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Why Guided Proposal Creation Is the Key to Standing Out in a Competitive Market

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Amo Chauhan



5 min

I once heard from a client that his company had completed a rebrand. From buildings and signs to business cards and website, they spent millions on updating their logos.

“Then I looked at the proposals we sent out,” he went on, “they were still using the same logo and design from before. It hadn't occurred to anyone to update the document that is often the first point of contact between two companies – the proposal.”

You need to stand out in the right way

There is an irony in the story above that I often see. Companies know they need to stand out from the crowd to win new business in a highly competitive environment, so they focus on all of the variables that determine success: marketing, recruiting, training, innovative solutions and services. They know they have to be the best at all of these things.

Meanwhile, they create business-critical documents in a way that undermines their efforts. They use standard office tools that weren't designed for complex proposal writing and management.  

As a result, they don’t have control over how their teams spend their time, or how their message and brand identity comes across. The final result lacks the clarity, consistency and accuracy that today’s buyers expect.

In other words, their proposals end up standing out from the competition, but in the wrong way.

In this article, I’ll show you why guided proposal creation is the key to getting the edge you need to outperform your competitors and convince your evaluators.

A framework for writing proposals that puts your team ahead of the competition

Proposals are a one-way communication – you can’t counter your prospect’s arguments or resistance to buying your products and services while they read and evaluate your proposal.

At the same time, your prospective client is a sophisticated buyer.

  • They don’t care about your products and services. Their main concern is how your products and services will help them.
  • They need evidence of your capabilities and specific details about your proposed solution before they can decide you're the right choice.

When you copy and paste from old proposals and struggle with design and formatting, it’s difficult to position yourself as the best choice. You could say it's virtually impossible.

Sure, you may have the best proposal team. But when you realize at the last minute that you have missed critical details and information, the odds are already stacked against you.

You and your competitors may be on an equal footing when it comes to expertise and know-how, but what happens if your proposal isn’t as good as theirs?  

Your competition has a way out of this challenge. They provide their team with a proposal writing toolkit that helps them stand out in the right way and convince prospects they are the best choice.

How does guided proposal creation work?

In guided proposal creation, you write your proposal using a tool that guides you through the content creation, offering suggestions and formatting automatically for faster, more personalized proposals.

You eliminate hesitation, speed up progress, and influence decision-makers:

  • Business-specific questionnaires guide content selection while your team works in parallel, saving time for quality content.
  • Tasks and workflow keep your team in sync, eliminating bottlenecks and saving time to focus on requirements and content.  
  • Templates automatically enforce formatting and layout, eliminating last-minute rework and saving time for the next proposal.

How can guided proposal creation help you stand out in a competitive market?

You can make your company stand out in several ways with a proposal writing tool based on a guided process.

1. It helps you create a proposal that is tailored to the client's needs. By providing a step-by-step process, you quickly assemble all of the required information and images required to meet your client's needs.

2. It helps you layout and format a proposal that is tailored to your brand, automatically. Now your proposal is compelling and professional. It’s ready to connect and reverberate with your prospect and make them feel valued. Having a document that is enjoyable to read also helps convey your message effectively, making it easy for evaluators to understand and accept your solution.

3. You can create compelling, professional proposals faster with a guided proposal creation tool. The process is more efficient, allowing you to reclaim your time. Now you can invest in improving your content quality and responding to more RFPs.

With guided proposal creation, you can spend more time focusing on methodologies, innovations, and solution tailoring. You can put your experience in the right place, improving your proposals' overall quality.

This is like using a pre-assembled model kit instead of building something from scratch; it gives you the basic structure, while still allowing you to customize it and make it your own.

Related: Pitch, Bid and Win in under 30 minutes with XaitProposal

Every detail can make you win or lose

The best way to differentiate your proposal from your competition is to answer one question better than they can: Why us?

Your best answer to this question includes your differentiators, i.e., what you offer that is different and better than the competition. These differentiators give you an edge, and guided proposal creation helps you turn them into dealmakers.

In today’s fiercely competitive market, details can make the difference between winning and losing business. As APMP puts it: “In most cases, proposals do not win contracts, but they can lose them in a heartbeat.”

Therefore, you must ensure your proposal contains all the necessary details and is presented persuasively.

By using guided proposal creation, you can create clear, concise, and compelling proposals that differentiate you from the competition and provide solid reasons for your prospect to choose you.

Author picture

Amo Chauhan

Amo has a degree in Applied Chemistry, and 20 years sales experience working in media, adtech and data insight solutions. He enjoys spending time with his children, watching his son play cricket, and cooking with his daughter. He is passionate about powerlifting and most mornings you can find him in a gym lifting heavy weights.

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