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Proactive Proposals

Baskar Sundaram
Baskar Sundaram

Proactive proposals are submitted without a formal customer request and can be
used to address unmet customer needs and achieve other sales objectives. Proactive
proposals might be disguised as white papers, analyses, studies, or
recommendations.
Given below are some tips to keep in mind while writing proactive proposals:
Confirm Customer Interest in Your Solution
Write a proactive proposal under the following conditions:
One or more individuals in the customer organization have expressed interest in such
a proposal. You have identified and ideally confirmed this customer’s hot button
issues and the value of addressing those issues.
You have a solution that they will likely value. The immediate value of obtaining a
prompt solution outweighs the cost of soliciting solutions from others. This customer’s
purchasing guidelines permit awards without a competition. Your proactive proposal
is likely to improve your win probability on subsequent bid.
Determine Your Objective and Design Your Proposal Around Achieving It
To develop the most effective proactive proposal possible, the objective must be
defined more precisely. Your specific objective will determine how you approach the
development of your proactive proposal.
Consider two organisational patterns:
If your customer contact requests particular proposal organisation, however informal,
then clarify and comply. If the customer does not request a particular organisation,
structure your proposal in four parts.
Use Graphics With Action Captions to Differentiate Your Proposal
Graphics are one of the most effective and efficient ways to convey persuasive
information. Appealing graphics with clear action captions are more memorable than
prose. Strive to explain why your proposition should be selected using both text and
visuals. Avoid repeating visual information in body text. Include an action caption with
every graphic. Action captions interpret or explain graphics.

Limit attached or appended materials

Attached information dilutes your message. Appended materials of limited interest
waste your preparation time and your customer’s reading time. List additional
materials that are available and explain how they can be viewed or obtained.
Mistakes to avoid
Avoid submitting proactive proposals as an excuse to avoid preparing compliant
proposals that follow bid-request instructions. Do not submit seller-focused
documents which little more than slightly customized sales brochures. Never use
proactive proposals as an excuse to submit descriptions of every service and product
you offer.

Read more tips and guidelines on writing proactive proposals here.

Proactive Proposals (Bite Size)

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