Collaboration in Successful Proposal Writing

Collaboration is critical for writing dynamic and winning proposals and can significantly influence the quality and effectiveness of the entire procurement process.

By fostering collaboration, organizations can harness the diverse expertise within their teams, resulting in competitive, well-rounded, engaging, and effective RFPs. As a bonus, team collaboration improves the quality of the procurement process and strengthens relationships between internal teams and external stakeholders.

Here are the top 5 key strategies to implement that will ensure collaboration on your next RFP:

Start with Cross-Functional Collaboration:

When members of different teams join forces to work towards a common goal or project, this is known as cross-functional collaboration. Breaking down barriers between departments encourages innovation and bolsters strategy development. Rather than operating within silos, teams with diverse expertise, skills, and perspectives come together to share knowledge, research, and insights.

Departments that might team up with proposal teams include:

  • Finance
  • Legal
  • Training and development
  • Operations
  • Customer service
  • Sales and marketing
  • C-suite
  • Information technology

Involve key stakeholders from various departments as soon as you decide to respond to the RFP. Having buy-in from the beginning will help if things need to change later in the process. It also ensures that the RFP will be comprehensive.

Simplify Your Communication

Building a winning proposal is all about communication. Standardize your proposal team to a single platform if your organization uses multiple communication platforms. Your entire team must use the same lines of communication to facilitate ideas, edits, feedback, and, or significant changes.

Numerous platforms for business collaboration already exist, each offering features catering to unique needs. These include:

Project Management Tools facilitate tasks, progress, tracking, and workflow management.

  • Asana
  • Monday
  • Trello
  • Teams

Communication Tools enable real-time messaging, video chatting, and filesharing.

  • Slack
  • Teams
  • Zoom

Document Collaboration allows teams to co-create documents while enabling accurate version control and live editing.

  • Google Workspace
  • Office 365
  • Dropbox


Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms improve customer interactions, categorize leads, and formulate sales pipelines.

  • Salesforce
  • HubSpot
  • Zoho CRM
  • Ontraport

These platforms often overlap and can integrate to streamline workflows and enhance overall collaboration between departments.

Unify Your Project Management:

If your organization has a Project Management Office (PMO), collaborate with them to ensure that the RFP aligns with project timelines and milestones. This collaboration helps set realistic expectations for vendors and a smoother procurement process. If you don’t have a PMO, designate a single proposal team Project Manager to do this.

Engage Subject Matter Experts (SMEs):

Include your SMEs in the proposal process. Your SMEs have in-depth knowledge of the required goods and services. Their insights will contribute to the accuracy of the RFP and can bring up important questions for the RFx Q&A.

Collaboration Shouldn't Impact Message Consistency

Although you must acquire information from multiple sources to assemble an RFP, it shouldn’t read like an anthology. Consistency in messaging across different sections and collaboration on language, terminology, tone, and formatting throughout the RFP helps readers read it in one voice, skim documents, and quickly identify the theme. Consistent communication enhances the professionalism and clarity of the document as an accurate representation of what your organization has to offer.

Effective collaboration is the cornerstone of crafting compelling, compliant, and successful proposals. Key strategies such as cross-functional collaboration, streamlined communication, unified project management, subject matter expert engagement, and consistent messaging enhance your proposal’s quality and overall effectiveness. Leveraging diverse expertise within teams fosters innovation and ensures strong relationships and comprehensive responses.

Unsure where to begin your RFx journey? Let Once Upon an RFP’s proposal experts help position you for success with proven processes and tools. Contact us.

Photo by Surface on Unsplash

Emma Hegel-Kissinger | Senior Proposal Consultant, Contributing Author
Emma merges compliance and creativity to develop dynamic, responsive content, transforming clients’ visions, messaging, and sales processes. Since 2020 she has supported Once Upon an RFP’s clients as a Proposal Writer and Manager for public (B2G) and private (B2B) sector procurement opportunities. Emma holds a Poynter Certificate in Editing from ACES: The Society for Editing and is APMP Foundation certified. She is passionate about crafting compelling, accessible, and inclusive copy for clients from all industries.

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