Problem/Solution—We’re making changes to our process but haven’t seen noticeable improvements in our win rates. 



We’re making changes to our process but haven’t seen noticeable improvements in our win rates. 

Making ad hoc or “gut feeling” changes to your capture or proposal process is not the most effective way to improve your win rates. While these measures may occasionally increase performance, the best way to determine where you can improve your framework is found in win/loss analyses. While it’s tempting to submit a proposal and heave a sigh of relief that you’ve finished the project, performing a lessons learned (white hat) review and recording metrics are important steps to take before marking the project completed.  


After your proposal team submits the final proposal, take a breath and celebrate reaching the finish line with your proposal team; then start preparing for a lessons learned review. Once customer feedback is available, hold a review that will: 

  • Assess the effectiveness of your sales/capture and proposal strategies and messages 
  • Determine the quality of your competitive intelligence 
  • Critique your capture and proposal processes 
  • Evaluate management decisions 

Lessons learned are not lessons learned unless they motivate change. Recommend steps and activities to continue and methods or approaches to change.  

Metrics are a basis for continuous improvement. Using good metrics, you can monitor sales support costs, cycle times, and proposal quality. If no one is recording the current state of your proposal or capture work, you won’t be able to accurately gauge any improvement to these processes.  

Don’t slack on performing win/loss analyses after you submit a final proposal. Companies that win the most business cannot do so in stagnation. Record your lessons learned and metrics and then use those records to improve future capture or proposal work.