Proposal Writers

A Proposal is a Special Type of Document

A winning proposal is well written, clear, consistent, easy to read and memorable. The SMA proposal development process achieves this by building quality in from the beginning, not trying to add it in later. It frontloads the work and provides continuous improvement through frequent and incremental reviews.
You must recognize that a proposal is a sales document, not a technical document. The objective is to provide all the information required by the solicitation and to do so in a way that can be scored against the evaluation criteria and, at the same time, convince the reader that you offer the best solution. It is less about impressing the reader with your technical prowess and more about convincing them that they should want to work with you. You know you did it right when the customer comes back and says, “I actually enjoyed reading your proposal!”
Your proposal must satisfy the “7 Cs” shown here to be effective.

The 7 Cs

  • 1


    Does it meet all customer requirements?
  • 2


    Will it make the customer want to buy it?
  • 3


    Could you perform the effort? Do they want you?
  • 4


    Is it accurate?
  • 5


    Across all deliverables?
  • 6


    Is is brief and to the point?
  • 7


    Will the customer get it?

Five Key Techniques to a Winning Writing Style

There are five fundamental techniques that help create a positive writing style:
  • Use the Present Tense

    Pointing out that “we design,” “we build,” “we test,” and so on, is more compelling than saying “we will.”
  • Use the First Person

    Using the first person is more conversational and makes for an easier and more friendly read.
  • Be Positive

    Stating things in a positive context and not using conditional statements conveys your confidence.
  • Avoiding Stilted Phrases

    A friendly writing style is conversational, quantified, and is not rife with superlatives.
  • Use the Active Voice

    This helps make your prose more believable, more direct, and more self-confident.
You can read more about these key techniques to a winning writing style in our book, “The Essential Guide to Proposal Development.” Click here for more details about the book and how to get a copy!
Essential Guide to Proposal Development

Proposal Writers on Demand

We can provide experienced proposal writers with domain and end-customer knowledge for every type of proposal volume (and the list below is not exhaustive!)—click any of the buttons below to access our Talent on Demand (TOD)® platform, create a free, no-obligation client account, and look for the proposal writers you need right now.

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