certain elements are optional, there are also a number of attributes a proposal writer must possess in order to be successful.


Ability to Follow Directions

While a good writer is able to work independently and perform well without constant “babysitting” (and we’ll discuss this later), he also must possess the ability to digest instructions without deviating from precise directions.

Proposal writing is very different from standard content writing. It requires careful attention to detail and the final product is heavily influenced by a predetermined structure. In other words, the writer has less room for personalization. The goal is to develop a quality and engaging proposal that meets pre-established stipulations. A proficient proposal writer prioritizes adherence to guidelines.


Clear Communication

Communication is of paramount importance. This is especially true if you’re contracting with a proposal writer who doesn’t actually work in your office. You shouldn’t have to be the one always sending out emails requesting updates. A good proposal writer will initiate communication and provide regular feedback.

Along these same lines, a good proposal writer is easy to get in touch with. While they may not always pick up the phone when you call – nobody likes distractions when in a “writing zone” – they will call you back as soon as possible. Writers may be more effective at writing than verbally communicating, but the best writers understand the importance of the latter and work hard to facilitate regular conversation.

Dependability and Promptness

Reliability is a big thing. There are a lot of talented writers in the industry, but only a small percentage of them are reliable enough to handle something as important as writing a proposal.

When comparing different writers, try to determine their dependability. Can you count on them to consistently meet deadlines, follow the rules, and give you the time necessary to produce a quality proposal that resonates with the target? Sometimes you have to take a gamble on this, but an individual’s references and past work typically provide you with some insight into future work.


“In many ways writing in a business setting is less demanding than other kinds of writing,” says Brian Wasko, entrepreneur and content writer. “There is little pressure to be creative or particularly original. You are not creating art, after all; you are using the written word for its most basic purpose: to communicate information.”

While proposal writing and creativity aren’t always connected, you should look for a certain amount of imagination and originality in the proposal writers you work with.

In proposal writing, creativity often shines through in different ways. It may involve taking a different angle or highlighting one piece of data over another. You can’t teach creativity, so don’t underestimate the value of ingenuity when you find it.



Why does a writer need to be personable, you may ask? Well, assuming you choose a good writer and end up working with them over and over again, it’s likely that you’ll be spending a lot of time communicating with them.

It’s much more enjoyable to communicate with someone who has an attractive personality. Your proposal writer doesn’t have to be your best friend, but you should be able to have easy and comfortable conversations with them. The right personality goes a long way.


Ability to Thrive Independently

Finally, proposal writers must be able to thrive independently. While there will be times where you need to sit down and meet with the writer, there will also be large chunks of time – hours or even days – where the writer is left alone to work. During these periods, time management and discipline are critically important.


Try iQuoteXpress Today

In order to get the most out of your proposal writers, you need to supply them with the right tools and resources – one of which is the iQuoteXpress CPQ software. This proprietary solution delivers tremendous value and immediately enhances sales effectiveness by increasing deal-size and establishing scalable accuracy.

iQuoteXpress is specifically tailored to sales teams who are looking to efficiently craft accurate and comprehensive proposals that resonate with targets and produce positive returns. If you feel like your proposal writing team could use a progressive solution like this, then don’t hesitate to contact us. We’d be happy to set you up with a free no-obligation online demo at your earliest convenience. 

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