RE: Proposal writing

Subject: RE: Proposal writing
From: "Le Vie, DonaldX S" <donaldx -dot- s -dot- le -dot- vie -at- intel -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- raycomm -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 9 Jan 2001 07:16:13 -0800

In my experience in my part of the eCommerce world (desiging
eCommerce-enabled web sites), the vast majority of the proposals I wrote
came about because of leads generated by someone on the board of directors
or executive management team who knew someone who knew someone who wanted an
eCommerce web site. At other times, the leads came through the sales
department. But rarely did we design a proposal in response to an RFP. Parts
of the B2B eCommerce world still work on deals over cocktails and a
handshake (followed later by signed contracts) or on the golf course.

The proposal team consisted of a proposal manager (me), web designer, web
developer, software developer, systems architect, and an account executive.
We fully qualified each opportunity first before even thinking about writing
a proposal. Once the qualified opportunity met a certain number of criteria,
we would propose going into the client company and perform a very detailed
Needs Analysis/ROI Study, for which we charged the client anywhere from
$5,000 to $20,000 (all credited toward the final project fee if we were
awarded the contract). Only after the completion of the Needs Analysis/ROI
(and acceptance by the client) did we begin the proposal development
process. We used a "component-based proposal methodology" that treated
certain proposal sections as objects in a database. The method allowed for
reuse and near-automatic proposal generation. We reduced our
proposal-generation time down from weeks to days, and in some cases, hours.
With the graduated opportunity evaluation method and the component-based
proposal method, our proposal success rate exceeded 85%.

These weren't huge deals...most ranged from about $100K to about $2M.

Donn Le Vie

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