Katherine Curtis has written an article for the SMPS Marketer where she reports on some first-hand research into the costs of delaying proposal submissions until the very last minute.
“During my time as marketing coordination at Terracon Consultants in Denver, CO, I began tracking several specific metrics, curious as to whether there was a correlation between early proposal completion and hit rate,” she wrote. “In addition to proposal name, client and type of service, I have been recording the following for six months.”
She listed the metrics:
- RFP release date
- Date of first strategy meeting;
- Date the proposal was due;
- Whether the proposal was competed in enough time for a 24-hour redline by marketing staff; and
- Whether we won the project.
Curtis wrote that she was able to track 40 projects, enough for a small but meaningful sample study.
The study compared hit rates for those proposals that had a 24-hour editing review against those that did not. In other words, I asked: “Will our hit rate be harmed if we are still generating original content for a proposal within 24 hours of the due date?”
The results were staggering. Proposals for which we were still creating content within a day of deadline had a 60 per cent lower chance of winning. Further, the bigger the gap between the release of the RFP and our initial strategy session, the lower our hit rate. These results prove that procrastination can actually kill your chances for success when it comes to RFP response.
In other words, it pays to be early and it is costly to procrastinate. Last minute rushed submissions usually fail. Be prompt with your proposals.