Proposal content planning is where you really start to see a payoff from using MustWin Now. Because you used it to import the RFP and create your proposal outline, it can now greatly accelerate figuring out what to write about to address the requirements and how to best present it.
The first thing it does is create the content plan shell for you. In the column on the left, you'll see all the proposal sections. Click one. If you used the Cross-Reference Tool to map the RFP requirements to the outline, you'll see all of the RFP requirements that are relevant to this section as colored banners. Click the banner and you'll the the requirements. If you used the Win Strategy Tool to articulate your insights regarding what to do to win, and then used the Cross-Reference Tool to map them to the outline, your proposal content plan will already have those instructions preloaded.
Now you can see how MustWin Now enables you to drive your win strategies into the document. Consider all of the ingredients that go into a winning proposal. Then simply click on the button to add them into the content plan. We recommend phrasing them as instructions to proposal writers. That way, when you've completed your proposal content plan, your proposal writers will be able to follow it to write the proposal. The Proposal Content Plan Tool enables you to capture all of the thoughts people have about what should go into the proposal and how to present it, and then fine tune it so that the proposal writers can get it right on the very first draft.
To add a new instruction, type it into the "Add a new instruction" box and click "Save".
The instruction will then appear with the others.
To change the order of the instructions simply click on the handle bars to the left and drag and drop the instruction where you want it to go.
You can edit or add more text to the instruction by simply clicking on it and typing. It will automatically save when you click outside of the box. This enables you to very quickly move through the proposal and fine tune your messaging and presentation.
Before MustWin Now, most companies didn't take the time to do proper proposal content planning, and their proposal quality suffered as a result. The more proposal content planning you do, the better. But even a little tiny bit of it can have a huge impact. Simply having the requirements and win strategies in each section will change the quality of what your proposal writers produce. Spending even 20 minutes going through the proposal to capture your thoughts on what it should address and how will improve your proposal outcomes.
One of our favorite ways of using it is during proposal planning meetings. Instead of everyone talking in circles and then forgetting it all when they sit down to write, you can capture what they say right there in the meeting, and as soon as it breaks up the guidance will already be there to help them get it right.
Annotations, links, and files
MustWin Now goes beyond simple instructions. For example, you can add annotations, helpful links, and files. Click the arrow to the left of an instruction to see the options.
To add an annotation, click "Add annotation". An annotation is a large text block. Potentially very large. You can use it to provide examples and text with instructions for how to tailor it. You can use annotations to provide reference information for them to read and use in what they right. You can use them to explain your instruction at length. You can use it anytime you need to share a lot of text with the proposal writers.
To use it, either type in your text or copy and paste the text into the box and click "save."
You can add helpful links to web pages with information you want the proposal writers to see. It could be guidance, like a PropLIBRARY article with tips on writing the section they are working on, or it could be reference information, like a page from the customer's website. Or a Wikipedia entry with an instruction for your proposal writers like "Check out this article which has a technique that might be relevant."
To add a link, simply click "Add link". Give it a name or instruction, copy and paste or enter the URL, and click "Save."
You can upload files that you want your proposal writers to use. Like annotations, there are many reasons this can come in handy. You could provide an instruction manual, a format template, a graphic, or anything you think would be helpful. And MustWin Now makes it easy to explain what they should do with it.
To add a file, simply click "Add File," give it a name or instruction (it doesn't have to be the same as the file name), and upload it with the "Choose Single File" button.
All annotations, links, and files will appear under the instruction. If you provide instructions, it will be more clear to your proposal writers why they are there.
Managing content plan instructions
When you click the arrow to the left of an instruction, you'll also see options for strikethrough, move, copy, and delete. When you click "Strikethrough" it will change the appearance of the instruction to indicate that it is complete. Proposal writers can use this to visually show when they've written something that fulfills the instruction and can visually track their progress towards completing all of the instructions for their section.
You can use the "Move" button to attach the instruction to a different proposal section. Simply type a few letters from the heading where you want it to go to.
Use the "Copy" button to add it to another proposal section and keep it in the current section too. Any annotations, files, or links that are attached to it will be moved as well. You can use this for instructions that apply to several sections so you don't have to recreate them each time.
Click the "Show me..." button to see all proposal sections on the left sidebar in sequence, only proposal sections with notes, or only unlinked proposal sections.
Carl is the Founder and President of CapturePlanning.com and PropLIBRARY
Carl is an expert at winning in writing. The materials he has published have helped millions of people develop business and write better proposals. Carl is also a prolific author, frequent speaker, trainer, and consultant and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about him, you can also connect with Carl on LinkedIn.