Since our founding, we have been on a mission to help RFP respondents succeed. As a leader in this technological space, we’re one of the first to bring efficiency to responding teams limited by a manual approach to everyday business.
Now we are redefining the way our solution supports everyone across the organization. Though our origins are rooted in helping teams respond to RFPs, what we began to notice along the way was the many use cases for our software.
To support you and your revenue team, let’s look at the vast potential of strategic response management software like Responsive. You’ll walk away with a more strategic approach to response management.
What is response management software?
Response management software helps companies create, manage, and automate responses to both long-form and short-form business inquiries at any stage of the sales cycle. These inquiries can range from formal business requests issued by buyers, such as RFPs and security questionnaires, to informal questions submitted by prospects through chatbots or from customers through support tickets.
An internal knowledge base
Response management software serves as an internal knowledge base, integrating with CRMs, content management systems (CMS), and collaboration tools to capture and democratize subject-matter-expertise and content across multiple teams, business units, or companies.
With process and technology improvements, respondents are able to create higher quality responses and additional revenue opportunities.
RFP software vs. response management software
RFP software is fairly one-dimensional in that responding to RFPs is the primary use case. Response management software supports many use cases. Content can be repurposed for:
- Responding to a multitude of business queries—RFX (RFP, RFI, and so on)
- Statements of work (SOW)
- Security questionnaires
Organizations who think outside the box use our solution to store anything from sales follow-up email templates to onboarding materials. Content is engrained in all of our business processes. Response management software helps you organize, store, and execute from a single source of truth.
Essentials for RFP response management software
How can you tell when a platform has everything you need to optimize your response management process?
Response management software…
- Is cloud-based, so you don’t have to navigate a maze of documents and folders—and find ways to store your content.
- Uses patented import technology and exports back into templates and originals files to start and finish each project smoothly.
- Includes a dynamic Content Library, which serves as the hub for all of your organization’s content and company information.
- Has an AI-powered content recommendation engine that makes finding your best responses easier.
- Offers bidirectional integrations with your team’s favorite technologies, along with an open API, so everyone and everything is connected.
- Allows you to search, select, and store Content Library content across all web pages and applications through a Google Chrome extension called Responsive Lookup.
- Brings clear and instant visibility with reports and dashboards that help you track project status and progress and discover insights to make data-driven decisions.
Let’s say you are a sales manager at an enterprise technology company with a high-stakes deal on the table.
The prospect you’ve been working with sends you a large security questionnaire, along with a DDQ (due diligence questionnaire) that you must turn around by the end of the week.
Resources are spread very thin right now. You must complete the majority of the questionnaire on your own and engage subject matter experts (SMEs) sparingly. You have several new deals in the works that require your constant attention. You’re not sure how you’ll pull this DDQ and security questionnaire off before the deadline while keeping other opportunities on the right track.
Response management software allows you to manage multiple queries at once. You can handle the entire family of possible requests during the sales process—the RFP (request for proposal), RFI (request for information), DDQ (due diligence questionnaire), or security questionnaire.
With bulk answering you knock out sections at one time then call in your SME to fill in gaps and sign off. While all of this deal is in motion, you continue to nurture other prospects using Responsive’s Content Library to populate follow-up emails with relevant communication and high-performing sales content.
You submit everything with time to spare and keep moving other deals forward.
Use cases for response management across revenue teams
Even with the best technology, teams need to be united by a strategy to maximize the features and capabilities of their tools. We recently created a user adoption strategy to help.
If you are leading the charge with user adoption, it’s important to know the benefits of the software and how one solution can be used in multiple scenarios and initiatives. So let’s take a look at different use cases across the team:
- Security questionnaires
- Discovery calls
- Proactive proposals
- Sales emails
- Knowledge sharing
This breakdown will help you understand the diverse capabilities of Responsive. If you are an existing client, you will find new ways of using the solution. If you are searching for a comprehensive content management platform, you will see the many possibilities that will exceed your organization’s response and query needs.
