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Win more bids by scaling your response management process – part 2

Win more bids by scaling your response management process – part 2

In part 1, we discussed the best practices to scale your response management process from your end. This week we […]


Category: Tag: Response management software

Win more bids by scaling your response management process – part 2

Win more bids by scaling your response management process – part 2

In part 1, we discussed the best practices to scale your response management process from your end. This week we will look at how RFPIO’s toolbox can help you standardize your operations, improve communication, and trim response time, so your team can spend more time driving revenue.

The RFPIO features that can help manage your response time

The RFPIO platform includes several features to help with your bid/no-bid decision-making.

Intake

We designed the intake feature to help teams submit their project requests as intakes to the proposal team. The intake submits project requests to the designated user(s), who will approve or reject them. In addition, you can create an intake form with custom fields that will help you decide whether or not to pursue a project.

CRM integration

Another way to increase transparency and automate processes around the bid/no-bid decision is through one of our CRM integrations. For example, if sales is tracking information used in a bid decision, you can pull those fields into RFPIO. Your sales team will only ever have to enter the information once. Some of RFPIO’s CRM integrations even allow teams to fill out the intake form without ever leaving the CRM.

Reporting/custom fields

Lastly, you can use custom reporting on any fields you create in the intake form to analyze your win/loss rates and how they may be affected by certain factors in the opportunities you choose to pursue. This enables your team to evaluate your strategy and determine if you use your resources wisely when responding to RFPs.

What is your proposal management process?

You’ve decided which RFPs are worthy of responses. The next step in auditing your RFP process is evaluating how you’re managing the proposals.

Are you having kickoff meetings?

A kickoff meeting is one of the most critical parts of the response process. At the end of a successful kickoff meeting, each team member will leave armed with clear roles and responsibilities – all designed with one clear goal, winning the bid!

  • Are roles and responsibilities crystal clear? – Following a kickoff meeting, each team member should have an action plan. Follow up in your project management software.
  • Do you have a specific schedule? – Create hard deadlines for each team member and each response phase.

Are you following the proposal’s progress?

Proposal managers should perform daily progress evaluations to ensure that they can address issues and lags before causing delays or inaccuracies.

How are you managing your team?

Proposal response has a lot of moving pieces. A proposal manager’s role is to follow those pieces, even if the responsibilities are outside the team’s immediate control. For example:

  • How are you tracking and managing tasks outside of the RFPIO platform?
  • How are subcontractors managed?
  • How do your teams juggle multiple proposals?
  • Is there a shared calendar?

Task templates

How many of you have several tasks for every project? And how many of those tasks have nothing to do with the work in RFPIO? I’m referring to things like responding to an intent to bid or prepping shipping labels. Task templates can help you track those tasks automatically. Suppose you’re the manager of a team of proposal managers. In that case, you can even automate the tracking of tasks or stages across a shared calendar for a team, giving you better insight into the team’s workload on a given date or week.

These are great ways to automate task creation. You can create a template for standard tasks under your organization settings and have it appear in each project upon creation. If there are tasks that you track as a team in a shared calendar, you can create a user in RFPIO that is assigned to these tasks automatically when you set them up in your organization settings. You can then sync that user’s calendar to a shared calendar in Outlook or Google to see all tasks across your team.

Clarifications 

Clarifications, often overlooked, is a great tool to help you compile any questions that you and your team need to send back to the issuer of your project. Then, you can export the questions, send them to the issuer, and import the responses back into the system.

Calendars 

RFPIO’s calendar view provides at-a-glance project management for you and your team.

Integrations 

Adding on our integrations for Teams or Slack can help increase transparency. I’ve also known clients to take advantage of our API integrations in their project management tools.

Discussions tab/comments

The discussions tab in the project is a great way to not get behind on potential issues. From this tab, you can quickly sort through open comments within the task. When managing multiple projects at a time, I made it a habit to open the discussions tab of each project every day to help reassign questions and resolve issues as they appeared.

Content Library

RFPIO’s Content Library uses AI to intuitively auto-populate and answer all of the most common and not-so-common questions. In addition, the Content Library offers several filtering tools, options, rules, and tags to help ensure that you’ll receive the most appropriate answer, even with simple one or two-keyword searches. Furthermore, your AI-driven library will update as you input data.

Look inside your content management lifecycle

When did you last audit your content?

