Use Metrics as a Tool to Improve Bid and Proposal-related Performance


As bid and proposal professionals, we continuously aim to enhance our performance to win contracts and business opportunities. Unfortunately, the traditional approach to evaluating our success often relies solely on the proposal win rate, which may not always reflect our true performance. To address this gap and drive continuous improvement, it’s essential to establish a metrics program that assesses the performance factors within our control. This article explores the key steps in building and implementing an effective metrics program and suggests metrics you can select from to build your program.

1. Define Clear Objectives

Before embarking on your metrics program, establish clear objectives. Ask yourself, “What do we want to achieve through these metrics?” Defining specific goals will guide the selection of relevant key performance indicators (KPIs) to track.

2. Identify Reliable Data Sources

Once you’ve defined your objectives, identify reliable data sources to track the selected KPIs. Common sources for bid and proposal teams include Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems, proposal management software, and spreadsheets. Ensure data accuracy and accessibility.

3. Select Meaningful Metrics

Choose meaningful metrics that align with your objectives. Don’t go overboard in selecting metrics—usually, three to seven metrics are enough. After identifying the metrics, identify the timeframe you want to measure (weekly, monthly, annually) and how you will measure and report performance. When selecting metrics, consider selecting from among those listed in Table 1.

Table 1: Select from these metrics to evaluate your performance

Metrics group and metrics
Capture Effectiveness Metrics Bid/no-bid decision accuracy (accuracy of bid decisions)Win rate for captured opportunitiesOpportunity pipeline healthCustomer engagement and relationship metrics
Proposal Preparation Metrics Proposal compliance rateResponsiveness to RFP requirementsCustomer focus in the proposalNumber of strengths, weaknesses, deficiencies, and risks per evaluated criteria (pre- and post-submission)
Timeliness Estimated vs. actual time of capture and proposal milestones
Quality Metrics Ease of proposal evaluationVisual appeal of proposalQuality of proposal writing (clarity, brevity, and absence of errors)
Financial Metrics Cost per proposal (average cost incurred for each proposal)Proposal revisions (number of revisions before submission)Revenue generated from proposals
Knowledge Management Resumes updatedPast performance updatedBoilerplate updatedKnowledge updated and archivedLessons-learned reviews conducted
Innovations Use and implementation of innovative processes or tools
Resources and Training Resource utilizationEmployee retentionTraining investmentEmployee satisfaction

4. Collect and Analyze Data

With your metrics defined, establish a system to collect and analyze the data consistently. Consider reviewing the data monthly or after key milestones. Regular data analysis is crucial for identifying trends and areas for improvement.

5. Communicate Results

Communicate the results of your metrics program to stakeholders, including senior management and team members. Transparent communication fosters a culture of continuous improvement and accountability.


By following these steps and implementing a meaningful metrics program, bid and proposal professionals can gain deeper insights into their team’s performance and make informed decisions to achieve greater success in securing contracts and business opportunities.

By Brenda Crist, Vice President at Lohfeld Consulting Group, MPA, CPP APMP Fellow

Lohfeld Consulting Group has proven results specializing in helping companies create winning captures and proposals. As the premier capture and proposal services consulting firm focused exclusively on government markets, we provide expert assistance to government contractors in Capture Planning and Strategy, Proposal Management and Writing, Capture and Proposal Process and Infrastructure, and Training. In the last 3 years, we’ve supported over 550 proposals winning more than $170B for our clients—including the Top 10 government contractors. Lohfeld Consulting Group is your “go-to” capture and proposal source! Start winning by contacting us at and join us on LinkedInFacebook, and Twitter.

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Brenda Crist