Introduction:

A website proposal is a detailed outline for a website project. When done right, sales proposals are incredibly powerful sales tools. They can turn clients that are only partially interested in your services into ones that are convinced nobody else can match your ability to deliver on the job.

They tend to include the website project goals, the specific steps that will be undertaken in the project, anticipated timelines, and estimated costs.

Use this 'Website Proposal Template' checklist, alongside the proposal document you are planning to submit, to let your potential client know exactly what outcomes you intend to achieve, how you’re going to achieve them, and how much it’s going to cost them. 

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Enter checklist details

Enter the following checklist details in the fields below. 

Enter client details

Enter details about the client who will be reviewing your proposal in the fields below. 

Pre-Proposal Tasks:

Study the RFP criteria

Upload the request for proposal guidelines or brief in the field below and study them carefully.

They may specify evaluation criteria and allocate a certain number of points to specific sections or components. 

Missing or incomplete items often result in outright rejection or at least a lower score, which will limit your chances of success. 

If there are many new requirements, in addition to those included in this checklist, consider updating this checklist with each requirement as a new task.

Read this to find out how. 

Research the client

The more you know about the client, the better you can tailor your proposal to meet them and their requirements.

Look at the following sources of information to find out more about your client:

  • 1
    Their website
  • 2
    LinkedIn profiles
  • 3
    Annual reports
  • 4
    Success stories of previous grants
  • 5
    Staff biographies

Answer the following questions to make sure you know your client inside out: 

List integrations needed for the project

From discussions with the client, and after reviewing the brief / RFP, list the integrations needed for the website project below: 

If documentation is needed for the integration, upload it below or provide the website URL to the documentation 

Meet with the development team

Review the brief/ RFP and discuss the key requirements with the development team:

{{form.List_Key_Requirements}}

Answer the following questions to establish how they plan to approach the project and meet the key requirements: 

Review all integration documentation and discuss all the following integration requirements: 

{{form.Website_Integrations}}

{{form.Integration_Documentation}}

{{form.Integration_URL's}}

Ask the team to provide time estimates for the work discussed: 

Meet with the design team

If the website project needs design time, meet with the design team to discuss all requirements and ask them to provide an estimate for the time needed to design the following: 

Templates needed: {{form.What_templates_are_needed?}}

Functionality needed: {{form.What_functionality_is_needed?}}

Features needed: {{form.What_features_are_needed?}}

Forms needed: {{form.What_forms_are_needed?}}

Key requirements from the brief/RFP: {{form.List_Key_Requirements}}

Brainstorm additional features, functionality and templates

You've established how you will meet the client's requirements, now it's time to see where you can add value. 

Brainstorm potential ideas with the design and development teams to see what additional features, functionality, and templates you could design and build to set your proposal above the others. 

Conduct a competitor analysis

Research your competition to identify potential weaknesses or gaps. Record your findings below and use this information to help inform your GAP and SWOT analysis. 

Conduct a GAP analysis

Conduct a GAP analysis to assess the current situation as it is, and the desired situation if your proposal was to be accepted.

Conduct a SWOT analysis

Identify and record the strengths and opportunities that will exist if your proposal is accepted. 

Identify and record the potential weaknesses and threats that may exist if your proposal is rejected. 

Define the problem/need

Using the information gathered in tasks 5 - 13, think about the purpose of your proposal.

Answer the following questions to get your thoughts together so you can begin writing your proposal with some clear direction. 

Plan your proposal

Proposals are often organized into distinct sections. These sections can have different titles depending on the guidelines specified by the organization, but they frequently serve the same purposes.

Review the guidelines to see if they have specified a structure to follow.

If they have asked you to follow a specific structure, make sure you have a plan for each section they have requested.

If they haven’t specified a structure, list out what you might include in the following sections:

Choose a title

Your proposal title needs to be catchy, descriptive, informative and pre-dispose the reader favorably towards the proposal.

Brainstorm potential title ideas and record them below.

