• Compound Leverage
  • Posts
  • How to Write Proposals 50% Faster with Six Easy AI Chatbot Steps

How to Write Proposals 50% Faster with Six Easy AI Chatbot Steps

Write proposals that are more persuasive and efficient with AI Chatbots.

Compound Leverage

Issue #002

Stoic Wisdom of the Day

"The quickest way to do something is to do it."

- Seneca

Writing winning proposals can be challenging and time-consuming, but it is essential for winning new business. AI Chatbots like ChatGPT, Google Bard, and Anthropic’s Claude can assist you with writing winning proposals faster, better, and cheaper.

In this article, I will walk you through how I use Large Language Model (LLM) chatbots to write quality proposals in six steps. I will also provide tips on selecting the right chatbot and process to meet your unique needs to get the most out of this AI workflow.

Pros of using chatbots in your proposal response process

There are many benefits to using AI chatbots to write proposals. First, large language model chatbots can help you save time on a variety of tasks, including:

  • Bid or no bid analysis

  • Reviewing and analyzing the RFP

  • Data collection and research

  • Creating outlines to respond to your proposal

  • Writing or editing proposal content

By leveraging AI Chatbots in your proposal process, you can free up time and drastically reduce your cost to reallocate time to improve your capture strategy, build relationships, and scale output.

Second, AI Chatbots can help you to improve your responses. Large language model chatbots perform many pre-planning tasks such as RFP analysis, developing a persuasive response, and writing clear and concise language from your acquired market intelligence.

Third, AI Chatbots can help you to scale your proposal writing process. Chatbots are a low-cost and frictionless way to accomplish this goal if your fiscal year strategy involves increasing response volume in a shorter time.

Limitations when using a chatbot to write proposals

While chatbots offer many benefits, they are not a replacement for your human intelligence about the client's needs, pricing limits, and personal touch. To ensure that your proposal is the best it can be, you should:

  • Provide clear, focused, and concise prompts and instructions.

  • Review and edit proposal output to enhance the writing.

  • Add your thinking and expertise to the proposal content.

Now that we have a framework let's start building your process. Below are six steps I use to assist my bid concierge service clients in proposal development.

Step 1: Analyze the RFP and attachments to decide on responding

The first step is to collect the RFP and attachments to copy and paste the text into your preferred AI Chatbot for planning analysis.

Pro tip: If you want to import documents, use Antropics Claude 2. Claude 2 accepts document imports and PDFs (PDFs up to 10MB)

I recommend you import one document with the tasks you want it to perform, along with information about your business, the opportunity, and any market intelligence you’ve gathered. If you are concerned about sharing proprietary data with the LLM, you can disable information sharing in the settings of your AI assistant. Check the documentation of your preferred AI Chatbot for the steps to do this.

Here is an example prompt you can write to get started.

Example Prompt: “You are acting as a proposal writing expert who has won billions in proposals, and you are tasked with assisting your client in evaluating a proposal to decide whether or not to bid, if the bid aligns with the company strategy, summarize the requirements of the RFP, and ask questions to learn about my company and marketing efforts related to the opportunity.

Please ask me a series of questions to gather the information needed to make your recommendations. Below are a series of questions I’d want you to ask me individually.

Question 1 - Ask me to provide you with the RFP provided by the lead. Then, summarize the RFP and the compliance requirements to respond to the offering.

Question 2 - Ask me questions about my business to understand what I do, my value proposition, our company differentiators, capabilities, and my bidding strategy. Add questions that will help you recommend whether this opportunity is a good fit for me.

Question 3 - Ask me questions to make sure I meet the compliance requirements for the RFP.

Question 4 - Ask me questions to understand what I know about the opportunity and what type of interactions about the RFP. Do you know the budget for what type of relationship or interactions I’ve had with the offeror? If I have won any business with the client, if I have past performance that matches the offeror's request if I have participated in pre- or post-solicitation events, RFIs, and how I came to find out about the opportunity

Question 5 - Ask me if there are other attachments you need to review as part of the RFP analysis process. If I say yes, ask for the documents one by one with the prompt you need to summarize the contents.

Question 6 - Ask me if I have any data on past awardees and whether you recommend you recommend I respond to the offeror. Whether you say yes or no, provide why or not I bid. Our philosophy is that we only bid on things with a 50% or greater chance of success.

I attached the uploaded RFP to the prompt (or you can say I have pasted the RPF information below).
Do you understand?”

Step 2: Respond to the AI chatbots questions

After entering the base prompt, respond to the questions your preferred AI ChatBot is asking you. Make sure everything you request is available by text, image, or audio. This avoids stalling the process because you do not have the information handy.

Step 3: Create your RFP outline

Now that your AI Chatbot has recommended you respond to the proposal, you can move to create your outline. Write out your prompt to build an outline.

Example prompt: “Based on the RFP materials you reviewed, write an RFP outline with headers and subheaders for the following proposal sections

[List the proposal sections you want to outline]

I build my outlines in Microsoft Word to include the proposal contents in each section you assist me in writing.”

Once the proposal sections are complete, paste the headers into your proposal template.

Note: Build an RPF template in your proposal response tool to reuse or update the section and subheaders. There are often section outlines that are repeatable.

​Step 4: Write prompts to write or edit proposal content

Begin writing your response or edit proposal prompts. Here are the steps you can follow to begin.

