51 Fascinating RFP Statistics on the State of Bidding in 2023

Cheyanne Lobo

Whether your organization has a formal proposal team or takes an ad hoc approach to requests for proposals (RFPs), you have a lot to gain from improving your response process. Increased revenue, more efficient sales cycles, and a higher customer retention rate are just a few benefits of better RFP management.

However, creating winning bids is easier said than done. It’s getting tougher for teams to juggle the number of RFPs they receive—especially when they have to contend with tight deadlines and limited resources. And while we don’t have a crystal ball, we do have key trends that are shaping the year ahead for sales and proposal teams.

The following statistics are from Loopio’s fourth annual RFP Response Benchmarks & Trends Report, which analyzes data from 1,500+ RFP teams globally. This year, we partnered with the Association of Proposal Management Professionals (APMP) to extend the reach of this research.

From improving win rates to the disconnect between executives and those managing proposals, here’s a curated list of the 51 RFP statistics you need to know going into 2023.

 Table of Contents:

  1. Average RFP Win Rate and Revenue
  2. RFP Process Insights
  3. Response Timelines
  4. Submission and Volume Benchmarks
  5. Proposal Career and Salary Stats
  6. RFP Software and Impact on Stress
  7. Key Challenges Around RFP Management
  8. 2023 RFP Resources and Predictions

Average RFP Win Rates and Revenue

According to our survey of 1,500+ RFP teams, the average RFP win rate across all industries is 44%. However, this rate can vary significantly depending on the industry and the level of specialization of the company.

‍1. The average RFP win rate is 44%.‍

What is a good win rate for proposals? On average, organizations win 44% of their RFPs. 17% of teams report winning 30-39% of bids, while another 16% win 40-49% of their RFPs. A shocking 8% of teams report an 80-100% proposal win rate.

Average Win Rate (2023 RFP Data)

‍2. Enterprise companies have the highest average proposal win rates (but Mid-Market isn’t far behind).

Enterprise companies (5,001 to 10,000+ employees) win 46% of the RFPs they participate in. But Mid-Market companies (501 to 5,000 employees) are just 1% behind, calculating a win rate of 45%.

3. Small companies win 42% of their proposals.

Jumping from a win rate of 38% last year to 42% this year, Small & Midsize companies (1 to 500 employees) gain impressive ground. Larger companies hold an advantage in the sales cycle because more prominent companies are likely to be well-known and have more offerings (and resources). So, it’s impressive that Small businesses are only trailing slightly behind Mid-Market and Enterprise companies.

4. The average RFP advancement rate is 55%.

Advancement rates are somewhat rosier than the average RFP win rate. On average, companies progressed to the shortlist 55% of the time, although this varies by company size. Enterprise teams have the highest advancement rates at 59%, and Mid-Market is slightly behind with an advancement rate of 56%.
Average Advancement Rate (2023 RFP Data)

5. The top reason for losing a bid? ‘Price rises.’

When asked why they lost RFPs, teams reported the top reason: “price of our solution.” Closely followed by: “losing to a competitor or the incumbent” Interestingly, price is a bigger issue than last year. Teams may feel a bit more of a crunch on costs due to customers scaling back budgets.

6. The Healthcare & Medical Industry drive the most revenue through RFPs.

Healthcare companies generate 61% of their revenue from RFx, which is significantly higher than the average revenue sourced from RFx (39%).

Average Sales Revenue from RFPs (2023 RFP Data)

7. Most commonly tracked metrics focus on the number of bids won and submitted.

The most commonly tracked RFP metrics include the number of bids won (67%) and RFP participation rate (60%). Following this, overall revenue and advancement rates are top of mind.

Only a small percentage of teams are tracking employee satisfaction or sentiment (15%)—which is surprising, considering that team stress levels correlate with win rates.(Learn more about this through the next section: RFP Process Insights).

8. Brits are the most likely of any geography to track RFP completion speed.

An average of 29% of British teams track the speed it takes to complete an RFP compared to 19% of North American teams. This may factor into why British respondents are the fastest of all the geographies to submit bids.

💡 How Do You Increase Proposal Win Rate?

1. Put a dedicated proposal professional in charge of your process. Specialization is key to winning proposals, particularly for large companies, which are more likely to earn revenue through bids.

2. Create a balanced roster of internal experts. Winning RFPs is a team sport, which is why you’ll want to include experts from Marketing, Sales, Security, Legal, and more in your bid review process.

