Integration of Sales and Proposal Writing

Our last installment discussed the concrete steps that should be taken to minimize haphazard and disjointed efforts to write federal proposals. This installment presents additional information on how the sales and proposal-writing process can be integrated. To have success in the federal market, you must have focused sales efforts to build trust-based relationships with federal customers. Successful federal proposals are based on the intelligence gathered from the customer.

Proposal writing should not be thought of as a separate process or discipline. Rather, it should be thought of as the critical final step in the sales process; in other words, it should be the step used to close the sale. The entire process should be one, highly-structured process.

The 10 Steps to Federal Sales:

1. Identify the opportunity and build the customer relationship.

2. Manage the opportunity using a customer database.

3. Complete a Customer Intelligence Questionnaire (CIQ) as you build the relationship and communicate your solution to the customer.

4. Develop selling points based on the CIQ. The CIQ and the selling points will show how strong your relationship is with the customer.

5. Make a Bid/No Bid decision based on the strength of the customer relationship.

6. Prepare your Executive Summary based on the CIQ and the selling points.

7. Develop a proposal outline and schedule.

8. Develop a proposal kickoff meeting.

9. Write a defensive proposal based on the CIQ and the Selling Points. Your proposal will then reflect the strength of your customer relationship.

10. Control proposal versions.

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