Today’s post is by Jeff Weil, general manager of Upland Qvidian.
We just turned the corner on graduation season, and hiring managers are hard at work trying to draw the newest crop of talent to their organizations. While companies are trying to fill plenty of entry-level sales and marketing roles, there is one underrated job they should emphasize: the sales proposal writer.
Any business with a sales or marketing team should hire a dedicated sales proposal writer to help assist with the proposal process and enable the team to win more deals. However, some companies choose not to hire a dedicated resource – preferring to delegate the work of proposal writing to various subject matter experts within their organizations, who frankly often don’t have the time to develop the content needed for a compelling request for proposal (RFP) response.
A sales proposal writer will help manage content creation and ensure the company’s brand is consistent throughout every submitted proposal – a key detail that can often be overlooked when sourcing input from a variety of internal experts.
For companies that don’t have a sales proposal writer, fear not: The talent pool is vast – especially now that school is officially out. But, with so many candidates to choose from, how can companies narrow down their selection to find the ideal prospect?
The Traits of the Best Sales Proposal Writers
While the exact role of the sales proposal writer will vary depending on the industry in which they operate, how their sales team is structured, etc., there are certain traits every business can look out for when hiring for the role.
Aside from the obvious ones of being a skilled writer and exceptional communicator, the best proposal writers are also:
- Self-starters – Finding a candidate who has an entrepreneurial spirit is key, as proposal writers often must teach themselves new topics, operate independently, and manage time efficiently. While they’ll be core members of the larger sales team, proposal writers will spend much of their time on their own – creating or editing content for very specific topics. The ability to master those topics without leaning on anyone else is a huge asset, and one that hiring managers should be on the lookout for.
- Creative – While they may not be crafting fictional stories, proposal writers still need to figure out a way to add spark to each proposal a company develops. Businesses should look for individuals with a strong sense of creativity who can think outside the box to make each content asset unique – helping the proposal stand out amongst competitors.
- Detail-oriented – This is a particularly crucial trait for businesses operating in highly regulated industries and handling mission-critical data that may be leveraged in the sales process. Even with a software tool that can assist with content governance, audit trails, and compliance, businesses need an internal resource with a detail-oriented eye to ensure that both the best and most accurate content is being used.
Marketing the Sales Proposal Writer Role
Plenty of new graduates are seeking proposal writing as their entry-level gig, but there are also those who – despite having the ideal traits – may not be considering proposal writing as their career starter. If a company runs into the issue of finding their perfect candidate who has never heard of proposal writing before, here’s how they can position it as a “dream job”:
- Proposal writers quickly become company and industry experts – a trait that can translate to success throughout their careers
- Proposal writers’ work has a significant and measurable impact on a company’s bottom line (something not many entry-level roles can claim)
- Proposal writers have access to senior management and internal experts – offering an extensive resource pool of expertise
There is monumental value in having a sales proposal writer on the team – particularly in ensuring more business wins. Companies that aren’t hiring one (or aren’t having luck doing so) need to apply these lessons to rethink their strategies before the best candidates are gone.