Proposal Management vs. Proposal Writing

Understanding the difference between proposal management and proposal writing can help illuminate the theories and practices involved with business development and procurement.

Proposal writing, although a critical component of winning contracts, is only one aspect of the overall proposal management process. Whereas the skills necessary for each of these roles do overlap, the responsibilities are distinctly different. And while extensive collaboration is necessary between the roles, each makes a significant contribution to the procurement process.

What Does a Proposal Writing Expert Do?

Proposal writers handle the nuts-and-bolts aspects of composing the proposal itself, along with any required supporting documents.

This individual must have an in-depth knowledge of how to structure and format the document as well as all the components that must be included to ensure compliance. They understand the requirements, best value practices and key strategies or win themes as well as the layout and design that must be followed.

Most important, the writer is a master of persuasion with the written word, and this is where a specialist will make the greatest contribution to your offering. Your submittal cannot simply be a dry, fact-filled document. Instead, it must speak directly to its target audience at the contracting entity, and provide the necessary information to meet, and in some cases, exceed, the requirements to get awarded the contract.

What Does a Proposal Management Expert Do?

Whereas the writer contributes only one component of the process — albeit an important one — the proposal manager oversees the entire process from cradle to grave.

The manager begins by identifying the strategies necessary to create a winning submission, and then collaborates with the team to ensure the process goes off without a hitch.

The manager assigns tasks and responsibilities, provides critical information and follows up to ensure everyone provides a high-quality product. At its core, the proposal manager’s role is that of a leader, coordinating and overseeing those individuals responsible for deliverables. The proposal manager directs the writer, support proposal staff and other team members, and brings everything together to deliver a winning submission.

How Proposal Management and Proposal Writing Work Together

For most offerings, the manager and the writer will work together to develop the story and the themes that will infuse the submission itself. This collaboration ensures that the writer has everything he or she needs to deliver the written deliverables in advance of the submission deadline.

The individuals who fill these roles must each have a depth of experience and subject matter expertise. However, the manager must work a bit like a maestro, allocating resources and coordinating each contribution to the process in a harmonious and inspiring way.

At Meridian West Consultants, our experienced team works in perfect harmony to provide what you need to succeed. All our services are tailored to your individual needs and goals, and scaled to ensure you have what it takes without the overwhelming cost that can sometimes accompany these services. Contact us today to learn more about how our proposal management services can help you grow your business.

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