Small business proposal writer: Help me design my bonus plan.
June 18, 2010 8:00 AM   Subscribe

Small business proposal writer: Help me design my bonus plan.

I am the proposal writer for a creative agency. I write proposals for all our large projects and was specifically hired to respond to big RFPs, which are 2-3x the size of our typical large job. I also train staff on new technologies, refine our business practices, and help in production on the rare occasion when we are short-staffed.

So far, my boss is very impressed with me and said she would like to grant me a bonus whenever we win a proposal I wrote. She said a sliding scale based on the project's value would be appropriate, but beyond that, would like my feedback on a bonus structure. We are a small company (8 people) and my role is new; previously, my boss wrote the proposals.

I have a good base salary & benefits, and due to overtime and flextime, get compensated for the days I work late on a proposal and pitch. A bonus plan is icing on the cake of an already great job, but I don't want to undersell myself.

I've looked at this thread, which has some very good advice. But my incentives plan feels more like a commission bonus than anything else; I am a quasi-salesman in that I write proposals and pitch to the client, but I don't have to go through cold-calls -- all the opportunities come to me.

What sort of approach should I take? And how would my kind of bonus typically compare against a true salesperson's commission rate? The later is especially important, as we are looking to hire a salesperson in the near future who would most likely find potential jobs and then send to me to write up.
posted by Wossname to Work & Money (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I have worked in Biz Dev for web design firms a few times. I was both the sales guy and the proposal writer. I usually got between 6% - 10% of the deal, on top of a decent salary and benefits. So I'd think 3% or so is fair for writing the proposals. That leaves about 7% for the sales guy when he comes on board, assuming 10% or so is available overall. If is this not government work or blind RFP responses, the sale should be 75% done before you write the first world of the proposal.
posted by COD at 9:43 AM on June 18, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, COD. It is mostly government and blind RFPs, though we also get "by invitation only" RFPs that are still very competitive due to all the heavy hitters in town who are also on all the best client lists.
posted by Wossname at 10:32 AM on June 18, 2010

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