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All about proposal win rates and how to improve them

Understanding win rates is key to maximizing your ROI

Most companies obsess over lead generation, when it's their win rate that ultimately determines their success. If your company lives or dies on its ability to win proposals, then everything depends on your win rate. Very few companies understand it, and even fewer build their companies around it. The ones that do are successful. The ones that don't aren't really in business, they are just gambling.

Once you realize the importance of your win rate on your ROI, then the fun really starts. That's when you have to figure out what do to about it. What impacts your win rate the most? How does that impact your priorities? What separates consistently winning from usually losing?

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Improving win rates

Setting your priorities and improving your win rate

Your priorities should be determined by your ROI. All opportunity in a company comes from growth. And growth is directly dependent on your win rate. Here are nine places you should consider investing to increase your proposal win rate. Depending on your role, people tend to look at what needs to be done to win business differently.

One thing you should quickly learn is that bidding everything can destroy your company before you even realize it. Not only do bad bid decisions destroy your win rate, they turn your future into something random and weak instead of something planned and strong. Learning how to make effective bid decisions is critical for your future.

But once you've made the decision you need to properly prepare for your proposals before they start so that you can build them around what it will take to win. This will have a greater impact on your win rate than attempting proposal heroism at the last minute.

It's easy to get caught up in the hysteria over lead generation when you need new business right away. But you have to master the balance between short term vs. long term thinking if you want a prosperous future for your company. To maximize your win rate, you need to get into position to win.

Keep in mind

Keep in mind that what will increase win rate at one company, may cause it to fall at another. For example, if you do a high volume of proposals, your approaches will be different from a company that has a low volume. Likewise, if you are in a low-margin business, you may not be able to afford to approach things the same way that other companies do.

Finally, you should also keep in mind that the win rate at other companies, or claims of high win rates by consultants, are completely meaningless. Everybody measures differently. Everybody cherry-picks. Your own win rate must be consistently measured to have any meaning. And yet, win rates are vital. They are the key metric you need to transform into a winning organization


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More information about "Carl Dickson"

Carl Dickson

Carl is the Founder and President of CapturePlanning.com and PropLIBRARY

Carl is an expert at winning in writing, with more than 30 year's experience. He's written multiple books and published over a thousand articles that have helped millions of people develop business and write better proposals. Carl is also a frequent speaker, trainer, and consultant and can be reached at carl.dickson@captureplanning.com. To find out more about him, you can also connect with Carl on LinkedIn.

Click here to learn how to engage Carl as a consultant.

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