I’m going to let you all in on a bit of a secret. Every time I perform an audit of a customer’s Content Library, I start with the Content Library Insights Report.

This report is also available for any filters you apply in the Content Library. So, for example, if you have an Archive collection set up, you can filter it out and look at the Insights report without skewing your data.

You can also use RFPIO to create an internal knowledge base, perfect for training new hires. Here at RFPIO, all of our sales enablement content and sessions are easily accessible from our company-wide instance of RFPIO. It’s easy for me to remember a session from a month ago, and I can simply use the search to find a Q&A pair that directs me to the video.

Other customers have found increased collaboration between their proposal team and their marketing and security teams but are saving the most recent versions of client-facing documents in the Content Library. Using RFPIO as an internal knowledge base and a single source of truth also provides a level of self-service to your organization that can boost morale.

Lastly, especially for small companies and startups, using RFPIO to track crucial information related to delivery can help create an excellent database for client references in the future.

Are your Q&A pairs going unused?

RFPIO’s Q&A pairs is one of the most exciting features on the platform. Users can upload any type of document and customize it to suit their needs. In addition, you can edit and store content in almost 20 languages. In other words, the majority of what you need to respond to an RFP is right there, at your fingertips, and best of all, RFPIO is consistently learning.

How often do you manually respond to RFPs?

Sometimes, old habits die hard. Perhaps response managers feel they need to manually respond to justify their worth. RFPIO doesn’t want anyone to lose their job; we want to help them be more productive and respond to the RFPs they might not have had time for before automation.

How often do you automatically respond to RFPs?

RFPIO makes the RFP response process easy through near-total automation. Sure, some questions require at least partially manual responses to push the RFP over the finish line, but RFPIO will take you as much as 80 percent of the way toward full automation

If you aren’t automatically responding to every RFP that is worth a bid, we would love to hear from you and see how RFPIO will make the response process faster, less expensive, and, dare I say, enjoyable.

How do you utilize your Content Library?

I’ll bet you that you’ve answered most questions on each RFP multiple times – perhaps for other customers. Utilize the Content Library to let RFPIO take care of the redundant and tedious aspects of response management.

Is your Content Library content relevant and up to date?

Perhaps the most common feedback we get, especially from companies that aren’t fully utilizing RFPIO, is that they’re hesitant to use the Content Library because they haven’t audited it. Hence, their content isn’t up to date. I get that. It seems daunting to audit and update answers, but it’s not, and you can’t beat the long-term benefits.

Here at RFPIO, we refer to auditing the Content Library as getting rid of the ROT (redundant, outdated, or trivial content). Here is a simple guideline to take you through the process.

I get it if you’re worried about deleting information you’ll need one day. Who hasn’t thrown something away in a fit of cleaning, only to need it the next day? Instead of deleting that information, you can warehouse it in case you might need it again in the future.

Are you utilizing your subject matter experts?

Subject Matter Experts (SME), which we sometimes pronounce “smee,” are, as the name implies, experts in proposals, sales, marketing, etc. Your SMEs might be experts on your organization or in their fields in general. They’re the people you turn to when you don’t know how to answer a particular question.

Do you have a moderation process?

Do you have a moderation process? Is the moderation process documented? When was the last time you checked the moderation’s organization settings? Does the content have owners and review cycles? How do you ensure your library is free of redundant, outdated, and trivial content?

The RFPIO features that help keep your content organized and current

Content Library Insights Report

Here’s a tip: Every time I perform an audit of a customer’s Content Library, I start with the Content Library Insights Report.

This report is also available for any filters you apply in the Content Library. So, for example, if you have an Archive collection set up, you can filter it out and look at the Insights report without skewing your data.

This report is an excellent way to see what can be easily archived: Q&A pairs that you don’t use or pairs with a star rating of less than 3. This report can also help see if Owners are becoming inundated with reviews. Maybe you can reassign Q&A pairs to another SME.

I recommend customers look at the Content Library Insights Report and the Executive Dashboard routinely. Use them both to guide your content strategy and look for improvements.

Additionally, you may want to evaluate where you can use merge tags more. While a lot of our customers are familiar with the use of merge tags to replace a client or a company name in a proposal, did you know you can use merge tags for content that gets updated frequently? For example, track the number of employees in your organization or clients who use a specific product version. Updating that number once in the organization settings will reflect wherever the merge tag is used in your library and carry over into the project.

Lastly, many of our customers add on custom reporting to help guide their strategy. It allows for more in-depth reporting of custom fields and usage. I have seen customers use this feature to determine areas where they may need more content developed in their library.

Executive Dashboard

You never want to leave your response management team guessing. The Executive Dashboard provides your team insights at-a-glance. The dashboard tracks the lifecycle of your RFP from the time it’s received until it’s archived.

The Executive Dashboard lets users create reports, such as RFP viability, based on similar bids from the past. In addition, managers can pull win/loss analysis, average completion time, and identify the top contributors.

If this blog post inspired you and you want to dive deeper into your workflow or content management strategy, RFPIO’s Professional Services Team can help! As an RFPIO customer, you can purchase bundles of Professional Services hours for specific projects and initiatives. You’ll work alongside a Professional Services consultant like myself for the entirety of your engagement. Reach out to your customer success manager or account manager, and they’ll connect you with a member of my team who can scope your project.

 

Win more bids by scaling your response management process – part 1

Win more bids by scaling your response management process – part 1

You have probably heard the expression that you can’t win if you don’t play. The business equivalent of not playing is failing to respond to an RFP. You might ask what that has to do with you and your response management team. After all, your team responds to every RFP that comes their way, right?

Playing to win requires more than filling in the blanks, however. It requires updated and defined RFP response processes to maximize efficiency and accuracy while saving time and company resources – all with the ultimate goal of winning the bid!

This article will discuss the revenue-driving and resource-saving Association for Proposal Management Professional (APMP) best practices for updating and defining your organization’s response management process.

End-to-end processes help future-proof your RFP response flow.

Organizations that consistently follow a defined business development process win more business and use fewer investment resources. ~ Association of Proposal Management Professionals  

If your company is anything like ours, and I’m sure it is, you have dozens, if not hundreds, of distinct personalities and work styles. You also have attrition, onboarding, PTO, etc. Yet surprisingly, you rarely devolve into chaos.

Why is that? It’s because you’ve established defined processes. So if, for example, a client calls with questions for their customer service rep who’s out of the office, your CRM will arm everyone else in the department with the information they need to answer the questions.

CRMs are great at helping define processes, and so is RFPIO.

Do you have a defined response management process?

If you won the lottery today, would someone be able to pick up your job tomorrow? How fast will it take your replacement to ramp up?

According to the APMP, every organization should design its own end-to-end process suited to its organization and customers.

Sure, we’d all like to feel indispensable, but if we are the exclusive key holders to critical processes, we’re doing a huge disservice to our companies. I would even argue that the best employees, at least those whose values align with their organizations, are transparent about their work processes.

In turn, the best-run organizations have processes to ensure that when an RFP manager takes a day or week off, or even leaves, it won’t derail responses.

If you have a defined process, have you recently reevaluated your processes?

If there’s one thing you can count on, it’s change. Just a little over two years ago, remote work was relatively rare. Then, everything suddenly turned upside down, and we all needed to adapt.

Guess what? We did, at least for the most part, and the world didn’t implode. I don’t think it’s a giant leap to say that defined processes kept the economy humming, despite unforeseen challenges. Defined processes certainly helped keep RFPIO thriving, but only because we regularly reevaluate them.

In the software industry, especially in SaaS, things change quickly. At RFPIO, we have to be agile. As our customers’ needs change, so must we. When the market or regulatory environment changes, we have to adapt. That’s why we have new releases almost monthly.

**It only takes about 15 minutes each month to learn about the new features.**

Of course, defining your processes requires more than updating software. Do you regularly interact with your subject matter experts? Do you ask them for feedback on your Content Library? If you don’t, your subject matter experts may be frustrated, but they may start to feel heard by opening the door to collaboration. Also, they’re a potential wealth of ideas.

After speaking with the experts, bring your Customer Success Manager into the fold. Ask them about the challenges they have run across. They might have solutions that they’ve previously been reluctant to mention.

How to identify a response management black hole

In an ideal world, we’d have months to respond to each RFP. But, unfortunately, that’s rare. Often, we have two weeks or less. I’ve even seen two days! But, thankfully, that’s also rare.

How often does this scenario happen: The RFP landed in your inbox just days before it was due, but you saw that it was issued weeks earlier!

Obviously, two days is an extreme example. A more common scenario might look something like this: The RFP was issued two months ago. It sat somewhere, untouched, for weeks. Then, just as you were confident you were on track for all your deadlines, the RFP lands on your lap, and it’s due by the end of the week.

