Business Proposal Assignment
On page 410, you will see a sample case regarding Warby Parker.
You work as a communication specialist at Warby Parker, reporting to co-CEO David Gilboa. Using the skills you’ve been practicing in this course, respond to this challenge:
You’re helping Gilboa prepare a report about the company. Gilboa characterizes the report as a “public business plan,” in that it will discuss the company and its objectives, strategies, and operations without disclosing the sort of confidential international that a typical business plan includes. The target audience includes potential investors, employees, and business partners.
To help overcome shoppers’ reluctance to buy eyewear online, Warby Parker offers Home Try-On, in which people can order five pairs of frames, keep them for five days a no costs, then decide which pair they would like to order. This gives shoppers lots of time to try on the frames they are considering and get the options of family and friends.
On the job (Internal, Unsolicited Proposal): Write a 2-3 page internal proposal to your boss or supervisor. Select one of the topics below listed as A-D, and make sure to include it as one of your headings. Remember to include additional headings or sub-headings for each section in the proposal that explain this program- i.e. Background, Solution, Recommendation. Make sure to correctly identify and analyze your audience, as well as any possible secondary audiences. Usually, the person to whom you submit your proposal is in a position to order the implementation of the change recommended.
- Home Try-On: Making online shopping even better than in-store shopping
- Home-Try On: Our tried and true way to eliminate the risk of buying eyewear online
- Home Try-On: Now you can try on five frames in the comfort of your own home
- Home Try-On: How we can reduce a major perceived risk in the Warby business model
You can use pages 406-406 in the textbook as a guideline.
Business Proposal Rubric 100
|Business Proposal Rubric 100|
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeFormat||20.0 pts Excellent • Proper headings, spacing, paragraph breaks, and margins. 12.0 pts Good • Inconsistent headings, spacing, paragraph breaks, and/or margins. 4.0 pts Unacceptable • Incorrect headings, spacing, paragraph breaks, and/or margins 0.0 pts No Submission • Author did not include a submission.||20.0 pts|
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeContent & Organization||48.0 pts Excellent • Fully developed background information, solution and recommendation. • Logically developed paragraphs, comprehensive content, and effective transitions. 36.0 pts Good • Partially undeveloped or supported background information, solution and recommendation. • May use questionable transitions. 24.0 pts Unacceptable • Unfocused ideas, ineffective paragraphs, incorrect content, and/or non-existent transitions. 0.0 pts No Submission • Author did not include a submission.||48.0 pts|
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomeSpelling & Grammar||16.0 pts Excellent • Varied and effective sentence structure; concise, clear, courteous, and correct language 10.0 pts Good • A moderate number of errors in sentence structure, spelling, and/or word choice. 4.0 pts Unacceptable • Poor sentence structure, incorrect word usage, several misspelled words, and/or discourteous language. 0.0 pts No Submission • Author did not include a submission.||16.0 pts|
|This criterion is linked to a Learning OutcomePunctuation||16.0 pts Excellent • Evidence of careful proofreading. Errors do not interfere with comprehension and do not negatively influence the reader’s perception of the writer. 10.0 pts Good • A moderate number of errors that may interfere with comprehension or may negatively influence the reader’s perception of the writer. 4.0 pts Unacceptable • Frequent and serious errors that significantly interfere with comprehension and negatively influence the reader’s perception of the writer. 0.0 pts No Submission • Author did not include a submission.||16.0 pts|
|Total Points: 100.0|
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UNFORMATTED ATTACHMENT PREVIEW
2 overlapping or nonexistent account coverage are a direct result of the regional organization. In some cases, customers aren’t sure which of our representatives they’re supposed to call with problems and orders. In other cases, no one has been in contact with them for several months. For example, having retail outlets across the lower tier of the country, AmeriSport received pitches from reps out of our West, South, and East regions. Because our regional offices have a lot of negotiating freedom, the three were offering different prices. But all AmeriSport buying decisions were made at the Tampa headquarters, so al we did was confuse the customer. The irony of the current organization is that we’re often giving our weakest selling and support efforts to the largest customers in the country Phan brings the first problem to life by complementing the general descrip tion with a specific example Commission prob- lems are the sec- ond “2” in Phan’s 2+24 approach. In discussing the second problem, he simplifies the reader’s task by maintaining a par alle structure: a general description followed by a spe- cific example COMMISSION PROBLEMS The regional organization problems are compounded by the way we assign commissions and quala credit. Salespeople in one region can invest a lot of time in pursuing a sale, only to have the customer place the order in another region. So some sales rep in the second region ends up with the commission on a sale that was partly or even entirely earned by someone in the first region. Therefore, sales reps sometimes don’t pursue leads in their regions, thinking that a rep in another region will get the commission For example, Athletic Express, wil outlets in a states spread across all four regions, finally got so frustrated with us that the company president called our headquarters Athletic Express has been trying to place a large order for tennis and golf accessories, but none of our local reps seem interested in paying attention. I spoke with the rep responsible