Tag Archives: business proposal

3P’s of a Winning Business Proposal

In our previous blog, we briefly mentioned the 3P’s of a winning business proposal and now we get to dive a little deeper. In this blog, you will learn the power of the 3P’s and how it can improve your business proposal.

Writing a winning business proposal is one of the biggest challenges for corporate and small businesses and individual professionals alike. The secret behind writing a winning business proposal versus a document full of capability statements is the usage of the 3 Ps: Problem statement, proposed solution, and pricing information.

Problem Statement

Good business proposals highlight the exact customer problem and describe the problem as stated from the customer or the RFP. You want the customer to trust that you can solve their problem, which you can only accomplish when you understand it. Therefore, a successful business proposal will eloquently describe the customer’s needs in a precise and straightforward manner. An example of a well-portrayed problem statement is below:

“In the social media era, Puffin Media Inc. struggles to transition from traditional marketing to social media marketing. Outdated marketing techniques is disrupting firm innovation and missing a large section of their market. Puffin competitors are ahead of the social media curve and retain a sizeable market share that continues to interrupt Puffin revenue growth.”

Proposed Solution

The core purpose of business proposals is to present a solution to a customer-facing problem. Your proposed solution should be explained in detail so there is no confusion about your solution and why it is the best fit for the customer’s needs.

Let’s propose a solution to Puffin’s problem:

“Puffin needs to leverage social media marketing to attract an unexplored segment of their target market and recapture market share. To do this, Puffin requires social media marketing experts to help position the company on the right social media platforms and optimize an effective strategy for brand recognition. Our social media marketing experts will work with Puffin to understand your value propositions, research the market and customer needs, and align proven research to our marketing strategy. Once we define the strategy, we will create a marketing campaign for the social media channels that resonate with the target audience. Every week, we will review the campaign’s performance, share detailed reports, and adjust based on the results.

With our proven marketing campaign strategy, we know how to grow followers and make connections. Our strategy will grow Puffin’s social media following 150% and engagement rates will increase 6% week-over-week. Puffin will be able to amass brand recognition on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and TikTok by the end of second quarter.”

Pricing Information

Price is the exchange of value or premium in return of a product. Pricing plays a significant role in marketing your organization in the business proposal because your pricing essentially denotes the value that your solution offers. It also helps the customer determine whether they can afford you or not.

Present the pricing information as accurately as possible in your business proposal. For most customers, the pricing information is the deciding factor for contract win because every potential customer wants to minimize cost and maximize profit.

Support the proposed solution with a well-crafted cost proposal that factors in your solution’s value. For a short-term and simple project, you can add a fee summary. Otherwise, for longer, complex projects, include a fee schedule with key milestones and required payment dates.

How to Write a Business Proposal

How to Write a Business Proposal ?

Learning how to write a business proposal is critical to winning new business. In this article, you will learn how to start a business proposal, how to write a business proposal effectively, and how to conclude a business proposal with a persuasive ending.

Mastering how to write each of these business proposal areas will help you deliver a well-structured, well-defined solution for your RFP response. We want to make sure you have everything you need to be successful. Several other areas will be addressed as you read including how to understand the customer, how to evaluate your competition, and how to leverage the right resources to finalize the business proposal prior to deadline.

What is a business proposal?

A business proposal is a solution-oriented document that organizations write in response to a request for proposal (RFP). External organizations and government agencies will solicit RFPs to procure resources for a project or need that they cannot fulfill with internal resources only.

Organizations that receive and respond to the RFP – bidders – submit business proposals to bid on the opportunity to win the business contract. A business proposal contains specific and detailed information including an Executive Summary, Technical Proposal, Cost Proposal, and supporting information like Terms of Agreement and attachments.

How to Start a Business Proposal

Truthfully, gaining new business begins well before an RFP is released. Think about how any other agreement happens. If someone knows you, they are more likely to be receptive to what you have to say or offer. External organizations are more likely to choose partnership with companies that are familiar and offer the right solutions. It is recommended that you build a relationship with the customer and the decision makers over time rather than just rely on your proposal.

