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A proposal is an essential marketing document that helps cultivate an initial professional relationship between an organization and a donor over a project to be implemented. The proposal outlines the plan of the implementing organization about the project, giving extensive information about the intention, for implementing it, the ways to manage it and the results to be delivered from it.
There are two types of proposals 1)Research Proposal 2)Business Proposal
A research proposal is a document written by a researcher that provides a detailed description of the proposed program. It is like an outline of the entire research process that gives a reader a summary of the information discussed in a project
A business proposal is a written offer from a seller to a prospective buyer. Business proposals are often a key step in the complex sales process—i.e., whenever a buyer considers more than price in a purchase. The professional organization devoted to the advancement of the art and science of proposal development is The Association of Proposal Management Professionals.
A proposal puts the buyers requirements in a context that favors the sellers products and services, and educates the buyer about the capabilities of the seller in satisfying their needs. A successful proposal results in a sale, where both parties get what they want, a win-win situation.
There are three distinct categories of business proposals: 1)Formally Solicited 2)Informally Solicited 3)Unsolicited
Solicited proposals are written in response to published requirements.It contains. Request For Proposal(RFP):RFPs provide detailed specifications of what the customer wants to buy and sometimes include directions for preparing the proposal, as well as evaluation criteria the customer will use to evaluate offers. Customers issue RFPs when their needs cannot be met with generally available products or services.
Request for Quotation (RFQ):Customers issue RFQs when they want to buy large amounts of a commodity and price is not the only issue-- for example, when availability or delivering or service are considerations. Invitation for Bid (IFB):Customers issue IFBs when they are buying some service, such as construction. The requirements are detailed, but the primary consideration is price. For example, a customer provides architectural blueprints for contractors to bid on.
Request for Information (RFI):Sometimes before a customer issues an RFP or RFQ or IFB, the customer will issue a Request for Information (RFI). The purpose of the RFI is to gain "marketing intelligence" about what products, services, and vendors are available. RFIs are used to shape final RFPs, RFQs, and IFBs, so potential vendors take great care in responding to these requests, hoping to shape the eventual formal solicitation toward their products or services.
Informally solicited proposals are typically the result of conversations held between a vendor and a prospective customer. This type of proposal is known as a sole-source proposal. There are no formal requirements to respond to, just the information gleaned from customer meetings. These proposals are typically less than 25- pages, with many less than 5 pages.
Unsolicited proposals are marketing brochures. They are always generic, with no direct connection between customer needs or specified requirements. They are often used as "leave-behinds" at the end of initial meetings with customers or "give-aways" at trade shows or other public meetings. They are not designed to close a sale, just introduce the possibility of a sale.
Proposal management is an inherently collaborative process. It often consists of the following basic roles and responsibilities:1) Creator - responsible for creating and editing content.2) Editor - responsible for tuning the content message and the style of delivery, including translation and localization.
3) Publisher - responsible for releasing the content for use.4) Administrator - responsible for managing access permissions to documents and files, usually accomplished by assigning access rights to user groups or roles.5) Consumer or viewer - the person who reads or otherwise takes in content after it is published or shared.
Five tips for creating a efficient business proposal.1) Know What Your Customer Needs: Your proposal shouldn’t be centered around your fantastic products or benefits of working with your firm. It should focus on addressing your customer’s needs.
2) Keep It Simple: You should stick to the basic templates. You’ll need to include An overview of your company The goals you want to help the client achieve An outline of how you’ll achieve those goals A timeline for getting it done Pricing Policies, such as cancellation Contact information
3) Get Professional: You can modify any number of business proposal templates online, or you can use software like QuoteBase, which allows you to modify proposal modules and email the finished product directly to your clients.4) Keep Them on Their Toes: Business proposals don’t have to be boring. Don’t be afraid to inject a little of your own personality into it (as long as it’s professional). Graphics, too, can spice up a proposal and keep it interesting.
5) Re-Read it for Errors: So many salespeople pen off a proposal and hit “send” without spell-checking or reading through it one last time. Read it to make sure it’s easy to understand. Keep sentences short. Make sure you define any terms the reader might not know. After you present the proposal, make sure you’re available to answer questions and close the sale!