3. Be selective about which bids you participate in. Having a process allows you to focus your efforts on what you’re most likely to win (and manage the team workload).

For the full list of how to increase your win rate, check out the final chapter of the 2023 Report, it highlights what top teams do differently to win.

9. RFP win rate stabilizes at 44% during 2022 and 2023.

In 2019, win rates were 53%. In 2021, they dropped to 44%, and we’ve seen this number hold steady over the past two years. This stabilization could signal that teams are tracking bid wins more accurately, thanks to the rise of win/loss tools like Clozd and Klue.

10. RFP-influenced revenue rises 6% between 2022 and 2023.

This year, companies sourced 39% of their revenue from RFPs. Consistently over the past 4 years, we see RFx influence around 30-40% of company revenue.

RFP Process Insights

11. More than half of the organizations surveyed have a dedicated proposal manager, writer, or team.

Most organizations (55%) dedicate a person or team to manage and own the proposal process. If a company doesn’t have a bid team, the next most likely owner is a mix of proposal and sales team members.

Process ownership - 2023 trends

‍‍12. Stressed teams spend 13 hours longer on RFPs.

On average, stressed teams spend 13 hours longer per RFP than teams with manageable stress. However, more time spent on RFPs doesn’t necessarily translate to higher success rates—stressed teams have a 3% worse win rate than their non-stressed peers.

13. The average number of RFx questions is 77.

Since 2020 the average number of questions continues to drop and now sits at 77. However, the average time per RFP response has increased, meaning companies spend more time on each RFP question.

‍14. Nearly a quarter of RFPs (23%) are complete with fewer than 5 people.

Most organizations (41%) involve 6-10 contributors. The next largest group (23%) involves five or fewer contributors. Closely followed by that are teams that involve 11-15 people (18%) and teams that involve 15 or more people (17%) in creating every RFP.

‍15. Every RFP involves an average of 9 people to complete.

On average, companies involve a total of 9 people in the creation of every RFP. This average is consistent with 2021 and 2022 data, although there is a slight trend toward growth. Compared to previous years, the percentage of teams involving 15+ contributors grew significantly, while teams reporting less than 5 contributors shrank.

‍16. The average number of people involved in the RFP process increases based on company size.

On average, enterprise organizations involve 11 people in an RFP submission. Mid-Market companies involve 10, while small companies involve 8. This indicates that the average number of contributors tends to increase with company size.

Company sizes influence over RFP team size

‍‍17. Dedicated response teams in the U.K. are larger than in North America.

While the average North American RFP team size holds steady at 8 people, the average British team size is 9. Despite having a larger team, British RFP response teams list their most significant challenge as missing deadlines (plus Brits are on the lower end of bid win rates).

‍‍18. Satisfaction with the RFP process is on the rise.

Great news! Three in five respondents (60%) are satisfied with their RFP process, which is higher than last year’s average. This may be related to the upward trend of companies having a dedicated person or team leading the RFP process.

RFP Response Timelines

19. Average time for writing a single RFP response is 32 hours (or 25 minutes per question).

Writing an RFP response takes an average of 32 hours to complete. Considering the average proposal contains 77 questions, each question takes roughly 25 minutes to answer. So the next time you receive an RFP, you can estimate how long it will take to write by multiplying 25 minutes per question. (This doesn’t include time to assess the RFP, format responses, or write a decent proposal cover letter.)

20. 45% of RFPs are completed in 6-20 days. 🤯

The majority of teams report completing an RFP response—from start to submission—in 6-20 days.

Average RFP Timeline (2023 Proposal Statistics)

On the flip side, 11% of teams take just 24-48 business days to turn around responses, while another 11% take 21-30 business days. (After all, answering RFP questions is not a game of speed—if you can help it.)

‍‍21. British respondents spend the least hours writing out of all geographies.

British respondents spend an average of just 24 hours per RFP. They are also one of the speediest to submit bids, as 74% respond in less than 10 business days (from receiving the request to submission). However, British teams have lower bid-win rates.

‍‍‍22. 64% of Small companies submit their RFPs in 10 days or less—and it shows in their win rates.

Small and Midsize companies are more likely to submit faster than their Enterprise peers, but Small companies trail behind the average win rate (44%) with a 42% win rate. Larger organizations tend to move slower, likely because they involve more people in the process.

‍23. The larger the company, the more hours spent writing an RFP response.

