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Deal-winning Data Analytics: The Secret Sauce Every RFP Needs

By Deirdre Sommerkamp, Director, Advisory Services

Recently, I had the opportunity to present on deal-winning data analytics at the APMP Greater Midwest Chapter Symposium. As business becomes increasingly data-driven, many RFP and proposal teams are being asked to deliver insight to help their organizations operate more effectively. Many teams aren’t taking advantage of the power of proposal automation software to capture that data.

Here are just a few examples of the ways analytics can inform the RFP and proposal process:

  • Building a deal-winning team
  • Identifying core content
  • Choosing which bids to pursue/selective bidding

Building your RFP dream team

Evaluating the number of RFPs your team receives and responds to each month—and looking for seasonal cycles or patterns—gives you the ability to be proactive in staffing. If you know your team’s capacity and see the number of proposals steadily rising, you can open a requisition for a new hire before you’re buried under more RFPs than your team can handle.

Data can also identify which team members are best suited to different types of proposals. You can see that historically, some people may have a track record of success within different industries or geographies, for example. Conversely, the data may expose gaps where you need to develop more expertise to increase your win rates.

Identifying core content

Analytics can reveal which content records are being used, and which are effective, as well as uncovering the records that have not been used in the last 12 months and may not require regular review and updates.

Another useful data point is the number of records that each SME is responsible for reviewing. When customers look at the volume SMEs are responsible for, sometimes they’re not getting responses because SMEs do not have proposal team support as part of their job description. There’s no incentive for SMEs to review content; and it is often a disincentive because it takes their time away from other responsibilities and deliverables. If the proposal manager shares this info with the executive they report to, that executive can go to their peer with a list of SMEs on their team along with the number of records and hours per week or month the RFP team anticipates needing their support. Use the data to help get the right structure in place so you’re not wasting time continually reminding people to review content.

Choosing which bids to pursue

Data can show you which types of deals you’ve historically won or lost. Using detailed criteria, you can develop a qualification or “decline to quote” process, only responding if the RFP meets certain criteria. For example, does the sales person have a relationship with the customer or did this come in from an account we’re not working with? You may choose not to pursue certain types of deals, or to set a dollar threshold so a centralized proposal team only respond to deals over a certain value and sales reps respond to smaller deals on their own.

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