Proofreading, Editing, and Revising

Proposals go through several iterations and reviews before final submission to the customer. Careful and thorough proofreading, editing, and revising help you focus on complying with customer requirements and convey a clear sales message.

Customers interpret proposals and other business development documents as representing your best effort. If they find errors, they may doubt the accuracy of the rest of the proposal.

Most editing, revising, and proofreading can be done using technology and electronic tools. However, a careful review of the actual hard copy of the proposal provides a different view of the document and can often surface unseen, errors or omissions.

If your proposal goes through a Red Team Review (final draft review), the team may have several suggestions for improving the overall content, tone, and message of the proposal. Participants in this review are encouraged to do more than identify errors, omissions, or weaknesses; they should offer specific suggestions for improvement.

Follow these guidelines when revising your next proposal:

  • Review the proposal for clarity and accuracy
  • Edit the proposal for conciseness at the section, paragraph, and sentence levels
  • Revise the proposal for customer focus, compliance, and messaging
  • Limit the number of editors or reviewers to a reasonable number
  • Use team members who are less familiar with the proposal message to provide unbiased feedback
  • Leave adequate time to make necessary adjustments
  • Leverage technology, including spell check, grammar check, and readability tools

Want to find out more about proofreading, editing, and revising? Check out the updated Shipley Proposal Guide or the new Shipley Proposal Writer Playbook: A guide to writing winning proposals in any industry.