The fact is, you can’t win them all. So when buried under an avalanche of response deadlines, many companies choose to triage, or employ the bid/no-bid strategy, where you bid the RFPs with the higher win rates and let the less viable opportunities go.

But what if the RFP that sat in the pipeline for weeks has a high win rate? What happened to the RFP during those weeks? Where is that black hole, and how can you plug it? Let’s see if we can help you identify the problem(s) and help you create a bid/no-bid strategy with this attached downloadable worksheet.

In the second of our two-part series, we’ll explore the tools RFPIO provides to help scale your response management process and, of course, win those bids!

In the meantime, let us know if you’d like to learn more about RFPIO and how we can help you scale your response management process.

Your guide for selecting the best business proposal software

Your guide for selecting the best business proposal software

If you’re a business that creates proposals, presentations, and responses to RFPs, RFIs, and requests for bids/tenders, it’s time to take a serious look at business proposal software.

Why should you invest in AI-enabled proposal software? Because proposals are mission-critical revenue generators for companies who prioritize them and optimize their response process.

Add technology to the mix, and you’ll be unstoppable. Business proposal software provides quick access to proposal content, simple ways to collaborate, and built-in project management features that make it easy to keep proposals on track.

If you’re ready to automate your RFP response process to save valuable time and increase revenue, you’ve come to the right place. Keep reading to find out how business proposal software gives small businesses like yours a competitive edge.

In this blog, we’ll cover:

What is business proposal software?

Business proposal software is a cloud-based program designed to help businesses develop proposals, presentations, and responses to RFPs, RFIs, and bids/tenders. It can also be used to respond to security questionnaires (e.g. VSAs, CAIQ, SIG), create proactive proposals, write SOWs, and manage company knowledge.

The key to business proposal software is that it simplifies the proposal creation process with a few core functionalities:

  1. Storing and organizing internal knowledge

Just like the mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell, a content library is essential to any good business proposal software.

The content library consolidates subject matter expertise in one place. Then, the next time a new RFP opportunity pops up in your inbox, you’ll be able to tackle commonly seen questions in one fell swoop.

The more efficiently you can respond to RFPs, the more time you and your team have to work on other projects—be it building relationships with customers, creating sales collateral, or responding to more RFPs.

Consolidate RFP content using rich text editing

2. Keeping projects on track

RFPs and other business proposals are often the most collaborative activity an organization undertakes. When you’re working at a small company, it’s possible that everyone at your organization will be involved, in part, in a response to an RFP.

When your team adopts business proposal software, it means you’ll no longer be managing proposals via email, Teams, Slack, or spreadsheets.

Most business proposal software comes with built-in project management features, including:

  • Importing RFPs onto the platform in Word, Excel, or pdf format
  • Assigning questions and/or sections to key collaborators
  • Automated reminders
  • Sequential review cycles
  • Exporting to source file
  • E-Signature

3. Seamless collaboration

In addition to project management features, business proposal software also streamlines collaboration with in-app commenting and @mentioning.

When all proposal-related conversations are in one place, you can make sure your organization stays aligned on proposals (and declutter your inbox in the process).

seamlessly collaborate by assigning tasks to collaborators in-app

When you’re ready to evaluate vendors, be sure to demo the various platforms. You’ll want to find something that’s powerful enough to suit your needs, but intuitive enough to make sure your small team can get ramped up in no time.

4. Make data-driven decisions

Top-notch business proposal software comes with built-in dashboards and analytics, giving you the insights you need to minimize risk and enhance efficiency.

If you do it right, data-driven management helps sales teams sell smarter. It can also provide insights into how proposal teams can identify—then either avoid or plan around—process challenges, such as resource management challenges, reduced ROI, missing deadlines, and inefficient content development.

Make data-driven decisions

5. Integrate into your existing tech stack

The final component of business proposal software is the ability to integrate into your sales tech ecosystem.

Since responding to RFPs is a key part of the sales process, it’s critical that the business proposal software you choose is able to smoothly integrate into your tech stack.

This is especially important when working on a small team that doesn’t have the bandwidth to manually update your business proposal software to work in-sync with your CRM, like Salesforce, Microsoft Dynamics 365, or Hubspot.

Benefits of business proposal software

Business proposal software can be an absolute game-changer. Instead of spending your time on menial tasks—like tracking down RFP answers in emails and old drafts—business proposal software makes it easy for proposal managers to achieve success.