Large organizations tend to take more time writing an RFP response because they have bigger teams. On average, Small & Midsize companies spend 27 hours writing an RFP response—while Mid-Market organizations spend 31 hours and Enterprise teams spend a whopping 38 hours writing during the proposal process.

The increased time likely indicates a higher level of complex requirements for big organizations. Every line is vetted for accuracy, particularly for big deals worth millions of dollars.

24. More time writing = a higher win rate (to a point). 💡

While the average timeline for writing a single RFP is 32 hours—top-performing companies spend an average of 33 hours on each RFP. However, top performers only diverge from the writing average at the 41+ hour mark, and the differences appear minor.

Although more writing correlates to higher win rates, it should be carefully considered against the number of hours a team is already putting into the bid (and whether the contract is worth the return on investment).

25. Proposal managers spend an average of 34 hours writing an RFP.

Proposal roles (writers/managers) only spent the second most time writing an RFP response. Of all the groups, those who selected “other” as their role spent the most time (41 hours) writing bids. This is likely because those in the “other” category lack experience, leading them to spend more time on the process.

Having dedicated RFP people means they can devote more time to quality writing—a good thing for win rates.

For more insights on RFP content writing, download the full RFP Trends & Benchmarks Report. ‍

RFP Volume and Submission Benchmarks

26. On average, organizations submit 162 RFPs annually.‍

On average, organizations respond to 162 RFPs per year, significantly more than the average from 2022’s report of 137 responses. This year’s average seems drastically higher, but the numbers are influenced by the influx of APMP members (who made up 50% of this year’s sample). On average, APMP members submit 189 bids annually compared to non-members, who submit an average of 139.

27. Top-performing teams are on par with the submission average.

Top performing teams—who win more than 50% of the RFPs they bid on—submit a slightly higher volume of RFP responses annually. These teams respond to 163 responses annually, in comparison to the average team, who respond to 162 RFPs, just a 1-document difference.

28. RFP submissions increase drastically with company size.

On average, RFP submission volume shifts with the size of an organization. Small organizations respond to 72 RFPs, Mid-Market businesses respond to 162, and Enterprise companies respond to a whopping 273 RFPs annually.

Proposal submissions by company size | 2023 Trends

29. Organizations typically respond to two-thirds of the RFPs they receive.

On average, organizations respond to 63% of the RFPs their company receives—meaning most teams deem two-thirds of bids worth answering. This is an encouraging sign that teams are choosier about which proposals they take on in general—focusing on quality versus quantity to secure an RFP win. It’s also the first time that the participation rate has remained flat after years of teams trending downward, which may indicate teams have hit a plateau for selectivity.

30. 80% of teams use a go/no-go process for RFPs.

A growing number of teams are using an evaluation process to qualify RFPs, before investing time in a proposal. This year, 80% of teams assess if they’re likely to win using a go/no-go decision template for RFPs. This means that more than three-quarters of responders consider it valuable to assess customer fit before working on a bid.

31. Organizations with an RFP tool submit 34 more responses annually.‍

Teams with RFP software respond to an average of 179 RFPs annually, while those without software respond to only 145.

32. 49% of RFPs were submitted through an online portal.

This year, the number of bids submitted through an online portal increased from 43% last year. Interestingly, this number is even higher among top-performing teams, who submit 55% of their bids through an online portal. (There may be a competitive advantage to proactively seeking more bids, or capture planning, using online portals.)

RFP submissions through online portals | 2023 trends

Proposal Career & Salary Stats

33. Proposal professionals earn $89,800 per year on average.‍

The average salary for proposal roles (writers/managers at all levels of experience) is almost $89,800 (USD). The majority of salaries fell between $51,000 to $125,000.

Read more about salary distribution for proposal professionals

34. On average, proposal managers earn $92,851.

Understandably, the average proposal manager’s salary is greatly influenced by an individual’s career level. For example, proposal writers earn an average salary of $76,075 (USD), while managers/team leads earn closer to six figures. Sales leaders earn $109,205, and marketing leaders earn $112,913 on average.

‍35. Proposal teams skew primarily white and female.

Three-quarters of proposal teams surveyed are white (74%), and 64% identify as female. Although gender representation is tipping towards a more balanced scale year-over-year, a significant racial imbalance remains.

36. 30% of proposal professionals were promoted in the last 12 months.

More than a quarter (30%) of proposal professionals received a promotion within the last 12 months, while 64% expect to be in a more senior proposal role within the next five years.

