Loopio’s Annual Trends Report Reveals State of RFP Management in 2021

The Loopio Team

TORONTO, Jan. 11, 2021—Loopio, the leader in Request For Proposal (RFP) response software, announced today the release of their second annual RFP Response Trends & Benchmarks Report.

This in-depth research project offers the industry’s most comprehensive view of the RFP response management field. It includes key industry benchmarks, as well as larger trends impacting RFP revenue, submission rates, and volume.

The 2021 report analyzed data from 650+ RFP teams from across North America—up from 500 participants in last year’s research.

“COVID-19 created a lot of uncertainty for sales and proposal teams this past year. That’s why research like this is so important: it gives RFP teams a clear picture of how the industry fared in 2020—and recommendations for how they should shift their strategies in 2021.”
Zak Hemraj
CEO and Co-Founder

In its 2021 RFP Response Trends & Benchmarks Report, Loopio uncovered the following key findings:

  • Despite best efforts, RFP-sourced revenue dropped 6% between 2020 and 2021. The number of RFPs submitted and time spent on them did not change in 2020. In spite of submission levels and efforts remaining the same, RFP-sourced revenue dropped by 6%, and win rates were also down 6% overall.
  • COVID-19’s impact on response teams in 2020 was mixed. RFP teams were evenly split on the impact of COVID-19: a third saw a decrease in RFP numbers, while another third experienced an influx. The final third saw some fluctuation, but no significant large changes overall.
  • Many teams are expecting to answer fewer RFPs in 2021 due to COVID-19. The number of teams planning to submit more RFPs in the coming year dropped by 16% compared to Loopio’s 2020 report. 34% of respondents forecasting a decrease attributed it to the economic fallout from COVID-19.
  • RFP teams are still seen as a solid investment area in 2021. Interestingly, in spite of the expected decreases in RFP volume in 2021, overall RFP resource investments planned for the coming year only decreased by a few percentage points in comparison to 2020—although hiring more staff was reported to be less of a priority in 2021 compared to the year prior.
  • Top hurdles in the RFP process are still centered on managing content—but collaboration challenges are growing. Finding and storing accurate RFP answers took the number one spot for key process challenges again this year. But collaboration challenges are growing for many teams: the top suggestion for improving the response process in 2021 became holding internal Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to stricter deadlines. This could be due to the increase in RFP collaborators (which rose from 7 to 9), and more teams working remotely in 2020 as a result of COVID-19.
  • Executives and Associates are misaligned on reasons for RFP losses. Executives and Associates don’t always see eye-to-eye on key success metrics or overall process sentiment. They’re also not aligned on the top reasons for losing RFPs. Senior leaders are more likely to attribute a loss to proposal quality, missed deadlines, or bad fit. Associates, on the other hand, are most likely to attribute loss to pricing or competitors. Better win/loss analysis and soliciting more employee feedback could bridge the gap and help organizations improve their win rates.
  • Top performers have the right people, process, and tools in place. Best-in-class response teams (those with 51% or higher RFP win rates) invest more effort and resources into their response process. They spend 2 more hours than average writing their RFPs—but are more likely to be more selective about the bids they pursue and to track RFP metrics. They also often have larger teams and more collaborators involved in each RFP. They’re also likely to use RFP response software to streamline their process—which was shown to have a positive impact on RFP submission numbers, response speed, proposal quality, and employee stress levels.

The report surveyed individuals involved in responding to RFPs from companies that ranged in size from a handful of employees to 10,000+ enterprises. Participants included those in a variety of roles in the RFP process, including Proposal Managers, Sales and Marketing Executives, Solutions Engineers, and Information Security professionals.

It also establishes performance benchmarks for the following industries: Software; Technology (Hardware, Telecom & IT); Financial, Legal & Media Services; Manufacturing & Retail; and Public Sector (Education, Healthcare, Government & Non-Profit).

For more insights from Loopio’s annual report, download a copy now.

About Loopio

Loopio is a Toronto-based software provider that helps companies streamline their response process for RFPs, DDQs, and Security Questionnaires. With Loopio, teams can respond faster, improve response quality, and win more business. Loopio is one of Canada’s fastest-growing tech startups. It ranked twice as one of the fastest-growing companies on the Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ list and selected twice as one of LinkedIn’s Top Startups in Canada.

For media inquiries: please contact Katie Flood, Content Marketing Manager, Loopio.

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