“Auto Respond is absolutely brilliant. We click on it and RFPIO answers about 80% of an RFP in a few seconds.”
-Paul Taylor, Vice President of Solutions Engineering at Crownpeak

Read the full story —>

Here are real results we’ve seen from customers after automating their response process with business proposal software:

Calculate your ROI here to see how much time and money your team could save with business proposal software.

calculate your roi to see how much you could save with RFP software

Calculate your ROI

How to select the best business proposal software

As you’re making your decision, here are some software selection steps you can follow:

1. Meet with your team

Before you commit to an annual subscription to business proposal software, schedule a meeting with any stakeholders in the proposal process. This includes subject matter experts, sales reps, and bid writers.

Leave the meeting with a clear understanding of the main goals you hope to achieve.

Your final list could simply be a bullet list, like:

  • Improve collaboration on business proposals without relying on color-coded Word docs
  • Consolidate answers to common RFP questions in one place, so SMEs aren’t answering the same question over and over again
  • Create visibility, so leadership can easily check on proposal status

2. Do your research

Once you determine key goals for your proposal program, you need to prioritize business proposal software features. Divide features into two columns—”must-have” and “nice-to-have”.

If you want to make it easy for everyone to get up-and-running in the tool, an intuitive user interface might be a “must-have”. If your sales team lives in your CRM, an integration with Salesforce or Dynamics might be “nice-to-have”.

3. Read customer reviews

Just like you might check Yelp before you head to an unfamiliar restaurant, reading through reviews from verified customers on platforms like G2 should absolutely factor into your decision making process.

On G2, you can also sort reviews by company size, user role, industries, and region—so you can find reviews from users just like you.

Here is a screenshot of comparing four of the most popular business proposal software solutions:

Select the best business proposal software

Check on the full comparison on G2.

4. Understand the product and services

Once you’ve narrowed down your list of business proposal software providers, schedule a demo to see the solution in action and meet the team you’re considering partnering with. Bring your priority feature list, along with a list of questions you want answered.

What is the best business proposal software?

Short answer: There is no “best” business proposal software. There’s only the best business proposal software for you and your team. 

This being said, the decision to implement business proposal software shouldn’t be taken lightly. You’ll want to make sure the software you choose helps you, your proposal team, your sales team, and everyone at your organization achieve your goals and save time.

Here’s a list of the four top business proposal software:

RFPIO

RFPIO was created in 2015 by three founders who believed that Natural Language Processing (NLP) could permanently change the way businesses respond to RFx, security questionnaires, and other high-value external responses. Today, we are proud to be the trusted partner of more than 200,000 users across the globe. We support organizations of all sizes, from fast-growing start-ups to large multinationals doing business in dozens of languages. We’re people who value family, growth, new hobbies, and self care, and enjoy helping our users have more time and energy for such things. Our office community spans from Coimbatore, India, to Leawood, Kansas, to our corporate headquarters in Portland, Oregon.

Loopio

Loopio was launched in 2014 with the belief that responders “should never have to choose between quality and speed.” Loopio’s platform uses automation and collaboration tools to help companies create faster, more effective responses. They believe that every company has the opportunity to turn RFPs from revenue blockers, into a competitive advantage. Loopio is headquartered in downtown Toronto, Ontario and has a satellite office in Vancouver, British Columbia.

Ombud

Ombud’s name is derived from the Swedish word Ombudsman: an individual who represents the interests of another individual, while investigating and addressing requests between the individual and the broader organization. Founded 2011, Ombud seeks to bring “context and collaboration” to their customers’ sales content, helping them streamline processes around RFPs, sales proposals, Statements of Work (SOWs), and Proofs of Concept (POCs). The company is headquartered in Denver, Colorado.

Upland Qvidian

The history of Qvidian dates back to 1977 when Dr. Tom Sant founded the Sant Corporation in Chelmsford, Massachusetts. By the 1990s, Sant and his company grew to be leaders in both proposal software and strategy, with Sant authoring a book entitled Persuasive Business Proposals in 2003. In 2010, Sant Corporation merged with another proposal company called Kadient, to form Qvidian. In 2017, Qvidian was purchase by Upland Software, a public company with software offerings that include cloud-based fax services, telecom expense management, computer-telephony solutions, and IT finance management. The company is headquartered in Austin, Texas.

