Proposal Strategy

A proposal strategy is a plan to write a persuasive, winning proposal that sets you apart from your competitors. Proposal strategy must align with the capture strategy in order to create win themes that tell the story.

Strategy might be the most misused word in business. Strategy might refer to a position, an action, the entire solution, an aspect of the solution, or a favorite catch phrase or slogan.

To win business most effectively, you must align your business, market, capture, sales, and proposal strategies and tactics. Misaligned or confusing strategies prompt customers to doubt your message. Customers must know why they should buy from you and not your competitor. Any proposal strategy that does not offer a discriminating solution is not complete—you must convey value to the customer.

How do I create a winning proposal strategy?

  • Integrate capture/win strategy and proposal strategy. Tell the story.
  • Define and agree to use common definitions of terms related to strategy (i.e. discriminators, differentiators, responsiveness).
  • Identify the economic buyer, the users, and the technical buyers; then prioritize their hot button issues.
  • Conduct a Bidder Comparison Analysis to discern how the customer organization perceives your solution versus competitive solutions. Identify your strengths and gaps.
  • Identify your value proposition and how you will present it in your proposal. Make it crystal clear.
  • Draft specific strategy statements that define both what you will do and how you will execute better than your competitors.
  • Use trade-offs to validate your approach and ghost the competition.

Read more about proposal strategy in the Shipley Proposal Guide.