Run each title option through the below criteria and choose the final title by selecting the title which best meets the criteria. 

Record your final title in the field below. 

  • 1
    Is it concise?
  • 2
    Is it descriptive?
  • 3
    Is it informative?
  • 4
    Is it catchy?
  • 5
    Does it predispose the reader, favorably, towards the proposal?

Add this to your proposal document cover sheet 

Writing the Proposal:

Write your introduction

Your introduction should state exactly why you're sending the proposal and why your solution is the best for the prospective client.

After reading your introduction, even if they don't read the full proposal, the prospect should have a clear idea of how you can help them. This is where you should present the case for why you are the right company for the job, and give the reader the key message of the proposal. Focus on the conclusions you want the reader to reach after reading it.

This is what you planned to include in your executive summary: {{form.Introduction}}

Make sure your introduction includes the following: 

  • 1
    A statement of the problem/need for your project
  • 2
    The purpose of project
  • 3
    Project goals or objectives
  • 4
    The significance of the project

Write your company overview

Your company overview should include vital details about your company. It should describe the vision and direction of the company so the reviewer can develop an accurate impression of who you are.

This is what you planned to include in the company overview: {{form.Company_Overview}}

As a guide, make sure the company overview section in your proposal document answers the following questions: 

  • 1
    Where are you located?
  • 2
    How large is the company?
  • 3
    What do you do as a company?
  • 4
    What do you hope to accomplish as a company?

Write your need/problem statement

This section provides you with the opportunity to show the client that you have a clear understanding of their needs or the problem they need help solving.

Develop a clear, concise description of the problem or situation in the need/problem statement section of your proposal document.

You must convince the client that what you propose to do is essential and that your organization is the right one to do it.

Use the competitor, SWOT, and GAP analysis to explain why your proposal is important. 

Competitor analysis findings: {{form.Competitor_Research_Findings}}

GAP analysis findings: {{form.GAP_Analysis_Findings}}

Strengths & opportunities: {{form.Strengths_&_Opportunities}}

Weaknesses & threats: {{form.Weaknesses_&_Threats}}

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.Need/Problem_Statement}}

Answer these questions to help pinpoint your problem statement: 

  • 1
    How is it responding to a gap in resources, knowledge, or opportunity that needs to be filled?
  • 2
    How will the project make a wider, positive impact?

Define the project scope

Describe the scope of the project. What will you design and build for the client, based on the brief/RFP, the goals of the website and the needs of the users?

Think about: how your proposed project will meet the goals of your client's website and satisfy the needs of their users?

Make sure your project scope is customized to the client's needs so they know you've created this proposal specifically for them.

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.Project_Scope}}

These are the templates, features, functionality, forms, and integrations that you and the team believe are needed for the website project: 

Templates: {{form.What_templates_are_needed?}}

Functionality: {{form.What_functionality_is_needed?}}

Features: {{form.What_features_are_needed?}}

Forms: {{form.What_forms_are_needed?}}

Integrations: {{form.Website_Integrations}}

These are the time estimates given by the team: 

Design: {{form.Design_Time_Estimate}}

Front end time: {{form.Front_End_Development_Time_Estimate}}

Back end time: {{form.Back_End_Development_Time_Estimate}}

Testing: {{form.Testing_Time_Estimate}}

To make sure your project scope is clear, concise and customized to the client's needs, answer the following questions before you write up this section in your proposal document: 

Map out the site structure

Include a guide of what the structure of the site will look like once the project has been completed. This can be done via wireframes or a site map. 

Add additional features

In this section of your proposal, describe any additional features, functionality, and templates you could design and build that will go above and beyond the requirements and add value to the client. 

These are the additional features you and the team discussed during the planning stage: 

{{form.Additional_Features}}

Identify the goals & outcomes

In the goals and outcomes section of your proposal document, define what will occur as a result of your project - in terms of goals and outcomes.

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.Goals_&_Outcomes}}

Proposal goals and outcomes should be SMART—specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timely.