Responsive can be used for any RFX documents throughout the sales process.This includes:
- RFPs (request for proposal)
- RFIs (request for information)
- RFQs (request for quote)
- DDQs (due diligence questionnaire).
Our response management solution allows you to respond to any of these documents in a collaborative ecosystem, making the process easier and efficient for your organization’s many contributors.
A security questionnaire can come in many forms:
- Security questionnaires lite (standardized information-gathering questionnaires)
- VSAQ (vendor security assessment questionnaire)
- CAIQ (consensus assessments initiative questionnaire)
- VSA (Vendor Security Alliance questionnaire)
- NIST 800-171 (National Institute of Standards and Technology questionnaire CIS controls)
One thing they all have in common? They are complex and time-consuming without the right tools.
Responsive greatly reduces completion time for busy teams, with auto-response and bulk answering doing the majority of the work upfront. This extra time allows teams to perform their due diligence with accurate responses that meet the issuer’s requirements.
After the responses are ready, teams export responses back into the original sources with clean data, eliminating the need to wrestle with editing and formatting.
Often, marketing teams think their involvement with response management software is limited to the RFX process. They come in at the end to perform a buff and polish, to prepare the deliverable.
Because Responsive is a content management platform at its core, marketing teams can use the solution to store and create content—brand guidelines, testimonials, press releases, and award submissions.
To present the scope for a highly complex project, response management software is extremely useful for SOWs. Rather than using various documents and spreadsheets to piecemeal sections together, section templates offer standard content that can be reused and customized.
From content creation to the review process, the SOW workflow is easier when everyone has one tool to operate inside.
Time is money for any business, especially a nonprofit who needs to stretch their budget and resources. With grant writing, teams strengthen their content by using the Content Library to search and select the latest stats and financials.
Often, sign-off from an executive or board of directors is needed with grants, and sequential reviewing clarifies the chain-of-command throughout this completion process.
Responsive allows unlimited users, promoting wide-scale adoption throughout various departments, including human resources, support, and customer success teams. Because very little training is required, all teams can jump into the tool and customize it for their needs.
Organizations often use the solution to support their hiring efforts, as the content repository simplifies the constant need to add and update onboarding content. The same applies to support and customer success team members who need to be quickly brought up to speed.
Since Responsive offers a single source of truth, sales teams lean on the power of the Content Library every day for many other tasks outside of responding to RFX documents. An SDR can keep Responsive open on his or her computer screen during discovery calls to find any company or product information immediately.
This ability makes sales teams nimble and confident during the discovery process. The prospect leaves the call informed and interested.
To sell within a highly competitive industry, sales teams will sometimes turn to proactive proposals to beat their competition to the punch. Minimal effort is needed to pull together a proactive proposal within our response management solution.
Sales teams use the top content feature to select the best responses, then export everything into a branded, cleanly formatted template.
The need for speed is perhaps the motto for any salesperson completing sales-related tasks. Responsive Lookup recommends email content to help sales teams answer prospect questions.
When using a Google Chrome browser, this feature empowers sales to access responses across web pages and applications. They grab the information they need and include it within the email, without losing time to hunt down the answer.
Responsive’s Content Library serves as the single source of truth for the entire revenue team: sales, marketing, support, and customer success.
Information silos disrupt your response workflow. Foundational company knowledge ends up in a variety of documents, from visual slide decks to data-heavy spreadsheets—stored on shared drives and folders. Responsive makes all necessary content readily available so everyone can do their best work.
I always like to say: “Recycle, reuse, don’t reinvent.” Response management software allows you to put this mantra into action, so your organization spends more time on refinement and less time on repetition. With this advancement in your response process, your team will produce quality content that results in opportunities, revenue, alignment, and teamwork.
Start your year off with a strategic approach to response management. Schedule a demo of Responsive.