for Nashville, where the company is headquartered, and asked her way she wasn’t working the account more actively. Her explanation was that last time she got involved with Athletic Express, the order was actually placed from their L.A. regional oflice, and she didn’t get any commission after more than two weeks of saling time. RECOMMENDATIONS Our sales organization should reflect the nature of our customer base. To accomplish that goal, we need a group of reps who are free to pursue accounts across regional borders- and who are compensated fairly for their work. The most sensible answer is to establish a national account group. Any customers whose operations place them in more than one region would automatically be assigned to the national group In addition to solving the problem of competing sales efforts, the new structure will also largely eliminate the commission-splitting problem because regional reps will no longer invest time in prospects assigned to the national accounts team. However, we will need to find a fair way to compensate regional reps who are losing long-term customers to the national team. Some of these reps have invested years in developing customer relation ships that will continue to yield sales wel into the future, and everyone talked to agrees that reps in these cases should receive some sort of compensation. Such a Transition commission would also motivate the regional reps to help ensure a smooth transition from one sales group to the other. The exact nature of this compensation would need to be worked out with the various sales managers Phan concludes the 2 + 2 = 4 approach: organi- zational problems + commission problems the need for a new sales structure. He explains how his recommenda- tion (a new organ- izational structure) will solve both problems He acknowledges that the recom- mended solution does create a tem porary compensa tion problem but expresses conti- dence that a solu tion to that can be worked out SUMMARY The regional sales organization is effective at the regional and local levels but not at the national level. We should establish a national accounts group to handle sales that cross regional boundaries. Then we’ll have one set of reps who are focused on the local and regional levels and another set who are pursuing national accounts. To compensate regional reps who lose accounts to the national team, we will need to devise some sort of payment to reward them for the years of work invested in such accounts. This can be discussed with the sales managers once the new structure is in place The summary concisely restates both the problem and the recom- mended solution Figure 14.7 Analytical Report Using the 2 + 2 = 4 Approach (continued) Planning Proposals Proposals are written for both internal and external audiences. Internal proposals request decisions from managers within the organization, such as proposals to buy new equipment or launch new research projects. Examples of external proposals include grant propose als, which request funds from government agencies and other sponsoring organizations, and sales proposals, which suggest individualized solutions for potential customers and request purchase decisions. 4 LEARNING OBJECTIVE Explain how to choose an organizational strategy when writing a proposal. EFFECTIVE ANALYTICAL REPORTS: AN EXAMPLE As national sales manager of a New Hampshire sporting goods company, Binh Phan was concerned about his company’s ability to sell to its major accounts, the giant national chains that now dominate retailing. Even though these customers are getting bigger, the company’s sales to them are dropping, and it’s critical to figure out why and propose a solution. Phan’s boss, the vice president of marketing, asked Phan to analyze the situation and make a recommendation. Phan’s troubleshooting report appears in Figure 14.7. The main idea is that the company should establish a separate sales team for each these major national accounts rather than continuing to service them through the company’s four regional divisions. However, Phan knew his plan would be controversial because it requires a big change in the company’s organization and in the way sales reps are paid. His thinking had to be clear and easy to follow, so he used the 2 + 2 = 4 approach to focus on his reasons. MEMO TO: Robert Mendoza. Vice President of Marketing FROM: Bình Phan, National Sales Manager BP DATE: September 14, 2017 SUBJECT: Major accounts sales problems The first para- graph verifies who requested the report, when it was requested and who wrote it. As you requested on August 20, this report outines the results of my investigation into the recent slowdown in sales to major accounts and the accompanying rise in sales and service-related complaints from some of our largest customers. Over the last four quarters, major account sales dropped 12%, whereas overall sales were up 7%. During the same time, we ve all noticed an increase in both formal and Informal complaints from larger customers, regarding how confusing and complicated it has become to do business with us. The second para- graph highlights the serious nature of the problem. This section explains how the information used in the analysis was collected My investigation started with in-depth discussions with the four regional sales managers, first as a group and then individualy. The tension I felt in the initial meeting eventually bubbled to the surface during my meetings with each manager. Staff merribers in each region are convinced that other regions are booking orders they don’t deserve, with one region doing all the legwork only to see another region get the sale, the commission, and the quota credit I tolowed up these formal discussions by talking informally and exchanging email with several sales representatives from each region. Virtually everyone who is involved with our major national accounts has a story to share. No one is happy with the situation, and I sense that some reps are walking away from major customers because the process is so frustrating. The decline in sales to our major national customers and the increase in their complaints stern from two problems: (1) sales force