37. Nearly two-thirds of proposal professionals have 5+ years of experience.

Nearly two-thirds of proposal writers or managers have been in an RFP-related role for over 5 years, and almost a quarter have been in the field for more than 15 years.

38. 68% of proposal professionals list content management as their top duty.

On trend with last year, proposal professionals see their top duties as content management (68%), response writing (62%), and project management (61%). At the bottom of the list are capture planning (9%) and market analysis/competitive analysis (12%).

For more insights on proposal salaries, download the full RFP Trends & Benchmarks Report. ‍

RFP Software Statistics (And its Impact on Stress Levels)

39. 49% of companies use an RFP tool or software.

Almost half of organizations use dedicated RFP management or proposal software.

RFP response software users | 2023 statistics

40. Top reason for using software = improved RFP content storage.

The top reasons cited for using an RFP solution are improvements to content storage and maintenance (64%), closely followed by time savings (60%), and the automation of tedious and manual tasks (44%).

41. Cloud documents and emails are the main alternatives for RFP management instead of dedicated software.

Teams not using RFP automation tend to rely heavily on email and cloud document sharing, such as Microsoft SharePoint or Google Documents.

42. Software users influence 65% more revenue.

Teams that use RFP software influence an average of $405.2M annually compared to non-software users who only influence $245.1M annually—an average increase of 65%.

43. Adopting RFP software leads to higher team satisfaction.

RFP software users are significantly more satisfied with all aspects of their RFP process compared to their counterparts. Top benefits include the quality of proposals, the ability to respond accurately, and response speed (how long it takes to respond to an RFP). They’re also 12% more satisfied with their team’s good proposal win rate  (which isn’t surprising, considering research shows that happy teams tend to perform better).

44. Proposal teams using software report 5% more manageable stress levels.

65% of teams that use proposal software say their stress levels at work are “almost always manageable” in comparison to their peers without dedicated tools—60% of non-users report manageable stress levels.

The impact of RFP software on stress levels | 2023 statistics

45. Most companies see a return on investment (ROI) in less than one year with RFP software.

Smaller companies are more likely to see a return on their investment with RFP software within the first year, compared to larger firms. A whopping 42% of Small companies see ROI in under 6 months.

Enterprise organizations likely take longer to see an ROI because they have larger team sizes, and in general, it takes longer to complete bids. However, they also see a much higher payout from RFP revenue.

‍Key Challenges Around RFP Management in 2023

46. Collaborating with internal experts remains the top challenge in the response process.

RFP teams report that their top challenges are collaborating with subject matter experts (51%), finding up-to-date accurate answers (42%), meeting deadlines and dealing with delays (35%), and having the bandwidth to answer all RFPs (32%). All of these issues highlight the need for better content management for a successful RFP process.

Read more about Top challenges in Response process

47. 8% of sales-led proposals were lost due to a missed deadline.

Interestingly, RFPs led by sales were more likely to be lost because they missed a deadline, in comparison to proposal manager-led bids. Just 3% of proposals led by an RFP manager were lost due to a missed deadline.

48. Executives and Associates still disagree on why they lose RFPs.

Executives and Associates don’t see eye-to-eye on the top reason for losing RFPs. The survey shows senior leaders are likelier to attribute a loss to their product, whereas associates are likelier to say it’s the price. Though notably, all roles listed price as their top reason for losses this year.

Better win/loss analysis, shared visibility for key metrics, and soliciting more employee feedback could bridge the gap between these levels—and improve proposal win rates.

‍2023 RFP Resources and Predictions

49. Companies plan to invest in team training, hiring, and tech in 2023.

The top areas for RFP resource investments in 2023 are team training (46%), hiring more staff (41%), and investing in new technology (33%).

Resource investments for 2023


‍‍50. 51% of organizations intend to submit more RFPs in 2023.

Just over half of organizations (51%) say they plan to increase the number of RFPs they respond to in 2023. It’s worth noting this number is 6% lower than last year’s predictions of 57%.

‍‍51. RFP process improvement recommendations focus on collaboration and content management.

When asked what actions their company should take to win more RFPs in 2023, the respondents recommended that SMEs answer requests in a more timely fashion (33%), improve how to find and maintain content (29%), and implement a smoother process (28%).

Whether you are learning how to respond to a government RFP, or increasing your volume of private sector submissions, having an efficient RFP response process is critical to closing new business faster.‍

Note: This article is updated annually to reflect new research and RFP statistics.

Download the full RFP Response Benchmarks & Trends Report to learn more about behaviours of top-performing companies.

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