How many of your proposals do you successfully win?


Your Win Ratio is the number of proposals you successfully win. Normally stated as a ratio or as a percentage.

It is important to know your win ratio as it helps you to determine how many leads you need, and how big your audience (mailing list size, etc.) needs to be.

The formula for determining your Win Ratio as a percentage is:

Number of Proposals Won  /  Number of Proposals Submitted x 100

For example, if 10 proposals were submitted, and only 2 were won (which would be a very poor win ratio) the formula would be:

2 / 10 = 0.2 x 100 = 20%

The ratio for this win rate would be: 2 in 10 which is written 2:10. The simplified ratio is 1 in 5 or 1:5.

To determine the ratio requires a little more involved maths as you need to now how to simplify the ratio by the Highest Common Factor (HCF) and to understand Prime numbers.

If you’re not clear on either of those, just do a quick search in Youtube for some great educational videos.

Or just cheat and let Excel do all the hard work! Here’s a great article that explains how to Calculate ratio in Excel.

What should your Win Ratio be and how can you improve it?

As a rule of thumb, I’d expect a comfortable Win Ratio to be at or above 2 out of every 3 (2:3 or 66%).

However, there are many factors that come into play. For example, if you get a lot of your business through competitive tenders, which are common in the public sector, then your win ratios may be lower.

And the Win Ratio is just one Key Performance Indicator (KPI). There are others to consider, such as the cost of the effort to bid in the first place. When bidding for big tenders, this can amount to many thousands of pounds or dollars.

The easiest way to improve your Win Ratio is to improve your bid qualification process. That is, only submit a proposal on opportunities that you know you have a high likelihood of winning.

The next best thing to do is to make sure you have a good process of follow-up with those opportunities that you don’t win. You should be asking questions not just about what you didn’t do well, but find out what the winning bidder did best. Then, if appropriate, emulate it.

Also, if you lose out on an opportunity, make sure you touch base with the client again monthly for the next 3 months or even longer. It could be that the winning bidder didn’t work out. Or if the project didn’t happen because the prospect chose inaction or to do it in-house, that decision is always likely to change.

There’s no hard and fast rule when to give up. There’s plenty of articles saying about the supposed number of touch points required to make a sale. What’s more important is to determine what’s the best use of your time. Are you chasing a dead duck whilst there’s low hanging fruit elsewhere!?

How many proposals do you win?

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Images courtesy of Unsplash and the following photographers:
Carl Raw