  1. Choose the subsection of the proposal that you want to write or edit. For example, you may want to write the introduction, the problem statement, or the technical response.

  2. Think about the key points that you want to make in the subsection. What is the most important information that the client needs to know?

  3. Write a prompt clearly and concisely communicating your key points. The prompt should be specific and focused, providing the chatbot with all the information needed to generate high-quality output.

  4. Once satisfied with your prompt, copy and paste and submit it. The chatbot will generate a response based on your prompt.

  5. Review the output of the chatbot. Make sure that it meets your requirements. Add your thinking and intelligence to the output to ensure it is tailored to the client's needs and sounds like you.

  6. Copy and paste the revised output of the chatbot into your proposal writing tool. You may need to add additional formatting, such as charts, graphs, and tables. Feel free to integrate the response or move it to your proposal writing tool for further refinement.

Example prompt: “Write an introduction to a proposal for a new marketing campaign for [Specific opportunity and your solution to the problem]. The introduction should highlight the key benefits of the software product and explain how the marketing campaign will help to achieve the client's business goals.”

Use the same process to write or edit other sections of a proposal. It is important to note that the AI Chatbot is not a replacement for your expertise and judgment. It is always important to review the output of the chatbot carefully and add your intelligence and perspective to the proposal.

Step 5: Request a review of your revised proposal content to score and recommend improvements

Once you have revised your proposal content using the large language model chatbot, it is important to have it reviewed by a colleague or mentor. This will help you ensure that the proposal is accurate, comprehensive, persuasive, and tailored to the client's specific needs.

Here is a sample prompt to review the proposal content.

Example prompt: “I have revised the proposal content for [opportunity name] project and want you to review it. I am particularly interested in your feedback on the following:

  • Accuracy: Is the information in the proposal in alignment and stated clearly and concisely

  • Completeness: Does the proposal address all of the requirements of the RFP?

  • Persuasiveness: Is the proposal persuasive?

  • Tailoring: Is the proposal tailored to the specific needs of this offering?

I have attached (or pasted it below) the revised proposal content for your review. Please let me know if you have any questions or feedback.

I’ve included [types of exhibit] in my response. Most large language models allow you to copy images to include exhibits with your prompt.

Make sure you write your prompts to analyze the contents, ask for sourcing of information, and revise or create new prompts to improve the quality of the proposal content.

Pro tip: Give the AI Chatbot examples of your writing style to ensure it is written in your voice and the flow of information is consistent in writing tone.

The more information you can give the chatbot about your writing style, the better the chatbot will be able to generate output that matches your style.

Lastly, ask yourself, does this sound like me? Does it articulate my unique value proposition, is there anything missing, or can it be said more concisely or with a personal touch? A few things you can ask yourself when analyzing the contents.

  • Does this sound like me? Is the writing style consistent with my usual writing style?

  • Does it articulate my unique value proposition? Does the proposal clearly explain what makes me different from my competitors?

  • Is there anything missing? Does the proposal address all of the RFP requirements and the client's key concerns?

  • Can it be said more concisely or with a personal touch? Are there any areas where the writing could be more concise or where I could add a personal touch?

By reviewing your proposal content carefully, you can ensure that it is the best possible representation of you and your business.

Step 6: Move the proposal content to Google Docs, Word, or your proposal writing tool

To move the proposal content to Google Docs, Word, or your proposal writing tool, follow these steps:

  1. Open your proposal writing tool.

  2. Create a new document.

  3. Copy and paste the proposal content from your large language model chatbot into the new document.

  4. Format the document according to your proposal writing style guide.

  5. Add any additional formatting, such as charts, graphs, and tables.

  6. Save the document.

If you are working on pricing, feed market intelligence on budget and past pricing to the large language model chatbot. This will help the chatbot give you insight into the pricing you should propose.

You can also consider offering multiple pricing options in your proposal. This can give the client more flexibility and show that you are willing to work with their budget.

Closing Thoughts

To write proposals faster with AI Chatbots, follow these steps:

  1. Choose an AI Chatbot. 

  2. Provide clear and concise instructions.

  3. Review the output carefully.

  4. Add your expertise.

Here are a few ways you can manage your AI proposal workflow:

  • Do everything inside the AI chatbot: Several AI chatbots allow you to do everything inside the chatbot, from brainstorming ideas to generating final text. This can be a good option if you are looking for a simple workflow.

  • Do this inside Google Docs or Microsoft Office: AI chatbots are being integrated into Google Docs and Microsoft Office, making it possible to write proposals using AI inside your favorite productivity tools. This can be a good option if you prefer to work in a familiar environment.

Don't be afraid to experiment. Try different AI Chatbots, prompts, and workflows to find what works best for you.

Happy proposal writing,
Marvin Harris

Whenever you're ready, here are three ways I can assist you:

 1. You want a prompt design or AI workflow productivity tool or template to get more of your work done faster. Visit my website and view the Productivity Tools section. Click here to send a request. I am always looking for new tools to share. (free and paid)

 2. You want to have a one-on-one session to work on a prompt design or AI workflow to increase your productivity ($200 for one hour)

 3. You want to automate more of your work​ by discussing a prebuilt or customized AI bot or prompt design workflow (free)

Join the conversation

or to participate.