Templates that recycle text or provide placeholders or form fields will reduce your win rate. The lost sales from a lower win rate far exceed the savings that using content templates or boilerplate might bring. Instead of recycling or automating proposal content, we focus on accelerating figuring out what your strategies should be and how you should position what you will write, and providing inspiration for what to write about. We'd rather make it easier to write a win rate lifting great proposal than make it easier to submit an ordinary win rate compromised proposal.
Introducing proposal recipes
We use recipes to achieve this instead of win rate destroying content templates and re-use libraries that make you less competitive. Recipes provide inspiration. They provide acceleration by helping people decide what to write about. They teach. They guide. They show staff how to incorporate a company's strategic planning goals into its proposals, something that most companies never achieve. Recipes can focus on bid strategies or they can focus on content.
What proposal recipes don't do is provide the writing. They give you everything you need to write except the narrative. They enable your proposal writers to quickly put things in the right context for winning. We use recipes that increase our win rate, and hope our competitors use content templates and re-use libraries.Writing is not what takes the most time on a proposal
Thinking about what to write and talking about it take far longer than the actual writing. Once you have figured out the ingredients, proposal writing is actually pretty straightforward. Recipes accelerate this.
Proposal recipes accelerate and inspire by listing potential ingredients and how they can be prepared. They include options, approaches, strategies, and considerations. But the proposal writer decides which apply and how to best articulate them. They make proposals go faster, while forcing the writers to optimize what they say around the evaluation criteria.
While we freely discuss our techniques, the recipes we've created are only accessible by PropLIBRARY Subscribers.
Recipes for the Management Plan
- Project schedule
- Performance metrics
- Tools, methodologies, and techniques
- Customer involvement
- Supply chain
- Customer support
- Continuity plans
- Capacity issues
- Transition plan
- Quality assurance
- How to write about quality in a proposal
- 38 Change management considerations
- 8 ways to prepare for a contract recompete
- Proposal introduction paragraphs
- How to write a better technical approach
- How to write about experience
- 22 ways to win in spite of negative past performance reviews
- How to use features and benefits to enhance your proposals
- Don't write your executive summary backwards
Recipes aren't just for content. Try a bid strategy library instead...
Since people spend FAR more time thinking about and discussing what to write than actually writing a proposal, the best way to accelerate things is not to accelerate the writing, it’s to accelerate the thinking.
The way to do this is with a bid strategy library and not with pre-written proposal fragments. A bid strategy library can map your strategic plans, value proposition, differentiators, and strengths to potential proposal positioning. It can enable writers to know what points to make and how to organize their thoughts to make them. It can get them past the pontificating and into the RFP/TOPR details. And a bid strategy library is easy to create and use, since it's basically creating bid strategy cheat sheets. A bid strategy library not only increases your volume, it increases your win rate.
- Understanding the 3 ways to win proposals
- Formulating win strategies in just 3 steps
- 16 things to make your proposal about
- 9 sources of inspiration for the points you need to make in your proposals
- Lowest price technically acceptable (LPTA) evaluations
- When the customer tells you what to bid
- Strategies for offering solutions
- 11 topics that drive win strategies
- Confounding the competition
- Winning by fulfilling the customer's goals
- How to tell your story in a proposal
- Escalation plans
- Inspiration for positioning to win
- What matters to the customer about what you are proposing
- 23 topics to inspire features
- Win strategies based on "trust"
- How to win even though your price is higher
- Proving that you can deliver enough staff
- Fixing the SWOT analysis so it will work for proposals
- Bid stratgies based on your customer's aspirations
Recipes for doing proposals The Wrong Way
One of our most enjoyable topics is how to write proposals The Wrong Way. Sometimes the best practices don't apply to your circumstances. Sometimes all you want to do is survive a proposal. That's when harnessing the power of the dark side can come in handy. And we've created recipes for doing just that.
Taking proposal recipes a step further greatly improves your win rate
Add a little bit of planning and structure and recipes transform from a tool into an efficient way to dominate your competition. Recipes can accelerate Proposal Content Planning and help you win your proposals before you even start writing them. The ingredients from your recipes can be inserted into your Content Plans, accelerating their completion and enabling you to improve the guidance you provide to your proposal writers.
Re-use libraries require more effort than they are worth
Creating proposal recipes is easier than organizing a re-use library and it's far, far easier to maintain them over time. All re-use libraries fall into disrepair over time as the value you get from them is less than the work it takes to maintain them. Most companies abandon their re-use libraries after a few years and then re-create them a few years later when people forget how hard it was to maintain. However, you can update a recipe library simply by identifying new questions. You don't have to keep narrative text libraries up to date at great expense. Here's some information that can help you create proposal recipes.
Putting proposal recipes to work
You can use recipes to make sure your proposal writers are asking the right questions. Or considering the right approaches. Or ways to position those approaches. Here are 11 ways to customize your proposal recipes. It's like a recipe for making recipes!
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Carl is the Founder and President of CapturePlanning.com and PropLIBRARY.
The materials he has published have helped millions of people develop business and write better proposals. Carl is an expert at winning in writing. He is a prolific author, frequent speaker, trainer, and consultant.
In addition, the groups Carl moderates on LinkedIn provide a place for tens of thousands of business development and proposal professionals to discuss best practices and network.
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