A Word About Win Themes

An essential step in proposal development is creating compelling proposal win themes. Win themes should serve as the master blueprint of your entire proposal narrative. Effective proposals usually have no more than one or two win themes that are focused on what customers care about most. The term win theme is often used but not always understood, thus may proposal teams do not develop strong win themes. A win theme is defined as “higher-level (Meta theme) features and benefits that transcend the entire proposal”. Great win themes contain a feature, a benefit, and a proof statement.  Successful win themes must contain all three!

  • Features are characteristics of your proposed solution.  
  • Benefits are defined advantages that meet/solve a government agency’s needs/problems.
  • And Proof is evidence/metrics that demonstrate the feasibility of your solution.

Carefully analyzing your solution and your customer needs prior to beginning the proposal writing process will ensure that you take the time to develop proper win themes. Once developed, win themes should be shared with the entire proposal team. This is extremely important as most proposals are written by multiple people, so if win themes are identified early and provided to all writers in the writing process, then everyone is “singing from the same sheet of music.”  This will ensure that win themes carry throughout the proposal and that your company presents a cohesive presentation that is compelling to the customer.