Whether your organization has a formal proposal team or takes an ad hoc approach when responding to RFPs, you have a lot to gain from improving your response process. Increased revenue, more efficient sales cycles, and higher retention rates are just a few of the benefits of better RFP management.
However, creating winning bids is easier said than done. It’s getting tougher for teams to juggle the number of RFPs they receive—especially when they have to contend with tight deadlines and limited resources.
In late 2019, Loopio surveyed 500 individuals involved in the RFP process from companies across North America. Our goal: uncover what top performers do to win more RFPs. The results of that research became our RFP Management Benchmarks & 2020 Trends Report. It covers performance benchmarks and metrics for organizations of all sizes across 14 industries.
From improving win rates, to the disconnects between executives and those managing proposals, here are 33 RFP statistics from the report that your team can use to improve the RFP process, make a case for more resources, and ultimately win more business.
RFP Submission and Win Rate Benchmarks
1. On average, organizations submit over 100 RFPs annually.
On average, organizations submit 147 RFPs per year—34% submit 51-250 RFPs, 31% submit 10-50 RFPs a year, and 19% submit over 250. <Tweet this stat>
2. Organizations with a dedicated owner submit the highest number of RFPs.
Teams that have a dedicated Proposal Manager or team respond to 174 RFPs per year on average. Those without a designated owner are 30% more likely to complete less than 10 RFPs annually. <Tweet this stat>
3. Organizations with an RFP tool submit the highest number of RFPs.
Teams with RFP software respond to an average of 152 RFPs annually, while those without respond to only 103 per year. <Tweet this stat>
4. Organizations respond to nearly two-thirds of the *RFPs they receive.
On average, organizations respond to 69% of the RFPs they receive—meaning most teams deem almost two-thirds of the RFPs they receive to be worth their time to answer. <Tweet this stat>
5. Ownership of the RFP process leads to higher satisfaction with response rates.
Organizations with ad hoc RFP ownership are 30% less likely to feel satisfied with their response rate. Organizations with a dedicated RFP individual or team heading up the RFP process are 8% more likely to be ‘Very Satisfied’ with the quality of their RFPs. <Tweet this stat>
6. More participants leads to higher satisfaction with response rates.
Teams are 20-30% more likely to be satisfied with their response rate when they involve more than 15 people in the RFP process. <Tweet this stat>
7. The average win rate for RFPs is above 50%.
On average, organizations win 53% of the RFPs they bid on–37% win less than 50% of RFP bids, 28% win between 50-69%, and 27% win 70% or more. <Tweet this stat>
8. Organizations with the highest win rates respond to more RFPs.
Those answering 250+ RFPs a year are 14-21% more likely to report win rates in the 80%+ range. While there needs to be a balance between volume and quality, the ability to answer more RFPs seems to translate to more successful outcomes overall. <Tweet this stat>
Average Sales Revenue Generated from RFPs
9. Almost a third of sales revenue can be sourced from RFPs.
On average, RFPs generate 41% of sales revenue. The industries which generate the highest percentage of their revenue from RFPs are Non-profit/Government (67%), Legal Services (54%), and Supply Chain & Logistics (52%). <Tweet this stat>
10. Larger companies are more likely to generate a higher average percentage of sales revenue from RFPs.
54% of the average sales revenue for organizations with 1,001-5,000 employees is sourced from RFPs. These organizations likely involve more people in the RFP process and submit more responses—so they often invest more time and resources than smaller companies. <Tweet this stat>
11. RFPs contribute as much to winning new business as they do to retaining customers.
On average, 40% of an organizations’ RFP revenue contributes to net new acquisition, and 39% comes from customer retention as well as RFPs they’ve previously won. <Tweet this stat>
RFP Process Insights
12. Almost half of the organizations surveyed have a dedicated Proposal individual or team.
Most organizations (45%) dedicate a person or team to manage and own the RFP process. If there isn’t a proposal team, the next largest group of RFP owners is Sales. <Tweet this stat>
13. Dedicated proposal individuals or teams perform better.
Organizations with a dedicated Proposal individual or team are 9% more likely to feel as though their process is efficient, 5% more likely to complete more RFPs overall, and 8% more likely to be ‘Very Satisfied’ with the quality of their RFPs. <Tweet this stat>
14. Less than a quarter of RFPs are completed with fewer than 5 people.
39% of organizations involve between 8-10 people, 36% involve 11 people or more, and 25% involve fewer than five people. <Tweet this stat>
15. The average number of people involved in the RFP process based on company size doesn’t drastically change.
Companies with 10,000+ employees involve the same amount of people in the RFP process as companies that are much smaller than they are. Loopio’s research shows that involving more experts in the response process correlates with higher win rates, so enterprise-level organizations may be leaving RFP revenue on the table. <Tweet this stat>
This number fluctuates very little based on company size: organizations with over 10,000 employees involve an average of seven, whereas companies between 101-500 employees involve an average of eight, the highest average of all sized companies.
17. More people means better outcomes.
Organizations that involve more people in the RFP process tend to have higher win rates. Those that include 15 or more people in the RFP process are 9% more likely to have win rates in the 80-89% range. <Tweet this stat>
Teams that involve fewer people are 11% less likely to be ‘Very Satisfied’ with their RFP quality. This could be because when more expertise is put into responses from different areas of the business, the overall quality of answers increases.