Finding the Best Teaming Partners

Grab customer attention right from the start with your business proposal when you show understanding of the customer, the customer background, and the customer’s industry. That means starting the business proposal does not begin with jumping into writing. It starts with good old-fashioned relationship-building, evaluation of the opportunity, and review of the RFP.

Here’s how to start the business proposal once you have the RFP:

Step 1: Read the RFP

Thoroughly review the client-issued RFP. The RFP will contain pertinent information related to the client’s requirements, the contract terms, and the project that needs support. Understand every nuance of the RFP to ensure you know how to write a business proposal. If limited on time, an RFP software with an RFP Parser will save you substantial time.

  • Verify that you can meet the client requirements. There are some areas that may inhibit your ability to effectively respond to the RFP with a business proposal. For instance, if you cannot meet the allotted budget or given timeline, then you ought not submit the proposal. Otherwise, consider partnering with an organization that can help you close requirement gaps.
  • Gather questions to ask the client. Prior to starting the business proposal, get as much clarity as needed on the client requirements, the RFP itself, and any other questions that are permitted to send to the Purchaser or RFP personnel. Some of the questions you may want to think about are:
    • Were there any prior attempts made to address the issue. If yes, what were the results?
    • What are the evaluation criteria for proposal submissions? Specify the evaluation process.
    • What are your concerns about the current vendor?

Step #2: Format Your Business Proposal

Format the document properly according to client and your organizational standards. Think about the font size, color, page usage, outline, and all other components that will make the business proposal readable. You can format your layout before writing the bulk of the business proposal with a proposal management software.

  • Fonts. Generally, serif fonts are business appropriate and grey font helps with readability. Sometimes a client RFP will specify these details. If not, it is recommended that you use Times New Roman at 12 point.
  • Templates. Look for sample proposals used in the industry, created by your competitors, or even client-awarded proposals to get an idea of business proposal layout. There are plenty of business proposal templates online to help you make the proposal look professional.
  • Title Page. Most business proposals will have a title page or cover page. The title page comprises your organization’s name, the point-of-contact’s name, the name and organization we are submitting the proposal to, the RFP number, and the due date.

Step #3: Introduce the Problem

Introduce the client problem as soon as possible in your business proposal. Your business proposal is meant to recognize the problem and detail your solution. Usually business proposals identify the problem in simple and clear language immediately in the Cover Letter, and then again in the Executive Summary. Tailor your introduction of the problem to the client’s industry and the RFP to show your understanding. Then introduce your solution.

  • Establish the context. Introducing the problem helps you establish the context for the proposal. You must remember that the reader and the evaluator read hundreds of proposals all the time. Make it easier for them to qualify your business proposal.
  • Define terminology. Your business proposal must be tailored to the client, which means you should use their terminology and clearly define your organization’s terminology as well. With that stated, keep the business proposal as simple as possible. No need to overfill with industry jargon.

Step #4: Define a Roadmap

Business proposals are lengthy documents. Provide an overview of the business proposal components (beyond just the Table of Contents). Make sure to use the section titles and wording that is outlined in the RFP. A great place to define the business proposal roadmap is in your Cover Letter.

Here’s an example: “Part I of this response to RFP No. ### includes the Executive Summary and Company Background. Part II offers the proposed solution, timetable, and an explanation of benefits in detail. The itemized budget and a set of standard contract terms is provided in Part III. Finally, in Part IV, we summarize our experiences and solution.”

How to Write a Business Proposal Effectively

Research plays a major role before you can learn how to write a business proposal effectively. Research and analyze your product, your market, and understand your objective. Consider spending twice as much time researching, analyzing, and evaluating as you spend writing the business proposal.

Afterward, your business proposal must contain very detailed, yet concise information. For the sake of brevity, represent the solution’s benefits or other lengthy information in bullet points where possible.

Here is what you want to do:

Step #1: Suggest a Detailed Solution with Graphics

Once the problem you are trying to solve is identified, your proposal must show and tell the proposed solution. Try to be as clear as possible and demonstrate the value of your products or services. Rather than just say your organization can do “XYZ”, provide detailed examples and proof points that support your claims. Show the solution with tailored graphics that catch attention and provide a visual way to understand your explanation.

