The Best Books for Proposal Development Professionals

It started out as just three books, but I’ve decided to keep updating this blog post as I find new books that I think proposal professionals should read. Full disclosure: I added my own book to the list.

Last updated on May 17, 2020.

Secrets of the Selection Committee

Gary Coover

As the name suggests, Secrets of the Selection Committee is written by someone who has been on many selection committees. In other words, it’s not some pie-in-the-sky dissertation about how the process should work, it’s a real-life account that explains how it actually does work. He finishes up with his “42 secrets” that all sellers should know about selection committees. These secrets, alone, are worth the price of the book. Buy this book.

Persuasive Business Proposals

by Tom Sant

Now in its third edition, Tom’s quintessential handbook on proposal writing should be required reading for all proposal development staff, from part-time proposal writers to proposal managers to SMEs who are drafted into the proposal development process. Buy it, read it, learn from it.


by Robert Cialdini

Everyone who is in the sales or business development profession should read this book, including anyone who writes proposals. If you want to sell stuff, knowing how people makes decisions is an important precursor. Cialdini tells you how people make decisions. Get the book.

New Sales. Simplified.

by Mike Weinberg

I preach to my clients that a sale is typically made in the 12 to 24 months before an RFP is released. If you don’t know what the decision makers care about, if you only know what’s written in an RFP, you don’t know much. In this book, Mike teaches you how to reach out to buyers, proactively, so you can start selling at that critical point when your buyers are actually making their decisions.

If you’re a proposal writer or manager, buy a copy of this book for the business development staff on your team.

Proposal Best Practices

by Me (David Seibert)

OK, I get it, it’s kinda self-serving to include my own book on my list of best proposal books, but hey, it is my blog! 🙂

Personally, I like the book because it’s filled with practical advice and real-life examples. But don’t take my word for it, read what others have to say, or it, read what people are saying on Amazon.

David Seibert is a professional salesperson, proposal trainer, author, writer, and business development consultant. He is the founder and president of The Seibert Group, a proposal consulting and training organization serving businesses that sell to other businesses, schools, and to state and local governments. You can contact him at


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