Proposal Specialist


Company Overview:

Grainger is a broad line, business-to-business distributor of maintenance, repair and operating (MRO) supplies and other related products and services. More than 3.2 million businesses and institutions worldwide rely on Grainger for products such as safety gloves, ladders, motors and janitorial supplies, along with services like inventory management and technical support. These customers represent a broad collection of industries including commercial, government, healthcare and manufacturing. They place orders online, on mobile devices, through sales representatives, over the phone and at local branches. Approximately 5,000 suppliers provide Grainger with more than 1.6 million products stocked in Grainger’s distribution centers and branches worldwide.

Position Details

Proposal Specialist
Northern Illinois
Lake Forest, IL

The Proposal Specialist creates proposals and RFP/RFQ responses that successfully sell the benefits of Grainger’s Value Proposition to our customers while creating a profitable sales relationship for Grainger. The Proposal Specialist works closely with the sales staff and other members of the Sales Support team to determine the right solution set for each customer and to craft that into an effective sales tool. The Proposal Specialist will also work closely with functional areas within the business to ensure consistency, accuracy and completeness of responses. The Proposal Specialist will be required to balance the requests of the customer with Grainger’s differentiated capabilities and strengths versus our competition.


  • Work with the Customer Life-cycle Manager and Sales owner to understand the strategy for the specific customer. Lead the proposal kick-off meeting and related process to complete responses on time while meeting internal partner expectations. 
  • Draft proposal documents and responses to RFP/RFQ’s utilizing Grainger’s standard proposal language and craft into an effective, professional sales tool to both align with the sales strategy and meet customers’ needs. 
  • Possess a working knowledge of the business and value proposition of each offering and be able to effectively, in writing, articulate Grainger’s strengths in meeting customer requirements. Exhibit creative and persuasive writing skills where needed to customize response. 
  • Consistently meet individual and team goals for win rate, quality, cycle time and training metrics. 
  • Minimize company risk by agreeing to services which Grainger can support by identifying clauses or requests that do not fit current company capabilities or policy. 
  • Participate and/or lead conference calls with other members of the Sales and Sales Support team, as necessary, during the contract negotiation, ensuring that decisions made during the calls conform to Grainger’s capabilities and standards. The Specialist will review, assess and process any changes required to the draft documents, and forward to team members as necessary 
  • Identify areas in customer documents that do not align with Grainger’s policies and procedures in order to suggest effective alternative responses to these issues. If needed, the Proposal Specialist will consult with Grainger's legal staff or business subject matter expert (SME) to ensure company does not enter into inappropriate contractual obligations.


  • Bachelors Degree 
  • At least 3-5 years’ experience in proposals, communications or contracting. 
  • Corporate Account or Government experiences a plus. 
  • Superior written and verbal skills to articulate and sell the Grainger Value Proposition. 
  • Exceptional organizational skills, detail oriented, and the ability to handle multiple tasks within a short frame of time. 
  • Knowledge of business and legal concepts. 
  • The ability to work independently and be self-motivated is a must 
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Word, MS Excel, Access, MS Outlook 
  • The self-confidence to successfully negotiate with a wide range of personality types. 
  • Discretion when handling confidential documents is a required attribute.

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