Answers to frequently asked questions about business proposal software

We hear common questions from proposal teams at small businesses every day. Below we’ve answered these questions to help you feel more at ease with RFP software implementation and learn a few ways to improve your RFP response process along the way.

What should my proposal team look like?

If you’re a small organization, you might have 1- or 2-member proposal team, or sales reps could be responsible for creating their own sales proposals. Either your proposal team or your sales rep should own the proposal process, and reach out to subject matter experts on other teams (e.g. product, engineering, security, marketing, legal, etc.) for help on specific questions.

How do you write a good business proposal with software?

Writing a good business proposal starts with a strong process. Business proposal software simplifies that process, making it easier to collaborate with an extended team. With automated processes for scheduling, collaboration, and completing wide swaths of massive RFPs using answer libraries, you can blaze through the first pass of a response faster than working without software.

Here’s a quick overview of how you can write a good business proposal with software:

  1. Qualify the bid — Check data from past similar RFPs. What took weeks without RFP software may only take hours with it. All things being equal, is this RFP winnable?
  2. Understand requirements — Let the tool create a checklist of open items based on what remains after the automated first pass conducted at intake by your Content Library.
  3. Answer commonly seen questions — RFP technology consolidates all your previous Q&A pairs into an intelligent Content Library, so you can automatically respond to repeat questions in just few clicks.
  4. Assign due dates and tasks to key collaborators — Assign each RFP question or section as a task to individual collaborators from the project dashboard in RFPIO. They’ll then receive a notification from where they’re already working (e.g. email, Slack, or Teams).
  5. Assign questions for review and approval — Simplify the review and approval process with automated reminders and cues across multiple platforms.
  6. Polish — From intake, work within a branded template and support answers with approved content that’s always up-to-date according to the SME in charge of that content.
  7. Proofread — Still important, but working with already-approved content will decrease how much you have to proofread.
  8. Submit to issuer — Push send from RFPIO or your integrated CRM

How does business proposal software support my process?

Business proposal software supports your proposal process and makes it easier to manage your RFP project and review everything in one place. With the right software in place, you’re able to assign tasks to authors and reviewers, assign content owners, and keep content organized and up-to-date.

If you’re a 1- or 2-person proposal team, software helps you provide enterprise-level support to your sales team. If you’re a sales rep responsible for managing your own RFPs, software helps you automatically respond to commonly seen questions—so you can focus on building customer relationships and closing deals.

How does business proposal software provide efficient collaboration?

Since fewer people are involved in the response process at smaller organizations, each person’s time is extremely valuable. Proposal software gives you the ability to share information across various platforms. Content and assignments are seamlessly integrated into one platform, without the need for cumbersome reformatting, converting, and importing/exporting tasks.

How do I get started with business proposal software?

Joan Dolence, Proposal Architect at Finastra, recommends that proposal teams plan for RFP software implementation, just as you would with any new technology you bring into your business. Do the prep work and housekeeping before jumping in. Then, teach everyone how to use the proposal software by managing each proposal like a project.

How long does it take to implement business proposal software?

The answer everyone hates: It depends. If you’re a small team with a lot of bandwidth to upload and organize your content, you could be up-and-running in less than a month.

But the more bells and whistles you add on—things like integrations with Salesforce, Slack, or SSO—the longer it takes. The more users you have, the longer it takes. The more complicated your process is, the longer it takes. The less bandwidth your team has to upload and organize your content, the longer it takes.

Is business proposal software really worth it?

In our 2021 Benchmark Report: Proposal Management, we learned that organizations leveraging RFP-specific technology respond to 43% more RFPs than those who don’t. We also discovered that organizations not using RFP software instead used, on average, nine solutions to compose their RFPs, compared to only five for those with a dedicated RFP tool.

One study found that workers estimate switching between apps wastes up to 60 minutes of each day. By consolidating proposal management processes into one place, you and your team can stay focused, aligned, and on track.

Strengthen your business proposals with the right software

The only thing missing between you and your next winning proposal is the right software. If you’re ready to uplevel your business proposal process, schedule a demo of RFPIO today.

4.5 reasons I (a sales pro) love Autograph e-signature

4.5 reasons I (a sales pro) love Autograph e-signature

As a sales professional, when I’m closing a deal I don’t want anything getting in the way. The closer I get to a win, the more I get nervous about two things: delays and relying on others. E-signature functionality has been a huge help to minimizing both.

