How to Write a Bid Proposal (Steal This Free Template)

Cheyanne Lobo

When your team comes across a request for proposal (RFP) or similar questionnaire, you have a great chance to wow potential clients with your response.🤩

But how can you actually stand out through your bid? Keep reading to learn how to write a bid proposal, as well as the 8 key elements of every winning response. Plus, scroll to the end for a handy template to simplify your process—and impress your prospects.

Get started by learning:

What Exactly is a Bid Proposal?

Before we dive into the elements of a winning bid, let’s start with the basics. A bid proposal is document that outlines your organization’s response to a request for proposal—or a request for bid.

In the bid, you’ll be asked to respond to a series of questions from the buyer, in order to determine if your product is the ideal fit for their business. Your bid must contain information like pricing, deliverables, and timing to help the procurement team make their choice. Beware, you could be among dozens of bidders for these big projects. 🤯 That’s why writing a proposal that breaks through the noise is critical for your company’s success.

How to Write a Stellar Bid

A good proposal submission must be clear, yet compelling. Comprehensive, yet easy to digest. The list is practically dizzying. 😵‍💫

Despite the temptation to rush against a deadline, it’s essential to review all requirements thoroughly, so you can tailor your bid to meet the specific needs and expectations of the buyer. But don’t worry, writing a persuasive and personalized response is more straightforward than it seems.

Effective proposals successfully demonstrate these three elements:

  • Technical Competence

    Why do your features, experience, or credentials qualify your team to take on this project?

  • Understanding the Client’s Needs

    How can your organization offer unique solutions to the client’s challenge? (Be sure to conduct competitive research and customize your answers.)

  • Compelling Value Propositions

    How is your solution different from the competition? What sets your organization apart? (Think pricing, feature benefits, or another distinct offering.)

8 Essential Elements of Winning Bid Proposals

Like a great resume, a successful bid proposal should stand apart from the pile of responses each RFB receives. While the template below is a helpful starting point for baseline information, it’s how you present your differentiators that will make your organization stand out from the competition. 💪 A few key elements in an effective bid proposal are:

1. Client Information

The first few fields of a business proposal are pretty straightforward. The client’s information should include their name and contact details. Just like a job cover letter, it’s ideal to address the appropriate individual, too.🔍 Hint: It’s worth sleuthing around on LinkedIn or the client’s company website to understand who should be addressed in the bid proposal.

We have started to put more of a personal touch on our responses by referring to each customer by name and calling out their current issues or headaches. Then, we identify how out product alleviates those pain points.
Stephen Remmert
Manager of the DART RFP Response Team
Sailpoint Technologies

2. Contractor Information (A.K.A. Your Details)

Display your contact information front and center. You want to make it easy for the potential client to know exactly who you are, look up your website, and even review your past work and success stories.

3. Job Name

Include the project title or job you are bidding on. As mentioned, these first three fields are the easiest to get right. But perhaps for that very reason, they’re also the easiest to get wrong. If you’re copying from old templates and past bids, double-check you’ve updated these fields correctly.

💡 Process Tip

Incorporate proofreading and editing into your RFP process checklist. Nothing fails to impress a client more than feeling like they’re getting somebody else’s boilerplate answer.

4. Job Summary: Scope of Work & Key Deliverables

This is where the rubber hits the road. Provide project details, including the scope of work and deliverables. You may also want to elaborate on your methodology here, highlighting what makes you unique so you stand apart from other bids.

“If you use an app like ChatGPT, try playing with it to get inspiration on how to write your proposals better. Let it know the style you wish to apply (professional, friendly, simple, short), what information to add, and which benefits to emphasize. It will give you plenty of ideas.”
Susan Brosh
Susan Brosh
Proposal Manager
Datavail Canada

5. Project Budget: Pricing Information & Payment Schedule

Give it to them straight, and don’t undersell (or oversell) yourself here. Remember that while winning bids doesn’t always come down to price alone, it is a key decision-making factor. So, be transparent about your pricing requirements and estimated costs per the scope of work outlined. Detail the key milestones and payments required for each step.

6. Terms and Conditions

Include any “ifs, ands, or buts” in your scope of work, schedule, or payment information. For example, mention any variables that could impact timelines (such as client decision-making, feedback, or even weather). This section may be a little more legal in its tone, but remember, it’s there to protect you and the client.

7. Project Timeline / Work Schedule

Share a tentative timeline for the project with a proposed start and end date. If your organization is at capacity, you may want to offer a later start date. Again, be realistic here. There’s no point trying to win a bid on aggressive timelines only to blow past your proposed delivery dates.

8. Signature Fields for Both Parties

Signing your bid adds a personal and professional touch. Leaving a signature field for prospective client makes them feel like they’re just one step (or signature) away from kicking off their project.

Bid Proposal Template

Want to improve your bidding process? Here’s a simple project proposal template you can use to create your bid proposal.

Looking for more free proposal templates? Check out our handy resource library ➡️

FAQs About Business Proposals