Like the devilishly tempting Hostess Ding Dongs treat, a proposal resume cover letter has to be short, sweet, and dense. Unlike that previously mentioned hockey puck of delectability, proposal cover letters can not be mass-produced. To write a suggestion cover letter with nary a wasted word, you first need to understand its strategic significance within the overall proposal.
I’ve spent more than 17 years on proposals and also have written hundreds of proposal include letters. When I started, we all printed out proposals and created huge binders to talk about with reviewers. Reviewers would certainly open the binders to find the proposal cover letter, then an executive summary , and then dig in to the proposal itself. Binders are usually part of a bygone period; there’s been a big electronic shift since I started.
Requests for paperless submissions and the growing popularity of online portals offers altered the strategic significance of the proposal cover letter. It is gone from a “must-have” component, to a “nice-to-have” one. Our background is predominantly health care and insurance. Anecdotally, probably only 30% of requests for proposals (RFPs) within healthcare and insurance request executive summaries while most offer that a cover letter is optional. If they give you an option, take it.
Some on the internet portals don’t even give you an opportunity to include extra documents like cover letters. In such cases, you now have to include the cover letter as part of your proposal PDF. At the same time, RFPs are more complex than ever before, requiring more details in submitted proposals. Issuers expect you to definitely have your content in order, and a lot of it.
Speaking of issuers and what they’re searching for in proposal cover words: They don’t need info that they can find on your website, that they can Google, or that will sounds canned. They want to make sure you’ve reviewed the RFP requirements, and it’s completely essential to hit them with that up front, in your proposal cover letter. Particularly if your solution meets all of the issuer’s requirements. Emphasize this simply and directly.
What is a proposal cover letter?
The offer cover letter is meant to body up your RFP proposal. It’s not a rehashing of the offer or executive summary . It’s an automobile to thank the company for the opportunity to respond, to express, “We’ve seen your business specifications and composed this suggestion because we think we’re the very best partner for you. ” Think of it as the bow on your RFP proposal package.
Whether paper, PDF, or even stone tablet, one thing that hasn’t changed about the suggestion cover letter is that it’s your best opportunity to declare the value propositions that differentiate yours from competitive proposals. These value props will be the threads that weave through your proposal, through cover letter, to executive summary, to answers to queries.
As far as duration, I aim for a page and a half when I write proposal protect letters. Try to keep it below two. Go longer only if a template or particular framework for the cover letter is usually provided by the issuer, which is sometimes the case in authorities RFPs.
Why a good proposal cover letter matters
RFP reviewers will be looking for deviations within responses. Deviations among responders as well as deviations from their (the issuers) requirements.
When you can write a cover letter and state, “After reviewing the RFP, we are assured that our solution meets almost all requirements and detail that fact in our proposal, ” you make a compelling argument meant for reviewers to concentrate on exactly how your proposal illustrates how you solve problems. They’ll notice cover letters that do not mention something that direct, and will review those proposals to consider where the solutions fall short.
When should you create the proposal cover letter?
It’s page one so it should be written first, right? Not necessarily. I’m a proponent of writing the professional summary first, the cover letter second, and then building the proposal. Certainly review the RFP first so you can figure out what it’s asking for. But don’t just jump into a response from there. Take the time to establish the worth props that will make it a cohesive proposal.
Writing the executive summary first helps you formulate your argument and determine which content you’ll need for the proposal. Once you know what you need to become persuasive and how you can resolve the issuer’s problem, then you can certainly develop the three-to-five worth props (I try to boil it down to three solid, unique value props) that you could define in the proposal cover letter.
Who indications the proposal cover letter?
Notice I did not title this section, “Who creates the proposal cover letter? ” The person who writes it and the person who symptoms it might not be one and the same.
If your proposal team is fortunate enough to have a devoted writer, then have them compose the letter based on input from the frontline sales rep. Whoever writes the letter must be fully informed of response strategy and have intimate knowledge of the proposal and executive summary. Strategy, voice, plus style need to be consistent across all documents (cover notice, executive summary, and proposal).
Who signals it depends on a variety of factors. In most cases, the frontline sales person will sign the proposal cover letter. They have the relationship, own the strategy, and likely carried out the discovery that informed the proposal. However , it’s not uncommon for an executive attract such as a VP of sales to sign. The considering being that executive reviewers may appreciate seeing a proposal that’s been vetted with a fellow executive.
There are also those cases when the executive of executives, the CEO, signs the letter. There are two common scenarios for this play. One, the particular RFP may be large enough to represent a significant percentage of a responder’s annual revenue. Two, the responding organization is concerned with appearing fairly small, and in an effort to enhance its stature, seals the particular proposal with a CEO’s unique.
There’s definitely some gamesmanship at enjoy here. Even so, the name for the letter will never overshadow the information of the proposal.
7 steps to write the proposal cover letter
The compact nature of the proposal cover letter makes it difficult to fit everything in one or even two pages. Good writers are valuable assets during these instances. Every proposal cover letter should contain the following areas:
- Give thanks to the issuer (and agent, where applicable) for the chance.
- Recite your understanding of the opportunity to validate that you reviewed the RFP specifications.
- List your own abilities to meet requirements. When you can meet all of them, lead with this fact.
- Explain your value propositions. You are trying to portray that, “This is what we bring to the table, and so we’re the best choice. ”
- Provide a high-level upcoming snapshot of what business will look like after your solution is chosen.
