When considering the proposal in the context of the overall bid effort, it’s always important to think ahead to the negotiation phase. After all, few customers are simply going to give an immediate “yes” to the document that you submit; they’ll try and push you to improve your solution and lower your price before entering their Purchase Order or signing on the dotted line of the contract.
(a) is sufficient to put you clearly out in front of your competitors, to become the bidder with whom the customer wants to move forward in negotiation, and
(b) leaves the necessary room to manoeuvre in the negotiation phase.
If you’re interested in reading more about negotiation, might I point you towards an excellent new book by a friend, Tom Beasor, with whom I’ve worked in the past and who’s acknowledged as an expert in this area. “Great Negotiators: How the Most Consistently Successful Negotiators Think And Behave” is fascinating stuff – a mandatory read for salespeople who drive negotiations, as well as for proposal staff who need to appreciate “what happens next” after the proposal and presentation. It’s available from Amazon in the UK and US. Who knows: if enough of you order copies, Tom might even buy the beers next time I see him!