New 2024 RFP impact report for marketing and business development pros examines challenges—and solutions

by | Feb 5, 2024 | Marketing, Public Relations

Marketers, communicators and client services teams depend on winning RFPs to generate new business, but new research from law firm and professional services-focused experience management platform ikaun asserts that the battle to win them actually redirects marketing teams away from the activities that increase win rates in RFPs, which is proving that they understand the prospect’s needs, to instead spend the vast majority of time on lower-level searches for past work and responses—creating inefficient and costly drag on an operation that costs the firm between $959,000 and $2,200,000 annually.

The firm’s new 2024 RFP Impact Report for Marketing and Business Development Professionals, produced in partnership with the Legal Marketing Association, reveals that, according to recent data, law firm marketing win rates when responding to prospect RFPs is 18 percent, and yet marketing budgets shrank in 2023. In addition, anecdotal evidence suggests that most firms experience workflow issues and process bottlenecks that were negatively impacting win rates in the RFP process. The new report aims to quantify the problem, as well as identify the key points of the process challenges and propose practices that will lead to solutions.

2024 RFP impact

“The RFP survey report was extremely valuable in validating our thesis, but also in bringing to light clear direction on how firms can increase their win rate,” said Jason Noble, ikaun co-founder and chief of product strategy, in a news release.

“According to the research, win rates are dramatically impacted by the firm’s ability to summarize a client’s desired outcomes and make it obvious how the firm will achieve those outcomes,” said Noble. “The problem is that firms spend the majority of their time searching through and formatting past RFPs instead of focusing on crafting a winning message. It just so happens that generative AI is a perfect solution to this problem. We look forward to helping firms understand this opportunity.”

2024 RFP impact

Key data points of the report include:

  • Most firms (59.26 percent) believe understanding client needs and requirements are the greatest contributors to winning an RFP.
  • The majority of RFP response time is spent simply trying to find past work and relevant experience (426 percent) and reading past RFPs (31.436 percent)
  • Over half (526 percent) of any RFP is duplicative and/or contains questions the firm has previously answered.
  • Generative AI can be deployed in the RFP process to reduce time spent on RFPs by 906 percent.

Download the full report here.

To produce the 2024 RFP Impact Report, the RFP Impact survey was distributed to the firm’s membership of 14,000 marketing and BD professionals and received responses from 49 firms across the Am Law 100 and 200. Outside data sources were validated via ALM Legal Compass and reviewed by law firm leadership and Calibrate.

Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 17 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richard.carufel@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter