Structure and Automate Your Sales and Proposal Processes

In a recent Fedmarket installment "Integration of Sales and Proposal Writing," we recommended that you integrate the sales and proposal- writing process. Guidelines, procedures, and templates should be developed for the following interrelated processes and then the processes should be tied together into a single automated system.

Start with the Customer Database and Customer Intelligence Questionnaire. Use Microsoft Access or similar database software to develop a simple customer opportunity tracking system. Include a Customer intelligence Questionnaire as part of the database. The questionnaire should include key questions such as:

  • Who wrote the RFP and who is on the Evaluation Committee?
  • Who do we know at the agency and are they on the evaluation committee?
  • What are the prospective customer's problems and how can we solve them?
  • Who are our competitors and what does the customer think of them?

The overall process should start with the development of a relationship with the customer and end with a winning proposal. Use the Customer Questionnaire to develop Selling Points. Use the Selling Points to develop a draft Executive Summary and detailed proposal outline. Write the proposal from the detailed outline. Guidelines and automated procedures should be developed and tied together using a web-based system. The processes are as follows:

  • Executive Summary
  • Proposal Outline
  • Compliance Matrix
  • Deconstruct the RFP
  • Proposal Schedule
  • Kickoff Meeting
  • Technical Approach
  • Management Plan
  • Personnel
  • Corporate Experience

HTML procedures should link to downloadable Word documents for templates and tables that will become part of the proposal.

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