Best proposal articles of 2013

In 2013 we hit our goal of publishing more than 100 new items. We greatly expanded the 7 Tips for Doing Proposals with Fewer People
These tips are not about doing the same things a little better or more efficiently. They are not about which steps you should follow or which steps you can leave out. These tips are about changing the fundamentals to maximize your chances of winning with the resources that you have.

  • Creating a bid strategy re-use library
    When most people think of a proposal re-use library, they think of pre-written proposal sections. We've invented a new approach to proposal re-use that can have a far greater impact on your win rates. Instead of trying to capture all of your proposal text and recycle it, which turns out to have a negative impact on your win rate, try focusing on your bid strategies instead.
  • 7 Ways to make proposal writing faster and easier
    What you need to speed up proposal writing probably isn't what you think. Here are seven things that people need to do to successfully complete proposal assignments and what they need to make them happen.
  • 8 Challenges you must overcome to write every proposal
    To write a proposal, you must overcome these eight challenges. You can’t avoid them. You can’t skip any of them. You just have to face them. To help out, we’ve provided some advice for overcoming each.
  • A better way to find your competitive advantage
    When most people try to describe what their competitive advantages are in a proposal, they tend to focus on themselves and ask the wrong questions. Here's an article we wrote about how changing your perspective can help you find better competitive advantages.
  • Bid strategies depend on understanding what matters to the customer
    Once you identify what things matter to your customer, you can choose what to focus on in your proposal. What you choose to focus on becomes your bid strategies. Here's a link to a list we put together of some of the things that matter to your customers and how you can use them to create bid strategies and competitive advantages.
  • How a proposal beginner can beat the proposal professionals
    You don't have to be a proposal specialist to win. In fact, a beginner can easily beat a professional if they know the most important ingredient. Here's a hint: it has nothing to do with proposal writing.
  • 13 Examples of how knowing how to do proposals The Wrong Way can improve their quality
    Sometimes you have to cut corners and do proposals The Wrong Way. But cut corners at the wrong time and you'll lose. Find out how to recognize when someone is doing a proposal The Wrong Way so you can call them on it and put things right.
  • When you get an RFP, do you do these 12 things in order to win?
    When your company first gets an RFP, do you do the things that lead to winning or things that lead to losing? You can use this article from our library to assess your company.
  • Don't write your Executive Summary backwards
    The way I was first taught how to write an Executive Summary turned out to be backwards. Here's an article I wrote explaining what I mean.
  • 12 Ways to Turn Proposal Weaknesses Into Strengths
    This is an article about doing proposals The Wrong Way. That is what you have to do when you are required to submit a proposal your company is not prepared for and you don’t have the information you need to win it. Maybe your company shouldn't be bidding it at all, but that decision isn't up to you. You have no time to fix your proposal weaknesses. All you can do is embrace your weaknesses and turn them into strengths.
  • Formulating win strategies in just 3 steps
    A remarkably simple formula we have in our library can not only help you figure out what your win strategies should be for a particular bid, but can also show you where your proposals are lacking.
  • 9 Things to Know About Your Customer to Write a Winning Proposal
    Proposal writing should not be about you, your company, or even your offering. It’s not about describing yourself or telling the customer anything. Instead, it’s about the customer, their decision, and what they need to hear to make it. Here's an article from our library that shows what you need to know to write a proposal from the customer's perspective.
  • How to Write a Better Technical Approach
    What technical subject matter experts lack in writing and fine art skills, they often make up for with enthusiasm for their subject. And technical detail. Their contribution is vital, but sometimes difficult to work with. Here's something from our library we wrote to help technical staff do a better job of creating useable proposal content.
  • How to tell if a proposal is well written
    When two proposals offer the roughly the same thing, the quality of the proposal writing can determine whether you win. Here's an article from our library we wrote with 12 signs of bad proposal writing, and 8 ways to get it right.
  • Why planning the content of your proposal is more important than reviewing it
    Reviews are not the most important thing you can do if you want to improve proposal quality and your probability of winning. I've come to believe that planning your content is more important than reviewing your proposals. Find out why.
  • The secret to solving 14 proposal problems at the same time
    Writing this article was an eye-opening moment for us. It's changed our priorities for what we focus on when developing proposals. It revolves around something we knew was important but we didn't realize just how central it is to proposal success. We were surprised by how the answers to key questions kept pointing back to the same thing...
  • Don't start writing your proposal before you do these 9 critical things
    If you start writing your proposal as soon as the RFP is released and keep re-writing it in search of what it should be, you'll run out of time and submit what you've got instead of the quality proposal you were looking for. Here's something from our library that identifies 9 things that you must do before you start writing if you want to submit a proposal based on what it will take to win.
  • The problem with proposal re-use repositories
    A lot of people would rather recycle their past proposals than create a new one every time. There's just one big, fat, ugly problem with this. And what makes it worse is that it applies to almost every kind of proposal...
  • Thank you for making 2013 so wonderful!


    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.


    Carl Dickson

    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 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.

    Proposal Help Desk
    Contact us for assistance
    In addition to PropLIBRARY's online resources, we also provide full-service consulting for when you're ready to engage one of our experts.

    It all starts with a conversation. You can contact us by clicking the button to send us a message, or by calling 1-800-848-1563.