Losing proposals can be more dangerous for a company than not having the opportunity to bid on it.
Frequently companies casually brush off unsuccessful bids for the business, often excusing away failed proposals to unreal price expectations, misaligned clients profiles or clients who are not in the buying stage. These excuses sound like “They don’t have the budget.“, “They aren’t our clients.” or “They’re just kicking tires.“
Not only can losing a contract be detrimental to a company through the loss of revenue and invested time and resources into preparing a proposal, but it can also damage its reputation.
- It can indicate that the company cannot deliver on its promises.
- An unsuccessful bid might suggest a product or service is not as competitive as other companies.
These factors affect the company’s reputation and make it harder for them to win future proposals or contracts, especially if they rely on repeat business in a niche market.
Customers often hesitate to change suppliers, even if the product or service is mediocre, due to their familiar relationship with the current supplier. This situation is often referred to as the “devil you know” scenario, where customers may feel more comfortable sticking with the supplier they are familiar with, even if the product or service is not ideal.
Changing suppliers of products and services requires effort and energy for the customer. It takes double the effort, twice the energy and often unsustainable concessions to win back a contract a second time. This scenario can have far-reaching consequences for a company’s image and bottom line.
While it’s true some potential clients don’t have the budget, are not ideal customers or are seriously looking for any product, all these circumstances should represent a small percentage of the business proposal your company submits.
If your company is submitting an abundance of proposals, but few are accepted, there are a few steps you can take to improve your company profile, increase your revenue and improve your bottom line.
- You may need to revise your proposal writing process to ensure that proposals are well-structured, concise, and communicate the company’s strengths and value proposition. Make sure the quality of your presentations is above your potential client’s expectations.
- You may need to assess the competitiveness of your products or services. This process, called a value proposition analysis, can help identify gaps or weaknesses in a company’s proposals, such as a lack of differentiation from competitors, unclear or unproven benefits, or misalignment with the customer’s needs.
- A company’s marketing initiatives must attract the right kind of clients. If a company’s marketing efforts are not effectively targeting its ideal customers, it can result in a high volume of unqualified leads or proposals, wasting valuable time and resources.
By implementing these strategies, a company will improve the number of accepted proposals, increase revenue and ensure its favourable long-term position in the marketplace.
Monitoring your winning and losing proposals and constantly taking steps to improve the ratio is essential for healthy business growth.