With 2022 winding down, we’re reflecting on the year—and what an interesting year it was for businesses everywhere. The lingering fallout from the pandemic caught up with many companies as they continued to struggle with supply chain disruptions and escalating costs. At the same time, the ongoing exodus of the Great Resignation strained operations for many enterprises, heightening the impact of the growing talent shortage. And as signs of a looming recession crept in mid-year, some CFOs pushed for budget and hiring freezes, compromising marketing efforts, stalling sales velocity, and slowing the flow of revenue.
But it wasn’t all bad news. Despite the challenging business landscape, companies were still sending out large numbers of Request for Proposals (RFPs) in support of new projects. In fact, our 7th Annual Proposal Management Benchmark Study found that more than 50% of respondents received a higher volume of requests compared to last year, with 48% achieving higher win rates (although win rates were down from 2021 levels).
Looking back to move forward
At QorusDocs, we’re all about helping you navigate your RFx response process to produce better (and more revenue-generating) results. Every year we dig deep into the proposal and RFP management data to glean some insights that you can put into action to help make your proposal management process as frictionless and expedient as possible—and give your sales revenue the bump it needs.
Given the current precarious economic climate, we’re pleased to be able to help you hone your competitive advantage to scale, grow, and thrive as we head into 2023. Our 7th Annual Proposal Management Benchmark Study offers statistics and actionable insights to help you manage high volumes of RFPs and create effective pitches and proposals to keep those win rates moving in the right direction.
Let’s review the findings of this year’s benchmark study to clarify which challenges you should be mindful of, opportunities for optimization, and the tangible benefits of automating your RFx process (aka how to make your proposal management process hum like a well-oiled machine).
Top 6 research highlights
- The RFPs keep coming
Despite the economic, geopolitical, and business challenges of 2022, more than 50% of respondents experienced an increase in RFPs this year. The volume of the increase in the number of monthly RFPs was not as sizeable as last year (26% median increase this year vs. 33% in 2021) but RFPs continued to roll in.
- Win rates have room for improvement
Converting RFPs into closed sales consistently continued to elude many well-intentioned business development teams in 2022. The average annual win rate for new business is only 40% and 62% for existing business (both are down from 2021). But the good news is that 48% of companies saw an increase in their win rates for new business. (Pro tip: Proposal automation software can help boost your win rate.)
- Inability to respond is costly
Responding to requests is a complex, resource-intensive, and time-consuming task that can overwhelm bid and proposal teams struggling to manage their RFx response process. Unfortunately, the inability to complete responses can be extremely costly. One quarter of companies (26%) lost an estimated $1M+ in annual revenue (9% lost more than $5M!) because they were unable to respond to RFPs, whether due to time constraints or other factors.
- Microsoft Word is the landslide winner
Half of the proposal, bid, and sales professionals we surveyed work in Microsoft Word when creating proposals and RFx responses. In fact, 80% of respondents use Microsoft applications to complete requests: Microsoft Word (50%), Microsoft Excel (16%), and Microsoft PowerPoint (14%). (Did you know QorusDocs lets you work in your favorite Microsoft tools to create professional proposals and RFP responses?)
For communication and collaboration between teams and departments, many organizations relied on Microsoft Teams in 2022. Notably, 61% of companies indicated their use of Teams increased over the past year.
- Seamless collaboration is critical
On average, 22 people—from Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) across multiple departments to dedicated proposal professionals and business development teams—are involved in responding to RFx requests. Without a way to collaborate on responses, the proposal process can become a logistics nightmare. (Pro tip: Automated proposal management software streamlines the response process to enable seamless and efficient collaboration.)
- Technology for the win
Companies using proposal automation software reported positive impacts across multiple metrics. By automating their response process, organizations increased their deal velocity and win rates, reduced the time spent creating responses, streamlined collaboration, and processed greater volumes of responses—all benefiting the bottom line.
Get the inside scoop
During these uncertain times, we’ve found many of our clients are focusing on increasing operational efficiency to boost performance and bolster the bottom line. With this goal in mind, check out the full 7th Annual Proposal Management Benchmark Study: Insider Statistics to Drive Wins in 2023 to gain a better understanding of the current RFP landscape and learn how you can refine your response process to increase efficiency and productivity, reduce costs, and maximize revenue-generating potential.
(Pro tip: If you’re new to the proposal management process, you might enjoy our Ultimate Guide to Mastering RFPs and Sales Proposals or visit our Template Hub to download a whole of host of proposal and RFx templates to help get you started.)