Use AI to Jumpstart Proposal Content Plans


Measure before you cut, design before you code, and think before you write. All these sayings share a common theme—planning and preparing before acting and using good tools can help avoid mistakes, save time, and produce better results. Planning and creating good proposal content are some of the most time-consuming aspects of proposal development. Traditionally, proposal teams use content plans (also called storyboards) to design, develop, and document content. Doing so creates a clear and consistent view of the finished proposal sections.

While content plans vary, common elements found in them include:

  • Lists of customer requirements or hot buttons
  • Strengths and proof points
  • Annotated outline with high-level solution statements
  • Risk mitigation strategies
  • Graphics and action captions

Use AI to Jumpstart Your Content Planning and Development

Using AI to develop content plans offers several benefits: reducing writing time, ensuring consistency, and validating compliance. Table 1 presents a sample content plan outline with instructions for generating content using Generative AI prompts.

Table 1. Sample Content Plan and AI Instructions for Developing Content to Populate the Plan  

Content Plan SectionInstruction for Developing Proposal Content Using Generative AI
Requirements and hot buttonsInput the RFP into an AI-powered text analysis tool to extract customer requirements and hot buttons. Use AI-powered summarization prompts to generate concise lists or bullet points of these requirements. These lists can serve as the foundation for your proposal section addressing customer needs.
Strengths and proof pointsProvide input for developing strengths, including features and benefits, explanations of how the features exceed the requirements, and proof points.Ask the AI tool to determine if your strength is a discriminator or table stakes.
High-level solution statementsInput the RFP sections to generate an annotated outline in compliance with the instructions and evaluation criteria. Ingest high-level information about your solution and use AI prompts to draft high-level solution statements. Continue to iterate on the AI prompts until satisfied. Ask for suggestions on content, structure, and terminology.Verify that the solution statements are concise, specific, and directly address the customer’s needs as outlined in the RFP.
Risks and mitigation plansInput risks associated with your proposed solution. These risks could include technical, financial, or operational challenges. Use AI to help assess and prioritize these risks by analyzing historical data or industry best practices.Use AI to help generate risk mitigation strategies and contingency plans, considering preventive measures and responsive actions.
Graphics and action captionsUse AI to assist in selecting appropriate visuals to enhance the proposal’s visual appeal and underscore its strengths.Use AI-powered graphic design tools to turn data into visually appealing visuals. If you need to annotate graphics or provide explanations, use AI-generated text suggestions to ensure clarity and coherence.


Incorporating AI into your proposal workflow not only streamlines the process but also elevates the quality and impact of your proposals. Using the instructions listed in Table 1 can help harness the potential of AI to extract requirements, emphasize strengths, articulate high-level solutions, address risks, and create captivating visuals, all of which can help avoid mistakes, save time, and produce better results on your next proposal.

By Brenda Crist, Vice President at Lohfeld Consulting Group, MPA, CPP APMP Fellow

Lohfeld Consulting Group has proven results specializing in helping companies create winning captures and proposals. As the premier capture and proposal services consulting firm focused exclusively on government markets, we provide expert assistance to government contractors in Capture Planning and Strategy, Proposal Management and Writing, Capture and Proposal Process and Infrastructure, and Training. In the last 3 years, we’ve supported over 550 proposals winning more than $170B for our clients—including the Top 10 government contractors. Lohfeld Consulting Group is your “go-to” capture and proposal source! Start winning by contacting us at and join us on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

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Brenda Crist