The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation offers this Indirect Cost Calculator tool “to assist applicants with calculating the allowable amount of indirect costs that can be included in proposal budgets.”
This tool is designed to work as an overall business budget calculator that “you can treat as a business budget worksheet to plan out the budget for upcoming months or to quickly reassess your priorities.”
It can, however, serve as your proposal budget calculator. Just ignore the income sections and focus on one-time costs, salaries, and monthly expenses.
Understanding Client Needs Through Communication
Effectively communicating your proposal budget is key.
One often-overlooked step in this process comes during the client discovery period: Understanding your prospect’s budget.
Creating a proposal budget that’s wildly out of line with their expectations won’t help anyone.
But how do you get your prospects to open up about their budget before you respond to their requests for proposals (RFPs)?
According to sales expert Lilly Ferrick, “You could come right out and ask, ‘What is your budget?’ But in doing so, unless you’ve already established a high degree of trust, you are likely to encounter obstacles.”
Instead, she suggests:
Providing a typical budget range and asking if that falls in line with their expectations.
Asking open-ended questions, like “What kind of budget do you have in mind?”
Asking if they have determined a budget, and helping them determine one if they haven’t.
Approaching the topic in this manner allows prospects to engage in a fluid conversation, instead of locking them into a specific figure before they’re comfortable.
Use the insights gained from this discussion to tailor your proposal to their needs and limitations.
Once you’re ready to present your proposal budget, you’ll want to create a budget narrative — also known as a budget justification.
The key to writing a budget narrative that appeals to prospects is providing adequate detail and tying everything back to return on investment (ROI).
In most cases, organizations aren’t trying to avoid spending money — they’re trying to avoid wasting money.
As long as you can prove the money they invest in your organization will bring value, they’ll happily accept the cost.
How RFP360 can help
RFP360 — the only full-circle RFP management system on the market today — streamlines the entire proposal management process, empowering users to focus on creating compelling content that leads to wins.
“RFP360 has really helped us handle dramatic influxes,” said Technolutions Chief of Staff Laura Gardner. “For example, at one point last year, we had 12 RFPs due in one month, and we were able to submit responses to all of them.”
As RFP360’s sales director, Pat is responsible for implementing strategic growth initiatives, mentoring sales staff, and driving revenue. Before joining RFP360, he led the sales team for a growing tech firm as they launched their North American presence and new go-to-market strategies. When he’s not working or chasing down his one-and-a-half-year-old and three-and-a-half-year-old children, he enjoys golfing and watching live music.
Learn how RFP360 can streamline your RFP process
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