Using the MustWin Performance Support Tool to get your proposal right on the first draft

Don't ask your proposal writers to hit a moving target.

The MustWin Performance Support Tool enables you to quickly define your quality criteria and put them in front of your proposal writers before they start writing. This produces much better outcomes than waiting for a draft and then figuring out whether you like it or not, all while skipping that part about defining your quality criteria. 

Entering quality criteria

image.pngYou have two options for adding quality criteria to your proposal plan. The first is to type them in. When you click on the “Add” button, you’ll get a popup like this one. Select quality criteria and enter the instruction.

This enables you to define what a “great” proposal is. All those attributes you think a great proposal should have can be typed as instructions so that proposal writers know not only what they are supposed to write about, but how they are supposed to write it and what will be considered acceptable

You can accelerate entering your quality criteria by using the ones we’ve already entered. When you click on the magnifying glass icon, you can view our Proposal Recipes and select “Quality Criteria.” Pick any that are relevant. You can customize them if you want to get them just right for your needs. But basically, it’s click-click-click and you’ve got quality criteria.

Thinking things through

The MustWin Performance Support Tool helps you think through what your proposal should contain. This includes all of the key topics that we divide the screen into. You can include questions in all the different types shown in the image above. How you guide your proposal writers determines what you’ll get back from them. Use the MustWin Performance Support Tool to put the right guidance in front of your proposal writers.

Getting guidance to your proposal writers and having a quick and easy way to ensure it gets followed used to be hard. But the MustWin Performance Support Tool not only makes the mechanics of this easier, it makes the thinking part easier by prompting you with key topics and enables easy use of the hundreds of ingredients contained in our Proposal Recipe library. 

But what about the writing?

Once you’ve articulated what the proposal should contain, your proposal writers now have a better idea of not only what to write, but how to write it. They know what they need to do to pass the review. They know what they need to do to get it right on the first draft. They are not faced with a moving target, which is what it’s like when your reviews aren’t based on written quality criteria and are full of surprises.

image.pngThey can ask questions if there’s anything they don’t understand, or if they need additional input. They can filter the instructions so they only see the quality criteria (or any of the other instruction types in the image above).  They can approach the writing as a process of elimination, checking off each instruction fulfilled as they go. They can even report their progress with a simple click of the red/yellow/green indicator next to each instruction.

Proposal writers can compare what they are writing to what it is supposed to be. By giving them instructions and quality criteria, you shape the proposal before it gets to the review. You enable proposal writers to self-assess.

Get a little validation

The MustWin Performance Support Tool not only enables you to put guidance in front of your proposal writers, it enables you to validate whether they followed the instructions. Reviews can assess whether each instruction was followed using the same quick and easy check of the red/yellow/green indicator.

Not only do your writers get to see what is expected of them so they can get it right on the first draft, but your reviews can be more than just a subjective judgment and actually validate that the proposal is right, based on your quality criteria. This is what people who are serious about winning need to do.
 



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Carl Dickson

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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