Swapping notes recently with a Head of Proposal Management, I played devil’s advocate regarding the business case for improving proposal capabilities.
Proposal teams often talk about helping to bring about an “increase in win rates”. Indeed, we’ve had the pleasure of working with many teams who’ve done just that.
The counter-argument, of course, is that if you’re already at 80%, then you probably already have a strong proposal culture – and so implementing further improvements should be easier. And there are those who’d take the purist view and debate whether proposal centres should be measured on win rates at all! As I say, it’s a complex area.
There’s another perspective, too. Suppose you win 10 of every 100 deals – and then sharpen your qualification so as to rule out half of the deals you would formerly have chased. Your win rate will again rise to 20% – yet you’ll still only be capturing the same 10 deals per year. You’ll reduce your cost of sale, but revenue will remain static. That may not make for quite such a compelling business case as it might look at first glance!