What is a Shadow Proposal?
A shadow proposal is a formal submission prepared for a customer in anticipation of an upcoming sales opportunity.
Shadow proposals are intended to be opportunity specific and are generally in a constant state of refinement in response to changing customer requirements and expectations.
Generally clients are not informed about the existence of shadow proposals as their preparation could be misinterpreted as presumptuous.
Shadow proposals are often referred to as ‘Wire Frame’ client proposal, but should not be confused with generic sales collateral.
Purpose of a Shadow Proposal
Traditionally the main purpose of a shadow proposal has centred on a rapid response to formal client requests for product or service submissions.
More recently shadow proposals have been viewed as a key strategy for reducing stress on proposal teams.
Authorisation of Shadow Proposals
As proposal preparation resources are finite a bid capture manager (or an equivalent position) will generally formally approve and monitor work on all shadow proposals.
In larger organisations most account managers are allocated a set shadow proposal budget.