Do you spend hours, even days writing proposals for complex projects, only to never win the bid?
Your company may be a large consultancy with 1000s of employees bidding for multi-million dollar contracts or an SME business applying for smaller yet still complex engineering projects. Regardless of size, bidding for contracts can be time-consuming for your business, and often win rates are low, meaning the return on investment is not good enough.
But you have to be in it to win it. The clear goal is to make the proposal building and proposal management process much faster and much more efficient. This brings obvious tangible benefits:
- You can continue to focus on your core business and business development
- The quality of work you receive will be guaranteed
- You can rest assured that your teams’ tender submissions are consistent and accurate
What are the steps needed to create a comprehensive project proposal?
Writing a proposal for a complex engineering project requires careful planning, organization, and attention to detail. These basic steps that you need to follow to create a comprehensive proposal show just how much work is involved.
- Define the project scope and objectives: Clearly define the problem you are trying to solve and the outcomes you hope to achieve.
- Identify the stakeholders: Determine who will be affected by the project and who will be involved in its implementation. This may include project sponsors, end-users, regulatory agencies, and other stakeholders.
- Develop a project plan: Create a detailed project plan that includes timelines, milestones, budgets, and resources required to complete the project successfully.
- Conduct a risk assessment: Identify potential risks and challenges that could impact the project’s success and develop strategies to mitigate them.
- Outline your approach: Describe the methodology you will use to complete the project, including any unique approaches or tools you will use.
- Describe your team and their qualifications: Provide information on your team’s experience, qualifications, and expertise related to the project.
- Provide a detailed budget: Outline the costs associated with the project, including any required materials, equipment, or personnel.
- Describe the expected outcomes: Clearly state the expected outcomes of the project and how they will benefit the stakeholders.
- Include appendices: Include supporting materials such as diagrams, charts, or technical specifications to provide additional context.
- Review and refine: Review your proposal multiple times to ensure it is clear, concise, and free of errors. Seek feedback from colleagues or subject matter experts to refine your proposal further.
And you need to do all this before you even win the bid, meaning this effort often goes unbilled. Any efficiencies you can make throughout this process will save you time and therefore directly impact your bottom line.
How to make your proposal writing more efficient
Writing business proposals is a time-consuming and challenging process, particularly for project managers and engineers who often have to do the work as well as win the work! Here are some tips to alleviate the pain of crafting and sending stunning business proposals and increase your chances of winning new business:
- Use proposal software: Consider using proposal software that can streamline the process of creating and sending proposals. These tools often have pre-built templates and allow you to customize the proposal quickly.
- Develop a proposal template: Create a proposal template that includes standard content such as your company overview, services, and pricing. This can save you time when creating proposals and ensure consistency across proposals. Although having a proposal template can save time, be sure to customize each proposal to fit the specific needs of the client. Tailor the content to their needs and show that you understand their unique challenges and objectives.
- Keep it concise: Avoid using overly technical jargon or long-winded explanations. Keep the proposal concise, clear, and easy to read.
How to write a winning proposal
To win the bid, think about the fact your proposal will be compared side-by-side with others. Therefore, your proposal needs to showcase your company and highlight its key differentiators and unique selling points.
– Give the client a reason to believe in your company
Start with a strong introduction and begin your proposal with a compelling reason to believe. This needs to clearly and succinctly explain who your company is, what you do, and why you are the best choice for the project.
Don’t forget to describe your company’s values and mission. If you include information about your company’s values and mission you are helping the client understand what drives your company and how you approach business.
– Past Experience
One of the most important pieces of your proposal is to evidence that you know what you are doing and that you have the right experience. Highlight your expertise and past experience by showcasing your company’s expertise and skills in the particular field you are bidding for. Highlight any relevant certifications, awards, or accolades your company has received and provide case studies and references. Testimonials and reviews from past projects demonstrate your company’s ability to deliver quality work and meet client expectations.
– Show you understand the client
You need to show that you understand the client’s needs. Take the time to thoroughly get to grips with the client’s scope of work, objectives, and challenges. Use this information to tailor your proposal and show how you can provide a solution that meets their unique situation. What benefits will the client receive from working with your company? How will you help them achieve their objectives?
You then need to show how you are uniquely placed to fulfill this scope of work. Clearly explain what sets your company apart from the competition. What makes you different? Is it your innovative approach, specialized expertise, or competitive pricing?
– Give the right impression with high standards
It’s important to note that the proposal should be well-organized, concise, and professional-looking to give a good impression. Proposal writing software such as Proteus should include templated content and integrations to help you. Use visuals such as graphics, charts, or images to help illustrate your points and make the proposal more engaging.
Use a clear and compelling writing style that engages the reader and makes it easy to understand your proposal. Avoid technical jargon and long-winded explanations. Be sure to proofread and edit your proposal before sending it to the client. Typos and errors can make your proposal look unprofessional and undermine your credibility.
– Make it easy for the client to see the value
Clearly articulate your company’s value proposition. What benefits will the client receive from working with your company? How will you help them achieve their objectives? Be sure to provide a clear and detailed breakdown of your pricing to show how your solution offers good value. Using a work breakdown structure hierarchy of tasks like in Proteus makes complex projects easier to cost and schedule.
About Xergy and Proteus
Xergy Group’s Proteus work management solution is designed to work with your existing systems and to scale and evolve as your business evolves. Created by project management leaders, for the diversified engineering consultancy sector, Proteus delivers an end-to-end work management software platform with detailed workflows from the early opportunity stage through to project delivery, compliant with common project management frameworks and ISO standards.
How to get Proteus
Proteus’ project management software is a cloud-based system designed for businesses of all sizes to handle projects of unlimited complexity. Each Proteus feature is aimed at making bottom-line improvements by improving proposal win rates, resource utilization, streamlining workflows, providing quick and efficient access to resources, and reducing overheads.
One of the unique advantages of Proteus is that we offer a free onboarding consultation service to ensure the company account is set up according to your company’s needs. This makes getting your company up and running on Proteus quick and easy. Get your free Proteus demo here.
Proteus operates under a software as a service (SaaS) model costing $35 per user per month. See Proteus pricing for more info. Billing is monthly or annually with two months free if paid annually.
We designed Proteus to be simple, and that means you can get up and running on Proteus without an IT team or support from a programmer. You will want to spend a bit of time configuring the admin console so that you have everything set up to suit your company structure, but it’s very intuitive, and you don’t need a PhD in IT. However, we want you to get the best out of what is a brilliantly powerful tool, so don’t hesitate to ask for our support. We have a team of customer success experts who are ready to help you with the configuration process, so get in touch today by completing the form below.