Loopio, the leading Request for Proposal (RFP) response software provider, has just released its third annual RFP Response Trends and Benchmarks Report.

This comprehensive research report offers unparalleled insights into industry-wide trends impacting sales and proposal teams in the year ahead.

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This year’s survey collected data from 800+ RFP responders across North America, spanning 15+ industries. It covers performance benchmarks for RFP volume, win rates, turnaround time, and more. The 2022 edition also includes a brand new section on proposal manager salaries and career prospects.

“We conduct this research every year to help sales and proposal teams benchmark and improve their RFP response process,” says Zak Hemraj, Loopio CEO and Co-Founder. “Through data from over 800 respondents, I’m excited to see the proposal management field continuing to mature. However, increased competition and diversity issues may be preventing some companies from reaching their full potential. Our report reveals how every team can emulate the industry’s top performers.”

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Top trends and insights from this year’s research include:

  • RFP-sourced revenue and win rates took a hit. The research suggests this could be from improved reporting on RFP outcomes. It could also be influenced by growing competition caused by the increased use of online bid portals as more companies went remote these past two years.
  • Top performers are selective, collaborative, and tech-savvy. Those who fell into the Top Performer category—meaning they win more than 51% of the RFPs they bid on—were more likely to have a go or no-go process for evaluating bids, involve more collaborators, and use RFP automation software. They also submit more bids than Middle or Low performers.
  • The top reason for losing bids is competition. Respondents said the top reason they lose RFPs is due to a competitor. In the previous report, that reason was pricing. This shift may indicate that buyers are becoming less price-sensitive as the economy has (somewhat) stabilized over the past year.
  • Internal collaboration is the biggest stumbling block to success. This year, responders cited timely responses from internal Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) as their top challenge. They also listed improving collaboration with SMEs as one of the top ways to improve RFP performance in the year ahead. And the data shows that they’re correct: those who win more RFPs are more likely to have more contributors involved in the response writing process.
  • Career satisfaction is high for proposal managers—but diversity and equity are low. Those in proposal management and writing roles tend to be very happy with their careers. However, demographic research shows that women—who make up a majority of proposal professionals—are much less likely to be in the top earner salary range vs. their male counterparts. There is also a startling lack of ethnic diversity among proposal professionals, who are predominantly white. Proposal teams should expand their candidate pool and standardized salaries so they can hire and retain the best talent.
  • RFP volume is set to increase in 2022—and so are resources. Nearly 60% of companies plan on increasing their RFP submissions in the year ahead, which is a 10% increase from last year. To support these new targets, 80% percent of teams surveyed will be increasing RFP resources in the year ahead, either by investing in better training, hiring more staff, or buying new technology.

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