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What’s in our win strategy library?

One of our better ideas has been to replace recycling previous proposals with a win strategy library. A win strategy library can inspire people to prepare more strategic proposals and accelerate their efforts. Recycling previous proposals makes it easy to create proposals that are written for the wrong context.

We got the idea when we experienced déjà vu helping a customer plan their proposal. We had done proposals for companies in similar circumstances and were suggesting similar strategies. We realized that a lot of what we do is help customers through situations we’ve seen before, and since we’re a company that focuses on publishing, we had the idea of publishing something that would help them. Thus, the idea for a bid strategy library was born.

We’ve already written to introduce the idea here, how to formulate your win strategies here, and how to organize your win strategy library here.

Today we’d like to share what’s in our win strategy library. By its very nature, a win strategy library must be company specific. It should reflect your strategic plan and offerings. But we can describe the topics we have in ours that companies use as starting point. The content itself is only for PropLIBRARY Subscribers, but the topics can give you an idea what to put in your win strategy library.

  • Lowest Price Technically Acceptable (LPTA) Evaluations. What strategies can you use to minimize the impact?
  • When the Customer Tells You What to Bid. It’s really hard to stand out and differentiate yourself when everybody must bid the same exact thing. But that’s also where small differences can have a big impact.
  • Strategies for Offering Solutions. Offering a solution is very different from offering a commodity, and that impacts your strategies.
  • 11 Topics That Drive Win Strategies. Where do win strategies come from? You have to look at many different things, so we identified the key items to consider.
  • Differentiation. You can’t be the best without being different. Being the best at complying with the RFP's requirements is not enough to be competitive. So we put a recipe together to help people who are trying to figure out how they should stand out from the pack.
  • Confounding The Competition. Winning a proposal means beating your competitors. If you are in a fiercely competitive market, this can help you out-compete them.
  • How to Tell Your Story in a Proposal. If you are trying to raise the bar beyond simply being descriptive, you need to consider what story you are telling the customer. But how do you write a proposal that tells a story? We created a recipe to help.
  • Transparency. We like it when our vendors, leaders, those we depend on are transparent. We like to know what to expect. Customers are the same way. This recipe will help you build transparency into your proposal as a theme.
  • Escalation Plans. Customers expect things to go wrong and want to know how you will handle them. An escalation plan is a common way of doing that. This recipe will help you figure out what should be in yours.
  • Inspiration for Positioning to Win. How do you get your company and offering into position to win? This recipe provides a number of ideas to help you do just that.
  • What Matters to the Customer About What You Are Proposing. We’ve written a ton about how important it is to focus your proposals on what matters to the customer. But what exactly is that? How do you know what matters to your customers? This recipe contains a bunch of things that matter to most customers that can help you figure out what matters to yours.
  • 23 Topics to Inspire Features. To go along with something we just wrote on creating features and benefits tables, we created a recipe to provide some inspiration for what should go in your features column.


We are constantly growing our library. Our “to do” list currently has these win strategy topics on it for development: trust, quality, support, incumbency, new customers, team composition, past performance, resumes, and common RFP requirements and evaluation criteria.

The easiest way to approach building a win strategy library is to look at what issues you commonly face and what you typically say or do about them. Then simply capture them at the bullet level. Remember, the idea isn’t to write the words that people will use, but rather to inspire them with ideas about what to do. Once they figure that out, the words come easy and need to be tailored to their circumstances anyway.

Let's discuss your challenges with preparing proposals and winning new business...

Access to premium content items is limited to PropLIBRARY Subscribers

A subscription to PropLIBRARY unlocks hundreds of premium content items including recipes, forms, checklists, and more to make it easy to turn our recommendations into winning proposals. Subscribers can also use MustWin Now, our online proposal content planning tool.

More information about "Carl Dickson"

Carl Dickson

Carl is the Founder and President of CapturePlanning.com and PropLIBRARY

Carl is an expert at winning in writing, with more than 30 year's experience. He's written multiple books and published over a thousand articles that have helped millions of people develop business and write better proposals. Carl is also a frequent speaker, trainer, and consultant and can be reached at carl.dickson@captureplanning.com. To find out more about him, you can also connect with Carl on LinkedIn.

Click here to learn how to engage Carl as a consultant.

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