On the delay side, if there’s always been one holdup that makes me question my closing skills more than any other, it’s waiting for a signature. Back in the paper days of yore, it was even worse. Fax machines were already gathering dust by the time I started my sales career in 2007. At that time, we had progressed to a print-fill out-scan-email process that was annoying enough for me, especially for complex contracts that required multiple signatures and initials. Inevitably, a client would miss an initial blank or two and I’d have to chase them down for it. Then I’d have to merge multiple documents to make a complete, legally binding signed contract.

I once had a client on a $150K deal sign one page of a contract but forget to sign another. While waiting for that second signature, other stakeholders entered the picture, held up the deal, and eventually it died…all because I didn’t have e-signature capability.

On the relying-on-others side, this isn’t a selfish play. On the contrary, I depend on my pre-sales, marketing, operations, product development, and customer support teams to help me do my job every day. This play is about streamlining the approval process: I seek to remove as many barriers as possible to simplify what prospects need to do to sign off on a contract. The less I have to rely on them to print, scan, and email, the faster I can get my signatures.

When e-signature hit the scene a few years ago, it was a game changer. Adoption was slow at first, but it’s picked up big time over the last year. The pandemic has helped, in a sense, because the accelerated digital transformation everywhere has increased usage and familiarity with e-signature functionality.

Now that RFPIO has integrated e-signature capabilities across the user experience for all customers, I’ve fallen in love with it all over again. Known as Autograph, there are 4.5 reasons why, as an account executive sales professional, it’s changing the way I work, for the better.

#1 I move faster

Yeah. I know. I was just complaining about delays. Well, I can be the cause of those delays, too. Even prior to Autograph, I wasted cycles toggling back and forth between my e-signature app and whatever I was using to build proposals and contracts (usually either PowerPoint, Word, or PDF).

With Autograph e-signature, I now have capabilities embedded in the same system I’m using to create proposals and contracts, which means no more toggling. From RFPIO I can create the document, add signature requests, send it out, and save the signed version all in the same application. From the moment I have verbal assent on a deal, I can spin up a proposal or contract in a matter of minutes.

The big bonus with it being in RFPIO is that everyone in the organization can have access at no extra costs.* And I’m not just saying that because I happen to work for the app creator. RFPIO’s unlimited user licenses means everyone can have access, and it’s now included as a standard feature.* In addition to not needing to toggle to and fro with your e-signature app, you don’t have to pay for it, either.

#2 I’m more efficient

It’s about more than just working fast. It’s also about having more control over the whole sales lifecycle. Like any other sales professional, I have a quota or goal that I aim to achieve every month, quarter, and year. Autograph enhances the control I was already gaining with RFPIOs other features. Now I can add e-signature to my ability to manage documents, create content, access answers in near real time, and collaborate with my teammates in sales enablement and proposal development.

One of the greatest efficiencies is with contracts that need signatures from multiple parties. With Autograph, I can set a signing order, include personalized private messages to each signer, set a deadline, and prompt reminder emails. Signers will be invited via email to review the document and add their signatures and initials.

#3 I have more visibility

No deal exists in a vacuum. Quota calls, and I need to keep an active pipeline. There’s a fine line between managing multiple deals and spreading yourself too thin. At any one time, I may have two or three contracts out for signatures. The most important deal is always the one I’m currently working, so it was frustrating and distracting to have to keep tabs on contracts that were awaiting signatures on other deals.

Autograph has a dashboard that helps me track all my contracts, including timestamps, what’s been signed, who still needs to respond to the signing order, and all other actions taken with the document. The dashboard is my window into an organized record of all my signed documents, all of which are also stored in RFPIO and only accessible by me. There is no limit to how many documents I save, and no one else can see the documents without my permission.

#4 I minimize my tech stack

Don’t get me wrong. I love my technology. The fact that I can do what I do from almost anywhere still sometimes astonishes me. But like the inevitable course of a TikTok challenge going too far, there can be too much of a good thing.

I’m of the school of productivity through simplicity and taking the straight line from point A to point B. In the face of Nancy Nardin’s overwhelming 2021 SalesTech Vendor Landscape, I’m seeking to consolidate for more efficiency, automation, and of course, ROI. RFPIO has my back: First, by introducing Autograph on top of another new product this year, RFPIO® LookUp; second, by integrating with other applications I already have in my sales stack. From Salesforce to Microsoft Teams to Google Chrome, I have my sales tech stack dialed in for optimal productivity.