Step #2: Explicate the Benefits of Your Solution

There is more than one way to solve a problem, and your reader knows that. An effective business proposal persuades its reader that the proposed solution is the best because the benefits will be clearly defined.

Benefits that resonate with proposal evaluators include cost savings, professional expertise of the solution team, and outcomes from tailored procedures.

Step #3: Provide Evidence for Benefit Claims

Adding case studies and past performance to your proposal are strong forms of evidence. If there are no previous studies, then observation from prominent people in the industry or previous customer recommendations will suffice. A former customer could testify that you saved their business money with the XYZ solution.

Step #4: Outline Your Solution’s Schedule

Your reader wants to understand the solution and how and when you will implement it if awarded the contract. Explain the timeline for the tasks that need to be completed. It is possible that your schedule will adjust in the future, but that is understood. In fact, explain that your solution is flexible to meet changes to client’s needs. A solution schedule helps the reader understand how solution execution will fit into business objectives. Your outline should:

  • Summarize key milestones. For example, if you propose a solution to remodel a store, then you would include the start date for project planning and execution and when the store will be reopened to the public.
  • Emphasize flexibility. Overexplain that the proposed solution schedule is an estimate that may change to ensure your organization is not held liable for missed milestones.

Step #5: Determine the Budget

A budget or cost proposal may be the most critical part of the business proposal. The reader needs to know if they can afford your services, so you must include pricing and applicable terms like price guarantees. Factor anticipated risk into the pricing. For instance, you can multiply the sum of the predicted budget by 1.5 to account for any unanticipated circumstances. Initial set-up costs, labor costs, supply costs, ongoing monthly charges and maintenance charges should be included in the budget based on requirements.

Just like with your proposal schedule, explain that the budget rates are estimates and account for risk.

Step #6: Include the Contract Terms

Your reader wants to understand your terms for executing the proposed solution. Be sure to include the terms and conditions, including price guarantees in the proposal. Adding legal terms and conditions upfront, such as for the following concerns, will protect your organization from legal issues:

  • How much is being paid on the date of signing?
  • Penalties or interests calculated for late payment.
  • Cancellation policies such as pre-payment penalties.

 How to Conclude a Business Proposal

The conclusion of the business proposal is like the final chord in a song. A song’s conclusion gives the listener the final feeling, one that will be remembered forever. The same impact is true for proposal readers. As we conclude (no pun intended) this article, learn how to conclude a business proposal with these critical steps.

Step #1: Sign Off the Right Way

Once you have carefully shaped your proposal and final points, there are several ways to end a proposal with an appropriate sign off. Summarize the main points, restate the purpose, and finalize your business proposal. These areas should help you write a proper sign off to conclude your business proposal:

  • Past performance. Reference projects and past performance within the same scope as the RFP and explain the success you achieved. Make sure you summarize that your experience in these areas will ensure your solution for the prospective client. For confidential information, simply replace previous client names from the project summary with a an eye-catching description like “Multi-national Financial Services Firm Headquartered in Boston, MA”. You can also summarize information together like this: “Effectively provided Accounting and Payroll Services to 30 mid-sized businesses for the past five years.”
  • Strong team capability. You can certainly explain your team’s capabilities in the meat of the business proposal. Yet, in the conclusion, you still want to drive home that your organization offers a team of fully capable and well-experienced professionals who will oversee the project. Typically, resumes of the internal team and hired resources will be added at the end of the business proposal.

 Track your team’s information and hired resource capabilities to easily add profiles to your business proposal. A proposal management software like Zbizlink maintains a content library, autofill features, and built-in resume templates to streamline this process so that you do not have manage this information manually for every proposal.

  • Your conclusion is your last shot to shut down any possible opposition about your solution. Deliver your differentiators one more. For example, if our business proposal is to assist businesses by categorizing which employees they could fire, then we can expect opposition to rising. At the same time, if we propose to construct the company rebrand, then others in that company might obstruct it. Hence, we need to recognize and then counter any predicted opposition as: summarize the expected competitors, discuss the likelihood and raise counterarguments.
  • Cite your past performance and add references including point-of-contacts from previous clients. It is recommended to add references in table format or however the RFP requires.