Answer these questions to help shape your goals and outcomes:

Create a timing plan

Use the below time estimates gathered during the planning section to create a detailed project plan, clearly showing the timings of the project. 

Design: {{form.Design_Time_Estimate}}

Front end: {{form.Front_End_Development_Time_Estimate}}

Back end: {{form.Back_End_Development_Time_Estimate}}

Testing: {{form.Testing_Time_Estimate}}

Don't forget to include time for deployments, client review, client testing, bugfix and updates.

Confirm the budget

Provide a breakdown of all direct and indirect costs involved in the budget section of your proposal.

Include costs that directly relate to the benefit being created, including development, design, and testing time. 

Include indirect costs that are not directly identified with the project benefits, including project management and client management. 

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.Budget}}

Include relevant case studies

In your proposal document, be sure to include relevant case studies, awards, and client testimonials that highlight your experience with similar projects.

This will demonstrate why they can trust you to deliver the project and prove why you're the best choice.

This is what you planned to include in this section: {{form.Case_Studies}}

Clarify your terms of agreement

Your terms of agreement are essentially a summary of what you and the client are agreeing to if they accept your proposal. Make sure you go into specific detail about the project timeline, pricing, and payment schedules.

Upload your terms of agreement below and make sure you send them to the legal team before adding them to the proposal.

Include a key CTA

Figure out the appropriate call to action for the client and project, and end your proposal with it.

As an example, you could state your desire to take the conversation further. Or request an eSignature to initiate the project.

Pre-Submission Tasks:

Check the aesthetics

Read through your proposal and check for the following aesthetic/formatting errors: 

  • 1
    Is there a title page with all the necessary information describing this document?
  • 2
    Does the organization of the proposal enhance the content and make it easy to find/avoid types of information?
  • 3
    Are the margins consistent?
  • 4
    Is pagination accurate?
  • 5
    Did you use a consistent type-style?
  • 6
    Did you use sign-posting and color coding where appropriate?
  • 7
    Have you used visual aids such as charts, tables, diagrams where appropriate?

Check the structure

Read through your proposal and check it follows the EXACT structure stated in the guidelines.

If the guidelines do not specify a structure to follow, make check your proposal has the following sections at least: 

  • Title page
  • Table of contents
  • Introduction
  • Company overview
  • Problem/need statement 
  • Project scope 
  • Site structure
  • Additional features
  • Goals & outcomes 
  • Timing plan
  • Budget
  • Case studies
  • Terms of agreement
  • Key CTA

Check the language

Read through your proposal again and answer the following questions to make sure your proposal is informative and interesting to read: 

  • 1
    Is the language uncluttered and concise?
  • 2
    Have you avoided using technical terms and jargon wherever possible?
  • 3
    Do you use objective language?
  • 4
    Have you avoided subjective terms?
  • 5
    Is the tone friendly but informative?
  • 6
    Is it written in a storytelling style?

Send your proposal to a "cold reader" to review

Upload the first draft of your finished proposal document and send it to a "cold reader" to review. Give them a copy of the proposal guidelines/requirements, but little other information.

Ask them to read the proposal quickly (as this is how the client is likely to view your proposal) and ask them to answer the following two questions: 

  • Do they understand it?
  • Does it make sense?

Implement their feedback

Update your current proposal document and record the feedback you have received for future proposals.

Check the proposal against the RFP/brief

Read the proposal through for the final time and double-check it is aligned with the RFP guidelines/brief.

Here are the key requirements: {{form.List_Key_Requirements}}

Answer these questions before uploading the final proposal document, ready for internal approval: 

  • 1
    Have you presented a compelling case?
  • 2
    Does your project seem feasible? Is it overly ambitious? Does it have other weaknesses?
  • 3
    Have you stated the means that the client can use to evaluate the success of your project after you’ve executed it?

Send for internal approval

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Check the proposal against the RFP/brief
    Will be submitted

Submit the proposal

Submit your proposal in-line with any requirements. 

{{form.Final_Proposal}}

Sources:

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