Should Proposal Writers Be Held Accountable for Their Proposal Win Rate

Proposal writers should NOT be held accountable for their personal proposal win rate.

Proposal writers do not have control over the process

The role of a proposal writer is to draft a proposal that showcases the solution the team created. And while the proposal writer generally has lots of control over how they present your solution, they generally have little or no control over all of the other parts that combine to create a successful bid.

For example, proposal writers have virtually no control over staffing plans, pricing, organizational experience, subcontractor engagement plans, or the company’s financial condition. Just as important, proposal writers have almost zero influence over the pre-RFP selling effort—one of the most important determinants of proposal success.

How can you hold someone accountable for the entire selling process when they only have control over one discrete part of it?

A talented proposal writer could draft the greatest proposal ever written, but if the solution being proposed is flawed, the bid is going to fail. Likewise, they could draft the world’s lousiest proposal, but if your sales team did a star-spangled job before the RFP was released, the bid might prevail. Neither scenario is an accurate reflection of the proposal writers true contribution.

Bottom line

Proposal writers should not be accountable for results if they are not also in control of the entire sales effort. It’s just not fair.

David Seibert is president of The Seibert Group, a consulting and training organization for businesses that respond to RFPs from other businesses and from SLED (state/local government and education) agencies.


The Seibert Group provides a range of services:

·         Online proposal training

·         Onsite proposal training

·         Proposal and business development consulting services   


David authored Proposal Best Practices and The Sales Manager’s Guide to RFPs, he publishes Dave’s Blog about proposal and business development topics, and he is a regular speaker at numerous webinars, seminars, and conventions.


You can contact Dave at [email protected]. You can also follow Dave on LinkedIn.


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