RFP Response and Submission Timelines
18. Those who spend more time writing responses tend to achieve higher win rates.
The average timeline for writing a single RFP is 23.8 hours. However, companies with 80-99% win rates are 6% more likely to spend 61+ hours, on average, writing RFPs. <Tweet this stat>
19. The average timeline for submitting an RFP ranges from a few days to a few weeks.
The average is 252 hours (or 10.5 days), with the most frequent timeline for submitting an RFP being 3-5 days (17%). <Tweet this stat>
20. The average submission timeline is impacted by industry.
The industries that submit RFPs the fastest are Media & Publishing (3.1 days), Supply Chain & Logistics (3.3 days), and Advertising & PR (4.7 days). Those in telecommunications take the longest with an average submission timeline of 29.8 days. <Tweet this stat>
RFP Tools & Reporting
21. Metric tracking can lead to higher win rates.
There is a positive relationship between tracking revenue metrics and the percentage of RFPs won. 68% of those who win 70% or more of the RFPs they bid on track overall revenue, compared to only 36% for those who win less than 40% of their bids. <Tweet this stat>
22. Most organizations are tracking their RFP success metrics.
Almost 50% of all organizations track overall revenue sourced from RFPs. Other top metrics include new revenue sourced from RFPs (45%), customers retained through RFPs (42%), the number or percentage of won bids (38%), and the number of bids submitted (36%). <Tweet this stat>
23. Team ownership impacts metric tracking.
Companies with a dedicated proposal team or manager are more likely than other organizations to track submission numbers, win rates, and overall revenue metrics. When Sales or ad hoc ownership of the process occurs, those metrics are less likely to be tracked. <Tweet this stat>
24. The majority of companies actively use RFP tools and software.
80% of organizations use dedicated RFP response or proposal management software. <Tweet this stat>The top two reasons organizations cite for not using an RFP response solution is due to a lack of budget, or a belief that their current tools are working adequately. <Tweet this stat>
25. RFP Software is more effective than other tools.
Those who don’t use RFP software are 17% less likely to rate their tools as ‘Extremely Effective.’ Those who rate their tools as ‘Extremely Effective’ are 10% more likely to use RFP software. <Tweet this stat>
26. Adopting RFP software can lead to better collaboration.
Those who rate their tools as ‘Extremely Effective’ are 8% more likely than average to involve 15+ people in their RFP process. <Tweet this stat>
27. Teams that use RFP software often see increased submissions.
Those using RFP software respond to an average of 152 RFPs annually, while those without respond to only 103. They’re also more likely to submit more RFPs next year than they did this year, compared to those that don’t use a dedicated tool. <Tweet this stat>
Key Thoughts Around RFP Management
28. Top challenges in the response process center on RFP content management.
The most common issues in the RFP process are finding the best and most accurate answers quickly and easily (44%), along with collaborating with others (43%), and meeting deadlines and dealing with delays (35%). <Tweet this stat>
29. There are disconnects between Executives and Associates in the RFP process.
Executives are 10% more likely than average to say that their team responds to all of the RFPs they receive—meaning they may believe it’s happening when it isn’t. <Tweet this stat>
Executives and Associates could be disconnected because leaders might have access to data that employees don’t—or Executive may not track or know the day-to-day metrics as well as they think they do.
30. Role-based biases in the RFP process exist.
Proposal Managers/Writers are most likely (36%) to see training as a key area for investment, compared to Sales, Security, or Marketing team members, who see technology or hiring as more important (27%). <Tweet this stat>
2020 RFP Management Trends
31. Roughly two-thirds of organizations intend to submit more RFPs in 2020.
63% of organizations say they plan to increase the number of RFPs to which they respond to in 2020. 23% anticipate this number will stay the same, while just 3% think it will decrease. <Tweet this stat>
32. Companies plan to invest in multiple RFP resources in 2020.
To increase resources for their RFP process next year, 40% of organizations plan to hire more staff. Likewise, 39% plan to invest in new tech, another 39% are planning more training for existing team members, and 27% intend to increase budgets. <Tweet this stat>
33. RFP process improvement recommendations focus on staff training and process improvements.
When asked what actions their company should take to win more RFPs in 2020, the top actions respondents chose were to focus on better training (33%), implement a better internal process (32%) and to find better ways to manage, search, and maintain questionnaire answers/content (29%). <Tweet this stat>
How to Strengthen Your RFP Response Process
Having an effective and efficient RFP response process can help your organization complete more responses and close new business faster. Use the key insights in the full copy of the RFP Response Management Benchmarks and 2020 Trends Report to start a conversation around where to gain efficiencies at your company.
A good place to start is to evaluate and potentially upgrade your current RFP tools. Do they give you a way to clearly find, store, and maintain accurate, up-to-date content while collaborating effectively with team members?
If not, Loopio’s response management platform can help. Our unique approach to RFP management not only gives your team on-demand access to the information they need, but also keeps it up-to-date, organized, and built to scale with your organization.