Step #2: Review, Review, Review

First, pat yourself on the back for finalizing your business proposal. It is time to review it before submission. After you conclude a business proposal, set the draft aside for a day or two and then review it. Search for typo errors, accuracy of numbers, and missed requirements. Use a search and find feature in a proposal management tool to fast-track review for certain words or phrases. Shorten the proposal if necessary.

Step #3: Submit with Care

Your business proposal must be submitted based on the RFP requirements. Sometimes that is as a hard copy, via email, or via an online portal. Before submission, follow these measures:

  • Review the RFP once more and any other correspondence.
  • Remind your team of submission deadline.
  • Double check that all required components are visible, easy-to-find, and included.

For email submissions, send careful closing lines such as “We would be delighted to have you as a client,”, “We look forward to your partnership…”, and so on.

For hard copy submissions, ensure that your packaging is compliant and neat. Submit your business proposal in an organized binder unless otherwise stated in the RFP. Make sure everything is labeled according to proposal sections.

Zbizlink is a cloud-based software that provides end-to-end proposal support with automated workflows, centralized content libraries, and teaming management capabilities to help you cut down time on proposal response and find the right partners to help you.

When it comes to how to write a business proposal, leverage the right resources and the best proposal management software so that you can repeat your strategy with minimum effort.

The Best Business Proposal Format- Three Things You Must Know

The Best Business Proposal Format: Three Things You Must Know

There is no magic recipe for creating the best business proposal format … but there is a secret sauce with three key ingredients. In this article, learn the three things you must know to create the best business proposal format for each of your proposals and ultimately win more business.

Business Proposal Format

#1 Compliance is King

Compliance requires strict adherence to a prospective customer’s bid requests including a compliant solution and the proposal submission requirements. Proposal writers and teams usually start with RFP software and organizing these requirements in the compliance matrix for easier evaluation.

The matrix will later help you determine whether the RFx instructions were followed, all forms were completed, attachments were added, all questions were answered, and tasks were completed on time.

Sometimes following compliance criteria may make it seem like it is impossible to make the proposal creative. Though the opposite is true, a lot of proposal writers and managers make the common blunder of being creative at the expense of being compliant. In his book, The Shipley Proposal Guide, Larry Newman writes, “If the customer asks you to turn in your proposal while standing on your head, practice standing on your head.” A little hyperbolic, but accurate, nonetheless.

Customers want what they want – no matter how ridiculous. Imagine being asked to create a proposal with a page limit of two pages! Imagine it because it happens, and you would still have to be compliant. That is where the creativity comes in. Regardless of the ask, unless it is outside of your scope of capability, always be compliant.

Proposal formats (font, spacing, table, cover page design, etc.) fall into the compliance category too. Established proposal documents with specified font style, color scheme, spacing, and so on ensures compliance to company standards and to the customer, that’s why a proposal management tool comes in handy. Company standards reign only if the customer does not have any specific business proposal format requirements.

#2 Be Responsive, Not Just Compliant

“If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said ‘faster horses.’

– Henry Ford”

While compliance helps meet the customer’s specified requests and needs for submission, responsiveness helps you meet the unstated needs with clear responses. A good example of this is stated below.

The Customer’s Problem: A chipped wall needs to be repaired and repainted. Explain how you will provide a solution.

A Compliant Solution: We will provide qualified painter, Bob the Builder, to repair and repaint the wall within the specified timeframe.

A Responsive Solution: Bob will visit the site, identify the wall that needs to be painted, take a can of paint and paint the wall. Additionally, Bob will investigate the plumbing issue next door which has caused the chipped paint. He will inform you of his findings and suggest proven solutions for the root cause. Solving the root cause enables you to reduce risk and costs of future damages.

Aim to be responsive when you respond to an RFP, not just compliant. Take the effort to genuinely make a difference to the customer. Ensure that your “value propositions” are valuable. Next, is ensuring that the value propositions are well articulated.

#3 Articulate it Well

Lack of clarity and logical coherence are the two most significant reasons for disinterest in reading a proposal. More than 75% of customers cite these as reasons for reduction in proposal evaluation score. Proposal management software

Improving clarity: Clarity can be improved by avoiding clichés, jargon, long sentences and obscure phrases. Trying to make a proposal fun to read is a bit more strategic than using such phrases. Plus, over usage will make your solution confusing. Just be straightforward and keep it simple.

