A Consulting Proposal Template That Performs

Posted by

The Partner has requested you design an analytical 11 week Grand Strategy implementation of a digital service strategy to Beta Scientific; a healthcare manufacturer of Stents, Artificial Joint Replacements and Heart Pacemakers. Here is a template to secure a proposal for a typical consulting contract.

Before we start, please leave a comment with your thoughts in the comments section below!

The benefit of a consulting proposal template

Let’s imagine a scenario. The Partner has requested you to design a project proposal for an 11 week implementation of a digital service strategy to Beta Scientific; a healthcare manufacturer of Stents, Artificial Joint Replacements and Heart Pacemakers. You have 2 days to develop and pitch a proposal to win the contract.

Before you get your hands dirty with the slides, you have to think about the end. You want your client to walk away with the following in confidence,

  1. The team consists of the right personnel capable of delivering on expectations.
  2. The project has been scoped correctly, and accounts for the client’s experience and capabilities. More on this later.
  3. The project has been priced correctly. This is very important, and is a key criteria used to select the proposal. More on this later.
  4. The content of the presentation is within technical reach of audience

The proposal celebrates the consulting team

If you are going to present, remember that the content you are producing is a result of the work put in by you and the team. The person who opens the pitch decides the ambiance of next couple of minutes; so make sure you recognize and introduce the consulting team, and is a key part of this presentation template!

An effecting consulting proposal template delivers two important points of a winning pitch,

  1. The team is cohesive
  2. The people involved in the room have the right skill set and competence required to achieve the Grand Strategy.
a consulting team in a consulting proposal template
A winning proposal requires a winning team

Start the consulting proposal with something different

Something “different”? This can be anything that breaks nominal expectations of typical presentation. And we all know what a “typical” presentation is; simple flow of arguments and design visuals that are not compelling or relevant to communicate core ideas.

We chose to go with a video instead of an Executive Summary. These summaries are important because they give the client a taste of what’s to come.

video in a consulting proposal template
An alternative for a long, lengthy and possibly boring Executive Summary

Yea, the voice over is abit robotic. And yes, we did receive abit of slack for this one. So make sure your voice overs are recorded by an actual person or a decent API (someday).

Proposal templates simplify complex ideas

How much detail should you include? This is a tough one, because alot of people have mixed emotions about it. The core of your consulting proposal template should address structural associated with the challenge. Ours was implementing Medicine 3.0.

Here are the core ideas we were trying to communicate,

  1. The fact that younger people are becoming more tech pragmatic. Their expectations of good service delivery rests on the seamless digital experiences.
  2. We’ve also got an older generation of such individuals entering the market with similar expectations.
  3. Hospitals are adapting their practices to facilitate such touch points to provide a better experience for thier patients, and that service providers of hospitals should adopt similar practices to participate in an evolving digital market.
Simplifying a lot of content into broad topics.

An effective template transforms complex ideas to relatable concepts and is key to a successful consulting proposal.

Understand the value you’re trying to deliver, and find a simple way to visualize it

There are three ways to design a simple and visually compelling slide for a consulting proposal presentation,

  1. Define a flow of ideas. There is a start, a justification, and a conclusion.
  2. Use colors to highlight key transitions. In this case, I’ve used black and green to show some kind of difference/contrast between key ideas.
  3. Finally, a little of text to accompany the visualization is great because it serves two purposes; to encourage those who have peaked interest to receive more information, and those who are confused abit of content.

Approach the project proposal in phases

Now that you’ve educated the customer on the bigger picture, it’s time to introduce the project implementation. As a consultant, this is one of the most (if not the most) critical part of the presentation because your customer will scrutinize this plan to justify the pricing.

a proposal design in a consulting proposal template
A “friendly” project phased approach

So you might be thinking that this presentation is starting to look like a student project. Well, to some extent it kind of was. In reality, you’ll need to design the format of your slides to suite the audience. So if you’re in a room with digitally connected individuals, chances are they’re used to modern standards of web/mobile content design.

assumptions made during a consulting proposal presentation
Always important to have these in the presentation, or at least the back of your mind

But it doesn’t always need to be this way. Because say the price of the proposal is around USD500K or more, do you think the client will want to see pretty pictures or as much detail as possible that justifies the cost? You’ll have to make the call here.

Conclude with a Road Map

The final part of the presentation is to include a compelling call to action. Why is this important?

a roadmap to conclude a  consulting proposal template
Concluding a consulting proposal presentation

There are two reasons to include a road map in a project proposal,

  1. You’re implying that your mindset is geared towards continuity and consistency. I’m certain your client has worked with agencies that have at times shown a lack of commitment, and this is something they expect if they’re to pay a large sum of money for your services.
  2. It’s a frictionless way to suggest that you and the team are ready to go, and depending on how you physically pitch this slide, that the price you pay for this project will be well deserved.

I hope you enjoyed this read, and that you got some kind of value out of it. As a bonus here are some tips to consider before making the pitch,

  1. Interact with the client during the presentation. Sometimes people forget that presentations are a two-way conversation.
  2. When asked about price, how would you respond? Consider that they have probably received pitches from rival agencies. So how are you going to justify this? Link your pricing to the project plan, and have them designed as “add-on” per se. This way you can remove or add any other services tailored for their requirements. They’ll save money, you’ll provide a better service and have a greater chance of winning the project.

Leave a comment with your thoughts, or reach out to me!

One comment

Leave a Reply