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How to Increase Your Proposal Conversion Rate by 50%

You’re in the business of closing sales – making money and converting proposals into contract wins. It matters how you go about making that happen as a replicable process. In this article, we will talk about how to increase your proposal conversion rate by 50% simply from streamlining your proposal management process. The first thing to do is to evaluate your current process and bridge the gaps.

Are your processes automated?

It is a good chance that you are having trouble scaling your proposal volume, and less proposals usually mean less wins (not always). Proposal management processes take time and effort from everyone involved, and opportunities arise regularly. It is critical to automate your processes based on how you do business rather than play a guessing game or reinvent the wheel for every single proposal. Automation ensures scale, and scale increases the chances of more proposal conversions.

Your proposal management process is unique to your organization and must be measurable, as well as easy to replicate to be useful. Organizations that relegate to doing everything manually or that place a high amount of responsibility onto one person risk losing time and work output when someone is unable to perform for any one reason.

Automate your processes from start to finish using the following methods:

  • Start with the RFP. How do you receive RFPs? Is someone responsible for searching for them? Are you able to track opportunities and manage them at the same time? Automate the way you receive RFPs and RFP review. You can create an account with online bid portals and segment the opportunities you wish to pursue in your company profile. The right bids will be sent to the email address you have on file. RFP review should be done within a standard for the full team to follow. As soon as the RFP is received, you should be able to leverage a system for consistent team review.
  • Streamline the Go/No-Go decision. How do you make the determination to move forward with a response? Is the decision made based on data? Are your stakeholder all informed at the same time? Automate the decision process and record stakeholder comments for later review and point of comparison to future bids.
  • Finalize the proposal. Are you using a content repository? Are you able to autofill document responses or leverage templates? Automate your proposal process to streamline development and production. Use a shared system to house boilerplate content that can be tracked and updated. Customize a corporate standard template that can used for every proposal.

Proposal management software automate these processes for you so that you and your team can focus on developing the win strategy for your proposal responses.

Automation for the Whole Team

Start automating your workflow so you can focus on win strategy – Oh right! We refine that too.

Templates Management

Are you strategic in your proposal management process?

On average, organizations boast a 47-53% win rate for total submissions and submit roughly 40 - 130 per year depending on the size of the organization – smaller firms submit toward the beginning of that range.

For a small business, a 50% ± win rate means using a significant amount of time and resources to only close near 20 proposals, which is usually still pretty hard to attain for a small business with limited access to larger contracts and resources unless they are providing services as a subcontractor. Your strategy dictates your wins versus the losses.

To strategically increase your proposal conversion rates:

  • First identify your current close rate and average proposal responses per quarter. It’s simple math. If you submit 30 proposals per quarter and win 12 of them, then your win rate is 40% per quarter. Calculate the revenue that is generated from that win rate.
  • Next, apply a goal to increase the identified win rate per quarter rather than annually. We find incremental goal setting to be easier to track and adjust.

Apply goals based on your current challenges. Perhaps you are unable to respond to every bid, not even the ones that are the most lucrative. Your pain point is a lack of resources or time. Hire a proposal consultant, leverage a proposal management tool or RFP software, or consider teaming options with organizations that have more resources. A goal for you could be to reduce responses to only substantial opportunities that generate higher revenue and to increase win rate at least 20-30%. The reduction in responses for more strategic wins will attain such a goal and create longer lasting partnerships.

  • Finally, combine automation with strategic decision making and planning.

Your proposal conversion rates are influenced by your ability to replicate successful processes and strategically map them to your organizational needs. With incremental goal setting and the right resources your proposal conversion rate will increase.

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