Enhancing structure: Sentence and content structure impact logical coherence – or the lack thereof. Contents with little relation or no correlation with preceding and succeeding information create confusion and boredom. Reference answers and sections of your proposal as appropriate in a logical sequence to avoid monotony and save time.

Well-articulated proposals must have a logical sequence with great clarity. Barbara Minto’s Pyramid Principle will help you structure your proposal the right way. Zbizlink’s proposal management software helps you focus on the right strategy to create the best business proposal format with smart support. It can fetch compliance criteria from your RFP and repeat the same formats based on proposal-specific requirements. Along with maintaining a compliant, responsive structure with logical coherence, you minimize error and introduce customers to the value you bring with the best proposal management software.

Request a demo to learn more.

New Year, Better Workflows: The Best Proposal Management Tool Alternative to Upland Qvidian and Loopio in 2020

It’s that time of year again – reevaluating what works, what doesn’t, and what is the best proposal management tool for your team. Your hard-working team drudges through mountains of government request for proposals (RFPs), combs through months of previous proposals for SME intel, and patiently waits for updates on the progress of individual task assignment, all while attempting to craft quality proposals that will land renewable contracts.

They’re frustrated… and now the next influx of government RFPs are on the way. The only recourse is to find a timesaving, cost-effective solution.

What’s the best solution for proposal teams?

In today’s technology-driven world, there are enough platforms, devices, and software to take the frustration out of human error – and give complex teams peace of mind. Proposal teams of all sizes and structure have options for relief in some of the industry’s best proposal management software.

The search for the right one does not have to be overwhelming.

You want a proposal management software that provides complete support, is easy to use and simple to learn, and does not cost an arm and a few legs to purchase. Right?

The next step is to decide what tool works best for your team, whether a small, cross-functional team working with local partners, a large team of several in-person and remote SMEs, or a mix of both.

While there are several tools to choose from, there are some that offer advantages for small to corporate teams in different ways: collaboration, content tracking, affordable pricing, and competitive edge.

That said, Zbizlink offers that value and a free trial offer if your team just wants to feel it out.


Up there with Upland Qvidian, Loopio, and RFP360, Zbizlink keeps pace with the industry’s top competitors. Take a look at the features chart to see how competitors stack up.

zzToolCloud/SaaSRFPParserResumeParserContentLibraryAuditTrailSignatureTrackingAutollTemplatesMobilePricingAvailable onWebsiteContactVendorContactVendorContactVendor

Features comparison chart

Let’s talk about these features. Generally, several industry-standard features provide the automation support you need to speed proposal development and team productivity.

This is how:

  • Cloud/SaaS tools are web-based and easily accessible anywhere. Your information is saved to the cloud with unlimited storage and are easily integrated with other web-based tools.
  • A content library increases automation and helps answer FAQs so you don’t have to reinvent the wheel for every…single…proposal.
  • An audit trail enables tracking for all changes and updates to information sections or documents (depending on tool capability). Zbizlink allows both.
  • Signature tracking enables your team to require signature for contractual agreements and provides a safe and secure way to manage contracts right in the tool.
  • Autofill saves lives. You don’t have to worry about rewriting the same content for other required sections. Autofill maps data to fill similar responses where applicable.
  • Templates save time in proposal design and the organization of information. They also set a standard for your team’s proposals. Zbizlink’s templates are customizable.
  • Mobile compatibility enables your team to have 24/7 access to important updates and work seamlessly while you’re traveling.

Now what about the RFP Parser and Resume Parser, and pricing? Thought you’d never ask.

6 ways Zbizlink outpaces competitors

Zbizlink has the features proposal teams need to get the productivity and maximized value they want for long-term measurable results. On top of that, Zbizlink boasts these unique features and benefits:

  • Transparent, Affordable Pricing. Zbizlink is transparent and upfront about pricing – it’s right on the website. To be fair, Upland Qvidian, Loopio, and RFP360 are great tools, but the cost must be so outrageous that they don’t want it listed on any public space. You must “contact vendor” to request a demo. Zbizlink helps small to large companies stay competitive with monthly subscriptions.

