Amid the COVID-19 pandemic-induced supply chain and market challenges, 2021 started to course correct, allowing many companies to resume business operations. As a result, request for proposals (RFPs), sales proposals, and revenue are flowing again.
In fact, a new survey from QorusDocs found that companies saw sales deal velocity increase by a median of 50%. Additionally, 64% of companies saw higher business win rates in 2021 over last year, with a median improvement of 59%.
However, the influx in RFPs has created new complications for proposal and business development teams. The latest research offers intriguing findings about the RFP process for companies to think about, including lost revenue opportunities, automated benefits, and collaboration considerations.
For B2B enterprises looking to improve their processes and gain a competitive edge, this new data offers valuable insight into the effectiveness of proposal management software for RFP development and how it supports securing new business opportunities.
Proposal management software supported 2021’s influx in request for proposals
COVID-19’s impact on business operations, profits, and revenue opportunities significantly hindered companies’ growth last year. However, as predicted by forecasters, 2021 saw the economy bounce back, resulting in more business and sales opportunities.
According to the new QorusDocs report, companies saw a notable rise in RFPs this past year as the economy returned to pre-pandemic standings. In fact, 64% of survey respondents reported an increase in the volume of RFPs received in 2021, compared to 2020, with most experiencing around 30% more requests.
This year resulted in a record-breaking stream of revenue due to the increases in business requests. In Q2, corporate profits in the U.S. alone jumped a whopping 9.7% to a record high of $2.42 trillion, following a 4.5% rise in the previous period.
Businesses that utilized proposal management software this past year were able to manage revenue and complete time-sensitive RFPs in a personalized, timely fashion. The software is designed to enable customers to improve the efficiency and quality of their proposals, ultimately leading to increased wins and more revenue-generating opportunities.
In fact, businesses using proposal management software reported a higher share of revenue coming from new business than those not using automated tools (51% vs. 39%). Additionally, companies using automated software were significantly more likely to report an increase in overall RFP requests compared to companies not using the software (71% vs. 53%).
Proposal management software improves efficiency
On average, it takes nearly a week to complete just one RFP response, and many teams report juggling an average of 20 responses each month. However, due to time constraints, lack of collaboration, and other factors, some companies are unable to respond to every RFP they receive. As a result, a median of 20% of RFPs are left incomplete by businesses each year, resulting in a median revenue loss of $725,000.
Unfortunately, some companies reported even higher losses from incomplete RFPs this year. For tech companies, they reported a median annual loss of $813,000. Meanwhile, 37% of businesses estimated revenue losses of more than $1 million while 9% reported losing more than $10 million in annual revenue.
Proposal management software, however, greatly aided enterprises’ capacity to complete a higher volume of quality, personalized RFPs and secure new business opportunities in 2021. Seventy-two percent of companies utilizing automated proposal tools saw a positive increase in deal velocity and 54% were able to process a greater volume of RFP responses overall.
For many enterprises, proposal management software brings efficiency to the RFP development process which helped decrease the amount of time spent building responses to proposals by 53%. Additionally, 85% of companies using automated proposal software reported having the tools needed to effectively respond to proposals and cater to each request with greater detail and specific information.
Proposal management software supports future remote work models
Nearly three-quarters (74%) of U.S. companies plan to permanently shift employees to remote work after the COVID-19 pandemic ends. Due to this, tools that enable collaboration and communication across locations are becoming a necessity for teams.
According to the research, approximately 28 individuals within an enterprise are involved in responding to RFx requests. Without a way to collaborate seamlessly on responses, the whole process can turn into a slow and complicated effort with a great amount of miscommunication and fulfillment bottlenecks.
However, with proposal management software, the RFx process is streamlined, enabling smoother collaboration to efficiently complete proposals, no matter where team members are located.
Companies using proposal management software reported that collaboration on RFPs this past year improved by a staggering 56%. Meanwhile, 85% of enterprises agreed that using automated proposal software made it easier to collaborate on requests. For 83% of enterprises, the internal RFP completion process became clearer and more straightforward since implementing proposal management software.
A growing need for proposal management
The global market for proposal management software is projected to grow from $1.5 billion in 2019 to a staggering $3.1 billion by 2024. There are numerous factors driving this adoption of automated proposal software including the growing shift to cloud-based technologies, proposal management becoming an effective tool to increase win rates, and integration of artificial intelligence-enabled tools.
As proven this past year, enterprises that adopt proposal management software experience numerous benefits of automated technology, including the ability to build personalized RFx responses more efficiently, leading to a greater volume of completed requests, an increase in deal velocity and revenue, and growth in business win rates.
During this increasingly competitive time, proposal management is critical for companies if they want to keep up with the growing pace of RFPs, secure more wins, edge out competition, and
By Ray Meiring, CEO and co-founder of QorusDocs
As CEO and co-founder of QorusDocs, Ray Meiring leads an award-winning team of passionate problem solvers to create the absolute best customer experience possible. Under Ray’s leadership, QorusDocs has established partnerships with Highspot, Microsoft and many others and supported more than 140 customers in creating 16,000 proposals and counting. QorusDocs helps sales, marketing and bid teams craft visually compelling, accurate and secure proposals and RFP responses more efficiently. With more than 20 years of industry experience, Ray is a frequent speaker, author and webinar host on a wide variety of topics including leadership, market strategy, automation and the application of AI, and proposal automation for professional sales and bid teams.