organization and (2) commission policy. ORGANIZATIONAL PROBLEMS Organizational problems are the first 2* in Phan’s 2 + 2 = 4 approach Phan describes the first problem and explains how it occurred, with out blaming any one personally When we divided the national sales force into four geographical regions last year, the idea was to focus our sales efforts and clarity responsibilities for each prospective and current customer. The regional managers have gotten to know their market territories very well and sales have increased beyond even our most optimistic projections However, while solving one problem, we have created another. In the past 12 10 18 months several regional customers have grown to national status, and a few retailers have taken on (or expressed interest in our products. As a result a significant portion of both current sales and future opportunities lies with these large national accounts. I uncovered more than a dozen cases in which sales representatives from two or more regions found themselves competing with each other by pursuing the same customers from different locations. Moreover, the complaints from our major accounts about (continued Figure 14.7 Analytical Report Using the 2 + 2 = 4 Approach The 2 + 2 = 4 approach lets this writer present a logical argument that is both clear and compelling CHAPTER 14 Planning Reports and Proposals 407 Page 2 The Lack of Shared Purpose Here he offers more information about the two themes he discovered as he con- tinues to lay out the reasons for his proposed solution The company has always prided itself on attracting the best people in every functional specially, but I believe this has resulted in an overemphasis on hard skills and individual output, to the detriment of soft skills and an overal sense of teamwork and shared contribution. It’s no surprise that so many employees feel adrift and disconnected, when we don’t foster a communal sense of how the company functions as an integrated enterprise. We have some of the brightest employees in the industry. but many are too focused on the tactics of their own jobs. Inadequate Relationship Building After reviewing the employee survey data, I wanted to get a more personal take on these issues, sol interviewed more than two dozen professional staffers and managers across all divisions. These interviews uncovered another troubling dynamic: We’re not very good at building professional relationships throughout the organization Employees and their managers tend to stay isolated within their functional silos and don’t seem to understand or even care about the challenges faced by their colleagues in other departments. One market analyst described cross-functional meetings as strangers forced to cooperate with strangers.” Managers trying to fill promotional opportunities sometimes don’t know where to look because they rarely get to know employees outside their own chain of command. And every professional stater I taked to expressed some variation of feeling lost, with no one to turn to for contidential career advice. Proposed Solution: Employee Mentoring Clearly, we have some challenges on our hands. The good news is that we have the potential to solve many of them with an employee mentoring program. Here is a brief overview of mentoring programs, their benefits, potential stumbling blocks, and a recommended strategy for launching our own program Common Features of Mentoring Programs Here are the key features common to most mentoring programs: It’s a formal program matchesinterested employees with managers and senior professional start in one-on-one coaching relationships. The coaching can involve job-specific challenges, work-life balance, workplace conflicts, or anything else the participants decide is useful. Employees and their mentors meet or at least talk on a regular schedule. Continuity is essential At this point, he is ready to shift from “selling the problem and laying the groundwork to presenting his solution This brief overview of employee mentor- Ing programs establishes common ground with his reader, so he can be sure they are thinking about the same thing (continued Figure 14.8 Internal Proposal (continued) 406 PART 5 Reports and Proposals memo CORPORATE HR TO: Lailah Banks FROM: Roger Hemmings DATE: September 28, 2018 SUBJECT: Addressing Our High-Priority Personnel Issues The subject line establishes a connection to a topic previously discussed without divulging the main idea of the proposal (which uses the indirect approach). The opening paragraph serves as a reminder of their previous discussion, the task he was given, and the expectations about how he would approach it. This single-sentence paragraph is the attention-getter in the AIDA model; it promises a solution that is better than expected As you requested after last month’s State of the Workforce meeting. I’ve been exploring potential responses to the top three personnel issues the team identified: job satisfaction, position readiness, and succession planning. We were al concemed about the cost and time commitment required to tackle these big issues, so the consensus reached at the meeting was to prioritize the issues and address them one at a time. However, I believe there is a manageable way to address all three issues at once. Areas of concern: Finding Common Threads The big three” issues definitely feel overwhelming when we consider the changes needed in order to make meaningful improvements in all of them. There is hope in the details, however. Common threads run through all three areas, and we can address many of the problems with a single solution To review the three Issues: Job satisfaction: Results from the last four internal surveys show a disturbing pattern of dissatisfaction, with many employees expressing uncertainty about where their careers are heading, confusion about how they fit into the big picture. and anger about not being given fair consideration for promotions. This section summarizes the previous discussion while laying the groundwork for introducing a key reason for the proposal he is going to make, which is that he has found a couple of common themes in the three areas of concern. Position