Choose your Plan

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Level 1 1 Seat

$199 / month
Level 2 5 Seat

$398 / month
Level 3 10 Seat

$796 / month
Sign Up Today Request a Demo No credit card required.

Zbizlink’s affordable pricing packages

  • RFP Parser and Resume Parser. The next time you have a 50+ page government solicitation document or a lengthy IT resume to review and edit, think of all the time you will save using Zbizlink’s Parser. The Parser acts as a smart RFP software that extracts information and organizes it into manageable sections or requirement-specific templates…in under a minute.
  • Task Assignment Status Tracking. No longer do you have to wonder, “who is doing what and when will they be done?” Zbizlink allows proposal managers and writers to assign tasks based on requirement and employee role. It then gives a full picture of who is assigned to each individual task and how long it takes to complete. The whole team will know who is holding up progress. Imagine how that discourages delays.
  • File Recovery. Zbizlink is one of very few tools that offer easy file recovery. How? Nothing is deleted. As you declutter, files are simply archived — not deleted— and only if you choose can files be permanently removed.
  • Calendar Sync. Every person on the team is busy – at work and at home. Zbizlink’s calendar sync option makes it easy for your team to stay on-track with all upcoming assignments, as well as other calendared priorities. Sync your Outlook or Gmail calendar with the Zbizlink Scheduler and get a complete schedule with automatic reminders.
  • Social Sharing Platform. Stay connected with your professional community. Just one more step ahead, the Zbizlink Activity Panel allows you to share information (company updates, candidate openings, and so on) with your business partners and our robust user community. You can even share internal posts directly to LinkedIn and Facebook.
Social Media

Post or share updates in the community forum

Competitors At-A-Glance

There’s a reason Zbizlink can compete. Upland Qvidian, Loopio, and RFP360 offer viable solutions that help proposal teams and individuals with proposals, just in different ways.

Here are the core solutions in a nutshell:

ToolCore SolutionsCore MessagingClaim to Fame
zbizlink logo Proposal Management Capture Management Resource Management Teaming Management Templates Management Opportunity Lifecycle Management Zbizlink is a dynamic, cloud-based proposal management tool that helps proposal teams automate the proposal process. Finish the proposal 3Xs as fast – so your team can go home. Zbizlink helps proposal teams save tons of time by automating more than 80% of their daily tasks.
qvidian logo Proposal Automation Automated Workflows Customized ReportingQvidian delivers the only proposal automation solution fit for an enterprise, offering security, compliance, and simplicity at scale.RFP Software Delivering a 28% Win Rate Improvement
zbizlink logoRFP Automation
RFP Integration
RFP Response
App Integrations
Success Manager
Loopio’s RFP response software streamlines the way enterprises respond to RFPs, RFIs, and Security Questionnaires. Our platform makes sales content accessible and enables collaboration across the organization.Respond To RFPs, DDQs, & Security Questionnaires 35% Faster
zbizlink logo

Knowledge Management
Answer Intelligence
Web extensions
App integrations

RFP issue and response
At RFP360, we offer the only full-circle RFP management solution designed for issuers and responders.Cut project response time in half. Create twice as many opportunities. Double your pipeline. Boost your win rate.

Zbizlink is a niche proposal management tool that helps small to large companies secure business with the public sector and commercial.

Upland Qvidian is a proposal automation tool that is great for fast proposal completion, but not so good with team communication, opportunity assessment, or resource matching.

Loopio and RFP360 support infosec and the RFP issue and proposal response process respectively.

In the end, it all comes down to what will save your team from the most stress and your company the most money.

Still can’t decide, huh?

Zbizlink offers even more

Zbizlink solutions are ideal for proposal teams apt for government solicitations, collaboration with several SMEs and internal or external business partners, and those that seek affordable, transparent pricing packages.

