Proposal Executive Summary

Why We Love the Proposal Executive Summary — And You Should Too!

Write a compelling executive summary that introduces your proposal or RFP (request for proposal) response—and you will set your proposal apart from the competition!

The executive summary is your proposal’s powerhouse! With the right messaging and visual experience, it provides an opportunity to make a great first impression. It encourages your client’s proposal reviewers to explore the detailed proposal content. A thoughtfully-prepared executive summary can help your proposal gain your client’s critical attention.

Share Your Passion!

Still not convinced you should invest the time?  The executive summary is an opportunity for you to share your passion and strategy for helping this client fulfill its objectives.

  • Help the client’s proposal reviewers recommend your solution to their executive team. This may be the only section of your proposal, along with pricing and delivery information, that is submitted to the executives for final approval.
  • Usually read by all members of your client’s proposal review team—including the executive decision makers.
  • Reinforce the customer success strategy that your sales team built throughout the sales process—helping your client visualize their success with your solution.
  • Provide an effective proposal introduction compelling your client’s proposal reviewers to read on and discover the supporting detail in the body of the proposal.

Best Practices

The best practices for a compelling executive summary—traditionally no more than 2 to 3 pages, include:

  • Customer-focused messaging using the client’s name more frequently than your organization’s name, referring to the client’s vision and required solutions, and presenting how your organization, products and services can support the client’s vision. The executive summary is not an overview of your organization!
  • Well-organized and visually appealing making it easy for the client to read and understand your solution and its benefits. As with all proposal content, you should take advantage of section headers, bullets and numbering, compelling images, and effective use of space to make the document easy to read.

Because this important introduction to your proposal should complement the customer-specific sales strategy, many prefer to draft the executive summary, or at least outline the document, before development of the proposal document.

Be Compelling Every Time

You can ensure the delivery of a compelling introduction to all your proposals using an executive summary template that is automated by RFP software or proposal software. At SalesEdge, we help our customers increase productivity and sales effectiveness by automating executive summaries as part of the RFP response or sales proposal process. Connect with SalesEdge to see the benefits of an automated executive summary. Request a demonstration!

Editor’s Note: This article is part 1 in a 3-part series. You may also want to read the second post and third post in this series.

Shared by: Jeanne Schulze