readiness: Managers frequently complain to us that our emphasis on promoting from within is difficult for them to adhere to because they can’t find enough employees who are ready to move into positions of greater responsibility Employees usually have the technical skills, but managers say that many lack the vision to see how their individual efforts contribute to the larger effort or lack the professionalism needed to function at a high level around customers, executives, and business partners. Succession planning: This has been a priority for several years, but we never seem to make much headway toward putting a real program in place. We’ve solved one side of the equation-identifying all the critical managerial and professional roles where we’re vulnerable to employees leaving or being promoted but we haven’t figured out how to identity and prepare promising candidates to move into these positions. As I dug through these issues, two themes kept popping up a lack of shared purpose and inadequate relationship buikling. He introduces those two themes, which shape the proposal he is about to make, This works as the interest stage of the AIDA model, since it presents an intrigu. ing and unexplored angle on issues previously discussed. (continued Figure 14.8 Internal Proposal The manager in charge of his company’s employee development efforts has a solution to three womsome workforce issues that he has previously discussed with his boss, the director of human resources. He uses this memo-format proposal to outline a new employee mentoring program and suggest how the company can get started on it. Buyers often solicit proposals by The most significant factor in planning any proposal is whether the intended recipi- publishing a request for proposals ent has asked you to submit a proposal . Solicited proposals are generally prepared at (RFP) the request of external parties that require a product or a service, but they may also be requested by such internal sources as management or the board of directors. When organizations require complex products, services, or systems, they often prepare a formal invitation to bid on the contract, REAL-TIME UPDATES called a request for proposals (RFP), which includes instruc- LEARN MORE BY READING THIS ARTICLE Seven steps to successful proposals tions that specify exactly the type of work to be performed A sales expert describes the process for crafting or products to be delivered, along with budgets, deadlines, winning business proposals. Go to real-timeupdates.com/bet14 and other requirements. To attract a large pool of qualified and select Learn More in the Students section bidders, organizations send RFPs to firms with good records of performance in the field, print them in trade publications, and post them on the web. To write a proposal in response to an RFP, begin by reviewing the requirements. Next, define the scope of the deliverables, determine the methods and procedures to be used, and estimate time requirements, personnel requirements, and costs. Then put it all in writing-exactly as specified in the RFP, following the precise format it requires and responding meticulously to every point it raises.” RFPs can seem surprisingly picky, even to the point of specifying the paper size for the proposal and the number of copies to send, but you must follow every detail. Unsolicited proposals are created by organizations attempting to obtain business or funding without a specific invitation from a potential client. Such proposals may also be initiated by employees or managers who want to convince company insiders to adopt a program, a policy, or an idea. In other words, with an unsolicited proposal, the writer makes the first move. Even so, an unsolicited proposal should not come as a surprise to the recipient, but rather should be the summation of an ongoing conversa- tion between the sender and the recipient. This approach helps ensure acceptance, and it gives you an opportunity to explore the recipient’s needs and craft your proposal around them. Unsolicited proposals require Unsolicited proposals differ from solicited proposals in another important respect: additional persuasive elements Your audience may not be aware of the problem you are addressing, so your proposal because the audience isn’t expect must first convince readers that a problem or an opportunity exists before convincing ing the proposal and might not them that you can address it. Thus unsolicited proposals generally spend considerable even be conscious of the problem time explaining why readers should take action and convincing them of the benefits of you propose to solve. doing so. With virtually any proposal, keep in mind that you are always competing for some Every proposal competes for thing-money, time, management attention, and so on. Even if yours is the only proposal something money, time, atten- on the table, you are still competing with all the other choices your audience members tion, and so on. could make with their time, money, and attention. Proposals can be significant writing projects, particularly when you are responding to a complex RFP. Fortunately, a variety of software products are available to consid- erably lighten the load. Basic features include the ability to automatically personalize the proposal, ensure proper structure, and organize storage of all your boilerplate material (identical sections of text used in every proposal, such as a description of your company). At a more advanced level, semiautomated proposal-writing systems can scan RFPs to identify questions and requirements and fill in potential answers from a centralized knowledge base that contains input from all the relevant experts in your company.” ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGIES FOR PROPOSALS Your choice of structure for proposals depends on whether the proposal is solicited and, if so, whether you expect readers to be receptive to your specific recommendation In general, your audience is likely to be more receptive to solicited proposals because the problem and the solution have already been identified. Submit your proposal for
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