Proposal Management

Zbizlink Capture Management and Opportunity Tracking

Solutions include, but are not limited to:

  • Proposal Management. Maintain visibility into the full proposal management process with tracked updates and role-specific dashboards. Foster collaborative communication amongst the entire team using instant messaging and an email integration feature. Streamline document sharing and contract sign-off with secure signature tracking, and automate the proposal lifecycle with global autofill, customizable templates, and a content library.
  • Capture Management. Develop capture strategy based on the evaluation of opportunity-specific information and overall opportunity assessment of win/loss metrics and centralized knowledge. Your team makes Go/No-Go decisions faster based on Qualification Scores and partner ratings.
  • Resource & Partner Matching. Simplify recruiting and teaming management with direct invitations, search functionality drilled down to skill, past performance, and unique capability, visibility into robust profiles, and resource sharing. With access to a database of resumes and skills matrices, your team spends less time finding and onboarding qualified talent and can choose competitive resources or partners right in the tool.

Additional Features: Single sign-on, drag and drop editing, customizable dashboards, resume builder, version control, and notifications.


Whichever solution you choose to help ease your team’s RFP pipeline woes, just make sure it helps you win more business, grows your teaming potential, and you won’t need a whole tech support conference just to recover previous files.

Happy Proposal Writing!

Let us know in the comments how you think Zbizlink stacks up as the best proposal management tool.

Get to Know 06 Types of Business Proposals

A business proposal is probably one of the most comprehensive documents you will ever learn how to write. According to Ben Mulholland, there are 06 types of business proposals, but first the basics.

Business Proposal: The Basics

Before start writing any business proposal, one must first understand what the proposal is all about and learn the basics of that proposal.

Any business proposal is a written document that offers a specific product or service to a potential customer. According to Ben Mulholland, in his article: 06 Types of Project Proposals that Get Approved, there are 06 types of business proposals.

  • Formally solicited
  • Informally solicited
  • Unsolicited
  • Continuation
  • Renewal
  • Supplemental

Solicited business proposals are submitted in response to a client-issued announcement and unsolicited proposals are presented to potential customers even though unrequested. These are the primary types of business proposals.

A formally solicited business proposal is prepared in response to an official request for proposal (RFP). This is the easiest way of creating a proposal for any new project since the request for proposal document will usually tell us exactly what the customer is expecting and at times, it also provides directions in preparing the proposal. RFP forms are not to be confused with the project request forms though the former is a way to react to the needs directions and desires, whereas the latter one is a way for the management to request for a project of their teams.

Hence, for formally solicited proposals we should opt for a structured approach to respond directly to the RFP details with the right subject matter experts and the best proposal management software.

Informally solicited project proposals are the same as formally solicited proposals, except the information they are based on is not specific in any written document. Because of this, responding may be harder and more research is involved in analyzing such opportunities, but we at least have a little-jagged starting point. It’s much simpler than a piece of small information that separates formal from informal, that is formal proposal requests have prior details, goals, deliverables, and potentially even methods, while informal proposals are based on any conversation.

If we are asked for a proposal but are not given any specifications, then it is an informally solicited one. The approach for this is not much different from a formally solicited one, but we will have to put some extra work in illustrating the details like the objectives and method, and in evaluating how practical the whole thing is.

Unsolicited project proposals are cold deals. No one asks for this; still, it can provide tons of value for our business. These are the proposals that are thought of by a person who is submitting them and can be inspired by anything like a moment in the employee’s daily work to a casual conversation with the Customer. Perhaps these are called as the hardest proposals to present, as you will have to be extra credible as no one asked for the proposal. Hence we have to be little extra prodding. This means gathering more confirmations than the normal to prove the proposal’s standards. One should take extra care while writing to make sure that it’s more convincing.

Planning for Proposal

Once you are comfortable with what kind of proposal we are presenting, we need to research and prepare for the document content to make sure that we do not miss out on vital information. Though what you write will differ based on the type of proposal we are submitting and the format it is using. In any of the proposal, we must concentrate on the below headers mainly. We have to

  • Define our audience
  • Know what problem the proposal handles
  • Research on the current state of the issue
  • Define the proposal clearly
  • Forecast the effect this would hold
  • Calculate the time and resources that would opt for
  • Moreover, finally, create an outline of the document

Focus on understanding the base facts and covering ourselves for any questions that might counter our proposal. Zbizlink’s proposal management software automates the business proposal process for small to corporate proposal teams.