Business As Usual

How to Draft a Winning Business Proposal

If you operate a company that does business-to-business deals, then you will need to get familiar with writing business proposals.

If, for example, a major corporation or government agency is looking to purchase services or products from a third-party company like yours, it likely will send a formal request for proposal to all potential vendors.

A business proposal is a response to such a request that describes why a company is the most qualified to satisfy a need.

Since you usually will be competing against several other companies, your business proposal must stand apart from the rest. If working with a remote team in order to compile your proposal, then you need to have the infrastructure or software to collaborate on delivering a great proposal.

Check out the following tips to learn what it takes for your remote workers to write a winning business proposal, as well as what mistakes to avoid.

1. Make Sure your Team Knows Your Target Customers

The first step is to learn about your customer. Not only should you read their request carefully and absorb all its information, but you also should research the company or agency.

Remote teams should be on board when it comes to customer profiling so that all team members know who they are targeting in their proposals.

Consider all the problems and challenges your customer is facing. Figure out how you can solve one or more of these problems.

Then, write a proposal that describes how your products or services can solve those problems.

2. Discuss Your Bid Price First

You don’t want to go through the trouble of writing a decent business proposal and then find out that your bid price is not acceptable.

Before you write your proposal, your team should verbally discuss your bid price with the customer.

Most of the time, customers are interested in finding out the bid prices before they even read any proposals.

This doesn’t mean the bid price will make or break a deal, but it is the first step in getting a customer interested in your company.

3. Set realistic Goals for Your Team

You will certainly want to impress your customer by describing the amazing things that your products or services can do for them. However, make sure you are realistic and honest when you make these claims.

Do not over-promise anything about the capabilities of what you’re selling. If you do, and it turns out that your products or services cannot deliver the results you promised, then you will lose that customer forever.

4. Share Positive Feedback

There is nothing that wins over a customer more than knowing that you have a history of successful transactions with others.

If you have a lot of positive success stories from your past deals with clients, be sure to share these stories with your customer.

The more evidence of success your team can provide, the better chance you’ll have of winning over potential clients. Customers will always trust other customers more than your own sales representatives.

5. Have the Right Tools for the Job

In order to streamline the proposal process, ensure compliance with company message and branding and meet customer expectations, there are a number of tools you should consider using.

First and foremost would be software that will manage the internal collaboration and progress of your proposal. Project management software such as is ideal for remote and internal teams to view the progress of your proposal, as well as manage the communication between colleagues involved in the proposal or project process.

You should also consider additional tools for communicating and collaborating with third-parties, whether they be designers, copywriters or those you outsource for specific expertise. Trello, Jira and Slack are all viable options for this purpose. These tools will also integrate nicely within your management software for a seamless communication and project process.

For tools specific to design, some reliable choices include, Design Wizard, BeFunky and Canva.

You will also want to be sure that the tools you use are able to keep track of costs and provide information on project budgets at a glance.

6. Avoid Filler Content

Your customer is going to be reading multiple business proposals. Therefore, you will want your business proposal to get to the point quickly. Encourage proposal teams to avoid too much dialogue in their proposals and to make the features and benefits of your proposal, clear and concise.

It doesn’t necessarily need to be a long, drawn-out proposal for it to be good. Just write a clear and concise proposal with short sentences and paragraphs.

Avoid filler words like each, every, in order to, essentially, really, extremely, etc.

7. Personalize the Design

Don’t just send a solid white business proposal with black text. The design of your business proposal document should reflect the designs, colors and overall presence of your business.

You can download customization business proposal templates on the internet if you don’t have any graphic designers in your organisation to make you one.

8. Get Another Professional to Read It

Before you send the business proposal to your customer, have an attorney or business expert read it first. Team members should be collaborating here as much as anywhere else. Let all those involve review the proposal before it is sent so that each team member can give their insights into the proposal.

Not only can they proofread it for simple grammatical or spelling errors, but they can also give you advice on whether your content is good enough.

They even might recommend additions or subtractions that can make the content streamlined and effective.

Image Pixabay CC0 License