- Determine with a persuasive delivery of the understanding of next steps: “We look forward to the opportunity to discuss our proposal further. ” Display that you’re able plus willing to move forward in the sales lifecycle.
- Sign it from the frontline product sales representative or executive recruit. This should not look like a form letter from the organization in general.
3 common mistakes to avoid
Beyond the errors of not including a offer cover letter at all or writing one that’s too long, proofread your next letter for the subsequent mistakes before sending it.
- Avoid repeating anything through the executive summary or offer. Those documents need to live on their own, similar to the proposal cover letter.
- Don’t waste room with your resume. Something like this…
RFPIO’ ersus growing list of 600+ customers including 40+ Fortune five hundred organizations continue to take advantage of our one-of-a-kind Unlimited User certification model, expanding their usage on the platform to scale organizational success. With RFPIO as their team’ s assistance system, every day they pack in silos by facilitating collaboration and efficiency in their RFx response process …. is boilerplate that may appear elsewhere in the offer or not at all, given that it’s likely available to the issuer on your corporate website.
- If a agent is involved, thank all of them, too. The particular proposal cover letter is also an opportunity to directly address the issuer. This can be particularly valuable when a broker is involved. Some issuers rely on RFP agents to sift through responses to ensure only the best possible solutions obtain serious consideration. Ignore these types of brokers at your peril. As the response and executive overview will address the issuer and the problem at hand, the particular cover letter is where you can give a nod to the broker. Acknowledging their involvement in the process and thanking them for the opportunity as well will at the very least notify all reviewers that you paid close attention to the RFP requirements.
- Don’t guess. Make sure you or someone on your own team does the work and discovery to inform your response strategy. The more you have to guess, the longer the particular letter will take to write.
Proposal cover letter example
Feel free to use the proposal cover letter illustration below as a template for the next letter. One of the many advantages of proposal building software such as RFPIO is the automation from the cover letter process. Don’t misunderstand me, you still have to write it, but RFPIO helps:
- Access and write in the template within the platform (no need to toggle backwards and forwards between a word processor and whatever application you’re using to build your proposal)
- Include identical brand name elements as the proposal and executive summary
- Add the cover letter to the front of the proposal and/or executive summary when you output it for submission
When you use the next example, you’ll need to swap out the RFPIO-centric items with your own company and answer information as well as the custom worth props for that specific proposal. The three value props pointed out in the example are Salesforce integration, data security, plus customer support. For your letter, these will be specific to your alternative and the problem stated within the RFP.
Hi [Issuer(s) first name(s)],
Thank you for considering RFPIO as your potential vendor for RFP automation software. We are cognizant of the effort it takes to make a choice like this, so we very much appreciate the opportunity. First and foremost, RFPIO satisfies all of the requirements detailed in your RFP. That’s illustrated within greater detail in this suggestion. In the meantime, the following capabilities create us confident that RFPIO is the most qualified company and solution for [issuing company name’s] [RFP title].
- Helping businesses improve and scale their RFP response process for greater performance. The time and resource financial savings reported to us from your clients has allowed them to take part in more proposals and provide top quality responses that create additional income opportunities.
- Automating the transfer and export functions, centralizing content for RFPs, and facilitating collaboration among crucial stakeholders.
- Managing knowledge and content through our AI-enabled Answer Library .
- Giving clear visibility into the entire RFP procedure through reports and dashboards—including project status and progress, and analytics for doable insights.
We know that it’s important for [issuing company name] to find a solution with a strong integration with Salesforce. This proposal details RFPIO’s integration with Salesforce , and how it will meet your needs. In addition to that, RFPIO’s open API allows for integrations with many other technologies for cloud-storage, cooperation, and other desired platforms.
We all also take your data security concerns highlighted in the RFP very seriously. You can be assured that your data will be secure and accessible. We work with a variety of enterprise customers plus understand the necessary level of protection that is required. From the beginning, we made it a priority to build security directly into RFPIO’s technology, which we all continue to maintain. We are SOC 2 and ISO27001 licensed, while continuing to pursue other best-in-class certifications to make sure security.
Regarding your requirement for on-going support following implementation: With regards to customer support, our technical and account managers are higher performers. We have an expert group of 110 nimble programmers and developers who are always ready to provide quick technical fixes (that you can request correct within the solution). Our dependable and attentive account team is ready to fully support [company name] should we move forward as your vendor.
On deploying RFPIO, it’s intuitive user experience is simple to obtain used to. You’ll also get totally free access to RFPIO University for all your training needs, now and in the future. Getting started is as simple as loading that 1st project. The whole team is going to be collaborating from there. As your Answer Library grows, machine learning will provide more and more automation possibilities. It won’t be a long time before you see a drastic uptick in proposal quality and quantity of proposals submitted.
If you’re interested in comparing our solution to additional comparable tools, we advise that you visit software evaluation platform G2 Crowd’s top RFP Solutions grid . This information is based on user satisfaction and places RFPIO at the top in all groups.
We look forward to the opportunity to discuss our proposal further. We appreciate your consideration, and wish you luck on your own selection.
You should have it “cover”-ed from here
When you have done your research and client discovery, and you know the value props specific to the RFP that you’ve already evaluated, then letter writing will go fast. The better you know the customer and people involved, the easier it will be for you to tailor the proposal cover letter, the professional summary, and, most importantly, the particular RFP proposal.
To learn more about how RFPIO will help you write better proposal protect letters, schedule a demo today!
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