Technical Proposals: Three Problems/Three Solutions

Are your technical proposals written and/or reviewed by three or more departments: sales/marketing, technical, and project management? Are they completely standardized? Are they written by one person who grabs content from the RFP, former proposals, and the latest marketing copy? Any of these methods can successfully lead to new clients and profitable jobs if you watch out for these problems:

(a) With multiple reviewers come multiple viewpoints. Reviewer A writes a sentence; Reviewer B inserts “not”; Reviewer C adds two more adjectives; Reviewer D deletes everything; and Reviewer E writes an entirely new sentence that has nothing to do with the original statement. Solution: Never ever have more than three reviewers for a technical proposal (say, one each from marketing/sales, technical, and management). Any secondary reviewers must report to one of the main three and resolve any issues within the department.

(b) Each client must plow through the entire, identical, standardized technical proposal to find answers to the RFP’s most pressing questions. Solution: Use the Executive Summary to respond to issues raised in the RFP, directing the client to the correct sections of the proposal for details. Be sure to address every issue, at least in passing, to make it clear that you understand the RFP and appreciate the client’s concerns.

(c) With multiple sources come multiple contradictions, even with data as basic as the name of your product. It’s MISTERROBOT in Section 1, Mr./Ms.Robot in Section 3, and M2R0B0T in the latest brochure in the appendix. Solution: Periodically read through the entire proposal to eliminate contradictory information.

If your company is struggling to create proposals that are accurate and consistent, clearly and concisely written, and responsive to your clients, contact TWP Marketing & Technical Communications. You have problems; we have solutions.