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The Ultimate Proposal Management Checklist

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Cheryl Smith



2 min

Here we will read some of the tips that Cheryl Smith's shares with us when it comes to creating The Ultimate Proposal Management Checklist.

The internet, personal computer, and email have revolutionized the way we work proposals. We no longer have to wait to access and share information, making team communication a lot less time-consuming and frustrating. Some things, however, remain the same:

Set-Up Your Compliance Matrix

The matrix is your first step to building a comprehensive proposal content plan which will drive roles, tasks, and timeline.

It helps you, and your team, untangle requirements that affect various sections, figure out where to address them in the proposal, and understand and validate compliance requirements are addressed and met.

• What requirements must be addressed in each section?
• What requirements must be addressed across different sections?
• Validate that all requirements have been addressed in each section.
• Validate that all requirements have been addressed across sections.

The matrix is a simple table or spreadsheet; each RFP section gets a column, and each row links each proposal section with one or more requirements.


Outline the Proposal and Annotate Tasks

Proposals are persuasive documents; structured logical written arguments that lay out everything in favor of your solution. Most teams rely on their subject matter experts - who are used to writing materials that inform and explain, such documentation or training materials, rather than persuade - to write.

Outlining and annotating your proposal for your experts gives them the direction and details they need to write persuasively.

Whether you outline and annotate every chapter down to the last detail, or just provide a few notes on win themes and discriminators, it will give your experts a sense of direction and an idea of what you expect during reviews.

Clearly Define Roles and Tasks

Defining roles, responsibilities, and tasks up front will set the team’ s expectations, establish trust, and help keep the chaos to a minimum.

Prior to the Kick-Off Meeting, set a meeting with the executive team and appropriate managers to establish roles, responsibilities, and tasks. They will know who has the expertise and who is available. They will help you staff the proposal so you can establish the schedule and clear the way for the Kick-off.

Build Your Calendar Roadmap

A calendar road map of tasks, milestones, and deadlines is a great way to visualize the plan, get the team on the same page, and establish priorities. People are just more likely to step up when they understand where their piece of the puzzle fits in the big picture. And they’re more likely to keep your proposal deadlines “ top-of-mind” when they appear on their business calendar.

Use Visuals to Tell Your Story

Think about your audience. When they are evaluating a proposal, they’re time is spread thin. Even the most engaged reader’s mind will wander when they read pages and pages of text, no matter how compelling. They know what’s coming – long pages of text and they’re not excited. Done right and when fully supported by the text proposal visuals are 38% more likely to be remembered by evaluators.

Download the complete whitepaper below here to read on The Ultimate Proposal Management Checklist

Ultimate Proposal Checklist

Author picture

Cheryl Smith

Cheryl Smith is our Senior Content Writer. She has additionally been writing and managing proposals since 1998. Shipley trained, she has helped establish proposal centers and advised on capture strategy, coached orals teams and lead marketing, communications and knowledge management programs. Cheryl is a graduate of The George Washington University with degrees in Theatre, Communications and Literature. When she’s not sharing her passion for work, she loves drawing, writing, cooking and exploring the Virginia woodlands with her husband, their dog Chase and the fuzzy guests they host for Rover.

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