Our clients often ask us: what is the best way to win business when customers send formal requests for proposals (RFPs)? They ask because most companies who bid on RFPs, RFIs (requests for information) and tender offers win infrequently. In fact, our clients report they succeed in winning RFPs only about seven percent of the time, on average. We have seen win rates as low as two percent in some organizations whose policy is to respond to every RFP they receive.
As the supercomputer Joshua, from the 1983 science-fiction movie WarGames might say, after evaluating the generally low success rate on RFPs: “A strange game. The only winning move is not to play.” Moreover, even when they know the typically low odds of success, most sales professionals cannot resist responding to an RFP. Only after they have invested many hours of time, with little or no results to show for their efforts, do they ask in frustration, “Are RFPs worth responding to, at all?”.
The correct answer, like almost everything in the selling profession, is nuanced, depending on the specific situation. After many years of helping clients improve their sales win rates, we believe we can offer some useful insight and helpful guidelines for deciding to decline or respond to an RFP – and if the latter, how best to do so. This paper summarizes our observations and offers some well-tested advice.
In our recent white paper, A Smarter Way to Win RFPs, Tim Sullivan, Corporate Vice President of Business Development at SPI, explains that a seller’s most limited and precious resource is time. Discover best practices for helping customers write RFPs along with an 8 step process on how to manage unforeseen requests for proposals.
Tim also suggests re-evaluating your organization’s RFP policy by considering 8 important questions to help you decide if your organization should be in the practice of responding routinely to RFPs without stringent qualification.
Download the white paper, A Smarter Way to Win RFPs, today! And, as always, contact SPI to learn more about how we can help your sales teams succeed.