10 Things You Need to Know From the 2024 Loopio Trends Report

Loopio’s RFP Response Trends and Benchmarks 2024 Report was published this week. The report was developed in partnership with APMP, and outlines some key data on the shape of the bid and proposal profession in 2023. It intends to give teams insight into industry benchmarks and tips for the new year.

This annual report is the fifth of its kind, and features the insights from 1,663 bid and proposal professionals from all over the world.

“Coming up against tight budgets, RFP teams have been bidding at higher volumes with diminished resources,” says Zak Hemraj, the CEO and co-founder of Loopio, in the report’s foreword. “In this report, we go deeper into all these trends, plus data-backed tips your team can use to win more in 2023.”

APMP CEO Rick Harris called the report “the culmination of five years’ worth of research and insights”, and promising that proposal professionals will find a “wealth of knowledge” within its pages.

Reading the report in its entirety is definitely worthwhile – there are many important takeaways that could prove incredibly useful for your team. If you want a snapshot of some of the most important insights the report illuminates for now, then look no further. Here are 10 top takeaways from Loopio’s 2024 Trends Report!

  1. Teams who are more selective about the RFPs they respond to are experiencing greater outcomes

Teams are responding to more RFPs this year – an average of 175, up from 162 last year – and 44% of teams reported that they responded to more RFPs in 2023 than previous years.

A continuation of an overall upward trend since 2019, this may be explained by a decrease in the use of a bid/no-bid process to choose the right RFPs for their organization. The percentage of teams adopting bid/no-bid processes has been steadily increasing since 2020, but has taken a dip from 80% in 2022 to 77% in 2023.

The report posits that recent economic hardship may lead to teams feeling under pressure to amp up the volume of their submissions in order to increase their overall odds of a win, highlighting that this was a similar approach to the one that teams reported taking at the height of the pandemic in 2020.

However, teams who reported being more selective and using a strong bid/no-bid process were influencing the most revenue for their organizations. For example, management consulting is the industry which generates the greatest percentage of their revenue through RFPs and has an 88% bid/no-bid adoption rate – 11% higher than the average.

  1. APMP members have better than average outcomes

According to the report, respondents who identified themselves as members of APMP influenced a higher proportion of revenue (44%) than those who didn’t (38%).

Certification levels also correlate with different proportions of influence. The highest proportion of influence is held by those who have achieved the capture practitioner certification (77%), with professional certification sitting at 52%, practitioner at 43%, and foundation at 41%.

The reasons for this are not clear, but the report offers a couple of potential explanations, including the increased likelihood that APMP members will be in dedicated proposal roles, and the possibility that top performers are most likely to participate in industry associations like APMP.

  1. Professionals are spending more time on bids overall, but less time per bid

On average, teams are reporting that they spend around 30 hours on each individual bid this year, down from the 32-hour average of last year. While the difference is relatively marginal, it is notable when taking account of the report’s assertion that teams are spending an average of 66 more hours than last year on writing bids/proposals annually. This ties in with the finding that submission rates have increased – teams are submitting more bids/proposals, and spending less time on each.

In line with this, the report also found that turnaround times have increased, with 59% of respondents claiming that they are spending 6-10 business days responding to RFPs, compared with 55% reporting this timeframe last year.

Interestingly, winning teams are spending a little longer on their writing, with organizations who have win rates over 50% spending an average of two hours more per bid.

  1. Stress among teams may be causing decreases in win rates

We know that stress and burnout are big challenges faced by professionals in the bid and proposal field, but it turns out that this issue may be having a tangible impact on an organization’s success.

Teams who report unmanageable stress levels report that they are spending around 14 more hours on writing their RFP responses, but have a win rate that is 7% lower than those who report that their stress levels are manageable.

  1. Larger-than-average teams are performing better

The average team size has remained the same this year at eight people, despite an increase in submission volume.

Teams who have a win rate of 50% or higher are, on average, slightly bigger than other teams, with an average of nine people. Smaller teams containing only one or two individuals are more likely to have lower win rates, but teams that have more than 25 people do not seem to be performing any better than average.

  1. Teams are curious about AI, but implementation is not yet widespread

Only 34% of teams have dabbled in the use of generative AI during their RFP process, with the most commonly cited reason for use being help with summarizing information.

Although AI usage is not yet very high within the profession, it would seem that fear of the unknown is not the major driving force behind the lack of widespread adoption. 88% of teams say that their feelings towards AI are at least neutral – with 46% of them going as far as to say they feel positive about it.

On the whole, professionals are also confident that AI cannot adequately replace the human element in the RFP process. Between 75% and 82% of bid and proposal professionals from associate to VP level stated that they would not consider replacing people resources with AI; although this figure was only 52% among C-level executives.

  1. APMP members spend longer writing each RFP response than non-APMP members

Respondents who identified themselves as APMP members reportedly spend an average of 41 hours on each individual bid/proposal. That is 17 hours more than the average of 24 hours by non-members.

The report does not speculate as to why this is. You could make the argument, however, that APMP’s comprehensive certification program and Body of Knowledge may play a role in the more meticulous approach of its members to bid and proposal writing.

In fact, APMP members have access to a micro-certification specifically dedicated to testing and demonstrating competency in the industry best practices of writing bids and proposals – read more about this credential here.

  1. Teams using software are more satisfied with their RFP process

Teams who report that they use software as part of their RFP process (around 41% of respondents), are generally more satisfied than those who don’t. These teams are more likely to report satisfaction with their efficiency, time spent on RFPs, and their ability to respond with accuracy.

It seems as though teams who use RFP software in their processes also report feeling less stressed than those who don’t, with 66% of RFP software users reporting stress levels that are almost always manageable, compared with 57% of non-users. Software users are also 17% more likely to say they have the resources that they need to respond to RFPs effectively.

  1. Proposal professionals are overwhelmingly planning to stay in the job

83% of respondents said that they plan to stay within the bids and proposals career path, although 60% want to be in a promoted post within the next five years.

Despite high reported stress levels, 52% of respondents say that they are enjoying their work, and that this is the key reason they plan to remain in the field.

Top performing teams – those who have win rates of 50% or higher – are more likely to report satisfaction in the job and lower stress levels.

  1. The report puts forward a data-backed profile of a top performer

Based on the data collected, the report outlines the consistent themes seen amongst the cohort of respondents who have a win rate of 50-100%.

According to the report, top performers:

  • Use a bid/no-bid evaluation process (81%) – they are also 12% more satisfied with how their process is followed by their team than the overall average.
  • Have the resources they need (64%) – this is 10% more than average.
  • Are more likely to have APMP certifications.
  • Have stress levels that are “almost always manageable” (73%) – this is compared to 48% of low performers.
  • Have an average of nine people on their teams – this is one more person than the overall average of eight.
  • Are more likely to have tried using generative AI.
  • Are satisfied with the bids/proposals they submit (82%) – this is compared to 70% of their peers.
  • Spend two hours longer per RFP on writing (32 hours).
  • Earn, on average, around $15k more than the average annual salary.

The report recommends that all bid and proposal professionals “think like a top performer, no matter the economic conditions”.


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