How did 2020 affect your organization’s sales? If your proposal win rate was under 50%, you’re part of the majority. 

In fact, only 15.4% of professionals could say that their proposal win rate exceeded the 50%-mark last year, in spite of the fact that 45.7% said they had seen an increase in the number of proposals requested in the six months preceding their survey feedback. This, according to our 5th edition annual proposal management industry survey report.

Download the full report here

Every year, we collect and share proposal professionals’ views with the aim of better understanding this high-pressured environment. Most recently, we wanted to dig deeper into the challenges that those in the information technology sector face. 

With that in mind, we shared our survey with sales and business development teams as well as bid teams, and received feedback from global proposal and RFP managers, proposal writers, sales directors, marketing directors, and CEOs. 

We asked about key metrics like win rates, average number of proposals a month, and other strategic benchmarks for 2021 to give you insights into creating a winning proposal strategy.

So, let’s dive into some of the report highlights, after which we’ll discuss how you can equip your proposal team to achieve a higher win rate in the year ahead.

  1. Proposal content management and trends

    In addition to other proposal-related queries, we asked respondents for feedback on who in their business is responsible for developing sales and proposal content. 

    While approximately one third of respondents said their bid team (33%) creates sales proposals and another approximate third said their business development team (32%) does so, a quarter of respondents (25%) said that proposal content is handled by a combination of teams.

    Who develops sales and proposal content at your company?

    What’s more, 25% of respondents reported that their company splits who creates sales proposals by giving bid teams the large strategic bids, while sales teams handle smaller, ‘standard’ deals. In our report, we deep dive into the threshold values for passing proposals to a dedicated team. 

    One point we found particularly interesting, when looking at storing content in a centralized location, is that only 12.8% of respondents say their company uses a standard content library all the time when answering RFPs.

  2. Success metrics and win rates

    As mentioned earlier, only 15.4% of respondents reported win rates of over 50%, with most stating that their average win rate is below 40%. This is down from 2019, when most respondents reported a 50/50 win rate. 

    What is your organization's average win rate?

    Understandably, a number of external factors were at play in 2020 that impacted these figures but we also know that internal processes have an impact on teams’ success rates. So, let’s take a look at what respondents had to say about the challenges they face.

    Without much change from the years before, the top challenges that respondents mentioned they navigate when they create sales proposals are developing new content, updating old content, and getting stakeholders and subject matter experts (SMEs) to collaborate in a timely manner. Other challenges include a lack of resources, and design and templates being an issue.

    All of these challenges have one thing in common: they’re time wasters! And, we know that when it comes to getting higher win rates, the speed at which you can get professional-looking proposals out the door is of the essence. It’s also vital that time isn’t spent on menial tasks when it could be used to focus on strategic tasks and efforts and bring in new business.

    That being so, we took a look at how much time salespeople lose on non-customer facing work. While 27.2% said they didn’t know, a quarter (25%) of respondents said that they spend 6 to 10 hours a week (roughly a day), and 17.4% said that their salespeople spend 11 to 15 hours a week (roughly two days) on non-customer facing work.

    How many hours per week do your salespeople spend on non-customer facing work?

    Although this doesn’t surprise us, it does pain us when we know that things could be very different with right tools and tech in place.

  3. RFP and proposal technology

    As a technology provider, Qorus was of course interested to know which tools and tech professionals view as most critical to their success. 

    While the top three tools that they rely on were listed as CRM, training, and proposal management systems, surprisingly only approximately a quarter of respondents (26.7%) use this type of software to create sales proposals. 

    Does your team use proposal management software?

    With all of the above insight – plus that included in the full report – in mind, we see three vital areas that bid and proposal management teams need to focus on to maximize their win rates in the year ahead: communication, collaboration, and efficiency.

Download our full report

How proposal management software can help your team up its win rates in 2021

Proposal management software automates the proposal process to make it more efficient for you. Watch our quick video below to find out more about what proposal management software is.

Qorus proposal management software empowers your team to create sales proposals and beautiful, accurate responses to RFPs, RFIs, RFQs, SOWs and questionnaires 5x faster.

For better communication, collaboration, and efficiency among proposal management teams, Qorus enables users to:

  1. Create professional-looking proposals and RFP responses with pre-approved, branded content.

  2. Collaborate with subject matter experts on every deal to ensure consistency and accuracy from a single source of truth.

  3. Automate proposals and RFP responses using our AI-enabled software that suggests content with the highest engagement rate.

  4. Share their proposals from anywhere securely with a solution built for distributed workforces.

  5. Track insights into prospect engagement within their proposals for smarter, more relevant follow-up activities and communication.

To discover more about our proposal management software, give our demo a shot!

Build proposals and RFP responses faster