Proposal Win Rate Calculator
How to Calculate (And Improve) Your Proposal Win Rate
Is your RFP win rate higher or lower than the global average? Find out with this win rate calculator.
What Percent of Your RFP Responses Result in a Win?
This simple calculation is your proposal win rate—the cardinal metric among proposal professionals. You may even know this number off the top of your head from your last quarterly meeting.
While your proposal win rate gets much-deserved praise and attention, it’s just a number if there’s no story to back it up. In this guide, we’ll teach you how to go beyond the win rate formula into understanding the performance of your entire RFP process.
Read on to learn what makes a good win rate, how to draw informative conclusions about your performance, and ways to increase your win rate for a record year.
But if you can’t wait to calculate your win rate, go ahead. We, too, are just as excited to find out.
How to Calculate Your Win Rate
To calculate your win rate, divide the number of RFPs you win by the number of RFPs you submit. Simply use this win rate calculator. ⬇️
What Exactly Are Proposal Win Rates?
Your RFP win rate (also known as your bid-to-win ratio) is the percentage of proposals that result in a winning deal. For example, if your proposal managers submit 162 RFP responses yearly and successfully win 71, your win rate would be 44%.
To get more granular, you can also calculate your win rate for new business opportunities or contract renewals by swapping the number of RFPs won and submitted for each.
Remember: Your win rate will be significantly higher when you are the incumbent and lower in reverse. As the saying goes, “It’s easier to retain customers than find new ones.”
Why is Your RFP Win Rate Important to Know?
Ultimately, your win rate reflects the overall success of your RFP program. Plus, it helps you understand the performance of sales team members. While there are many other proposal metrics you can track to understand your performance better, keeping a close eye on your win rate is important because you can determine:
✓ The health of your go/no-go: Measuring your win rate against your participation rate (% of RFPs you respond to vs. receive) will reveal whether you’re chasing the right opportunities or not. For example, if you have a high participation rate but your win rate is low, you may need to alter your decision criteria to be more selective.
✓ Where to make process improvements: Big or small, if you introduce any change to the RFP process, you can use your win rate as a benchmark to gauge whether or not it’s working. For example, let’s say you decide to spend three more hours writing highly customized answers. Does it lead to a higher win rate?
✓ How much revenue you can win: If your win rate stays consistent, you can accurately forecast revenue from RFPs and efficiently allocate resources to achieve those results.
What’s Considered a Good Percentage of Winning Proposals?
According to Loopio’s 2023 RFP Trends Report, the average team wins 44% of their RFPs. In other words, if you sit within the 30-49% range for your win rate, your proposal performance is on par with one-third of teams across the globe.
What classifies as a good win rate also varies across industries and company sizes. For reference, Enterprise and Mid-Market companies earn the highest win rates (46% and 45%, respectively). Yet, smaller companies are still keeping up with a win rate of 42%.
In comparing your win rate against the average for your industry, Non-Profit and Government take the lead with a win rate of 50%. Following closely behind is Healthcare and Medical at 47%. Conversely, Technology (Hardware/IT) has a win rate of 39%—the lowest of all industries.
After Calculating Win Rate, How Do You Analyze It?
So, you have your average win rate calculation—now what? It’s time to give this metric meaning by answering questions like: Why do we win some RFPs and lose others? What did we do differently last quarter to earn a higher win rate? Are there gaps in our RFP process that affect our win rate? Can we spend more to win more RFPs this year?
Here’s how to gather more insights through an in-depth win/loss analysis.
Track Your Success Throughout the RFP Process
Your win rate may be the final result of responding to RFPs. But there are other milestones you can hit (or miss) that cause a snowball effect in the RFP process. One is your participation rate, the number of RFPs you respond to vs. received. And the other is your advancement rate, the percentage of RFPs you submit that make the shortlist.
When you track all three metrics over time, it’s easier to look back and identify areas for improvement. These are just a few conclusions you can make:
✓ Participation rate: If this is lower than the average of 63%, your go/no-go criteria may need more flexibility to meet your revenue targets.
✓ Advancement rate: If this is lower than the average of 55%, you may need to craft compelling win themes and customize answers to the buyer.
✓ Win rate: If this is lower than the average of 44%, you may need to build better alignment with your sales team and spend more time rehearsing your presentation.
Identify Your Top Reasons for Winning (Or Losing)
One look at your win rate won’t tell you whether you’re losing RFPs because of price or winning, thanks to your competitive edge. You can only discover the why behind a high or low win rate by going straight to the source—the buyers. And hearing from your team.
For example, buyers might consistently say they couldn’t distinguish what set your solution apart from competitors. At the same time, your proposal team may feel in the dark about who they’re up against. These two sides of the same coin point to the same conclusion: By launching a competitive insights program, you can win more.
Unlike your win rate, this qualitative data is more nuanced, open to interpretation, and overwhelming to sift through. So, how do you analyze it? One way is to bucket your feedback into colored themes using this win/loss analysis template. By visually tracking what you hear the most, you can quickly identify where to reinforce strengths or improve.
5 Questions to Ask the Buyer After Losing 😅
- What was your impression after reading our proposal?
- How did you feel about our solution overall?
- Which alternative solution, if any, did you choose over ours?
- What was the biggest consideration for your decision?
- What’s one thing you’d advise us to change in our proposal?
Determine Your Average Cost Per Bid ($)
Winning RFPs is one thing; making money is another. That’s why tracking how much it costs to respond to RFPs (a.k.a. cost per bid) and your average return on investment (ROI) is also important. Comparing these metrics with your win rate will help you budget for proposal expenses and strategically decide which RFPs to prioritize.
For instance, if you have a low ROI but a high win rate, you should put your time and materials into higher-value RFPs to make bidding worth it. On the other hand, you can make a business case for more resources if a low cost per bid correlates with a less-than-desirable win rate.
What about a high ROI and a high win rate? Achieving this holy grail only means one thing: it’s time to scale your resource-efficient RFP program and generate more revenue.
How Do You Significantly Increase Your RFP Win Rate?
Digging into your win/loss insights will reveal how to increase your win rate based on what matters most to buyers, where you have a leg up on your competitors, and gaps in your RFP process. But you can get a jump start by following these best practices to win more
Consistently Follow Simple Steps to Respond
Proposal teams who enjoy the response process earn a 13% higher win rate than teams who don’t. The message is clear: when your team knows what they are doing, they can better focus on the end goal (winning).
To build a consistent process, draft a work-back schedule of your typical project milestones. Then, break them down into bite-sized tasks and assign team members.
Implement an Official Go/No-Go Process
One of the best ways to increase your win rate is to increase your chance of winning. That’s why 80% of RFP teams follow a go/no-go process.
But the key to success is to stick with it…
Build your checklist into your intake form so your team follows it automatically. Actively discuss whether an RFP is a good opportunity from start to submission. And revisit your criteria with relevant stakeholders until it’s foolproof.
Pull in the Right Subject Matter Experts (SMEs)
The average proposal team pulls in 10 SMEs for a single RFP response. While more brains are generally better, they do pose a challenge to effective collaboration.
To make this process more manageable (and avoid unread emails), double-check whether an SME can reliably contribute before bringing them on the project. Ask them: Do they have the capacity to help out? Would they recommend another SME on their team?
Write Highly-Customized Proposals, Faster
Boilerplate proposals rarely win RFPs. However, personalizing every answer to the buyer can take a significant amount of time—and time is not always on your side with tight deadlines.
So, how can you write highly customized proposals faster? The answer: save answers from past RFPs in a content library so you already have content to tweak.