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Proposal Management Trends

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The combination of the economic down trend in 2020 and massive expected growth for 2021 creates several interesting business conditions. We detail the five biggest trends companies can expect on proposal teams through the end-of-year, as well as offer an outlook into what is coming next year.

An Increase In Proposals

It is no wonder that, according to Loopio’s 2021 RFP Response Trends & Benchmark Report, 75% of companies expect a slight increase in Requests For Proposals (RFPs) during this year. The economic recovery has led to an increase in expected RFPs. The number of government projects and stimulus spending for their regions is on the rise. This means businesses will be looking into purchasing new services, tools, and equipment due to their increased revenue.

An Increased Importance Of Personalization And Expertise

Proposals will be issued at a greater rate in 2021, but they will also be harder to capture. Proposals will need to capture more attention than before by being more sophisticated. As proposal teams become increasingly sophisticated with their operations, quality has increased significantly. Clientele expects something that is customized just for them. This means demanding higher levels of expertise and personalization from all parties involved.

More Will Be expected From Proposal Teams With Less

Most companies also laid off staff last year. So, proposal and capture teams should expect to pass the year with smaller staffing than they have been accustomed to. It is understandable that the economic recovery will lead to greater demand for proposals but not be met by an increased headcount.

Top Performers Will Leverage Data

The most successful proposal teams leverage data technologies in these ways:

· Top performers tend to track metrics related to proposals, such as total revenue, bids submitted, and bids won. It is surprising that teams do not track profitability metrics or the relative strength of their opportunities. These less frequently tracked aspects are key in establishing a strong qualification process for potential business partners.

· The most successful proposal teams employ a decision-making process that has been informed by research and studies.

· High-performing proposal teams are more likely to utilize software that helps them organize their proposal content, track metrics, and make stronger qualification decisions. Teams leveraging technology report not only higher win percentages but also higher overall team satisfaction with less process stress as well.

Increased Importance In Strong Qualification Processes

A contradiction will be seen: With the economy recovering, most executives understandably might encourage more proposal responses. But this might also be seen as a distraction from other business concerns that are regarded as more important. Though most executives want their companies to pursue more proposals, many will regard it as not the most profitable business function.

This contradiction might be caused by a disparity between executives and proposal teams in their perspectives. A failed business proposal will be judged differently by either. It will be judged as having poor qualifications by the proposal team, while the executives will judge the proposal itself to be poorly written.

The proposal needs to be qualified diligently ahead of time. Companies should also use a standard method of rating the quality of received proposals. Team members can use data-backed win-loss analyses. This will demonstrate an impact upon chances of winning as well as improve their qualifications later.

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