#4.5 Get more colleagues involved

This is only 4.5 because, while the byproduct is still something I love, it also comes with the luxury of working for the company that built Autograph: We all use it already. For you, the benefit is that Autograph exposes RFPIO to other users in your organization who may not have experienced it yet. If you’ve been trying to get any engineers or finance team members—maybe even other sales teams—in your organization to start using RFPIO because it’ll make your life easier, then Autograph is the perfect lure.

I’m one of many who love it

Beyond the sales benefits, I’m hearing a lot of love for Autograph from customers on proposal, human resources, and operations teams. Proposal managers are turning around proposal components such as cover letters, legal documents, NDAs, and disclosures faster than ever. HR is incorporating Autograph into onboarding to make the process easier for administrators and new hires. Operational subject matter experts are realizing efficiencies in utilizing Autograph for vendor/supplier agreement contract management.

Autograph is a no-brainer. Free and ready to go if you’re a current RFPIO customer.* Why not try it? Log in. Navigate to Autograph on the left. Upload a doc. Set a signing order. Send it externally or internally. NEXT!

Request a demo and ask to see how Autograph works, or check out a cool GIF demo of Autograph in action. If you’re already an RFPIO customer, view our Help Center article for detailed instructions on using Autograph.

*The inclusion of the free Autograph tool depends on your RFPIO package. If you currently don’t have Autograph, but want it, please reach out to your Account Manager.

How RFP automation software helps Hyland strengthen their responses

How RFP automation software helps Hyland strengthen their responses

Hyland is a leading content services provider that enables thousands of organizations to deliver better experiences to the people they serve. With a robust product suite that connects data and systems across complex enterprises, they serve industries across the board, including government, education, healthcare, and financial services.

For many of Hyland’s customers, RFPs are an integral (and sometimes legally required) part of the vendor procurement process. For Hyland, RFPs are their ticket in the door—and their chance to make an outstanding first impression.

And it’s the proposal team’s responsibility to ensure that first impression propels them to the next stage of the sales cycle.

As Hyland continues to grow, the number of RFPs coming in is also increasing. The proposal team quickly realized that if they wanted to respond to more and more RFPs—while continuing to ensure each RFP makes an impact—they needed a more efficient process.

That’s why they started the search for RFP response software. They needed something that simplified project management, knowledge management, and collaboration.

After a rigorous vendor selection process, they decided on RFPIO.

Collaborating in the same document, in real-time

The Hyland team used to manage projects by color-coding an Excel or Word document, assigning questions to collaborators according to color. Each collaborator saved the document locally, completed their assignments, and returned it to the proposal specialist.

The proposal specialist would then manually combine more than 4 different versions into one master copy.

Lauren Joy, the Proposal Team Manager at Hyland, remembers that “the most frustrating part was that people often wouldn’t finish their questions. Not only were we rushing to combine all these separate versions into one master copy, but we’d also find out last-minute that someone only answered half of their assigned questions.”

Now, with RFPIO, collaboration is a breeze. Instead of color-coding, the proposal specialists can assign questions on the RFPIO platform. SMEs will then be notified that their help is needed, and can answer their assigned questions in one place.

As the SMEs are responding to questions, the proposal specialists can monitor progress in real-time. That means there is no need to worry someone forgot to answer their questions. And no more manually copying and pasting answers into a master file.

Creating a place to find answers

Hyland has always used a cloud-based system to house content from previous bids. But, in their previous system, something as simple as finding information had a steep learning curve. Beth Travis, the Knowledge Base Administrator at Hyland, explained that, “we all had our own method of finding answers, but it definitely wasn’t intuitive. We’d get a lot of questions from newer folks.”

Not only that, the system offered zero insight into how people were using the content. And anytime a piece of content needed to be updated, the editing process was very cumbersome.

“The Content Library was a game-changer across the board.” Beth Travis Knowledge Base Administrator, Hyland Software

With RFPIO, the proposal team can ensure everything in their response library is 100% accurate and up-to-date. Now, their library is a place the entire organization can go for answers.

The first part of this is content moderation. Content managers have full control over what goes into the Content Library. Before any question-answer pair is added, it is reviewed for consistency and accuracy. The result is a rich library full of pre-approved content, written in a unified Hyland voice.

The second piece of this is content review. The team maintains accuracy by assigning each piece of content an owner and setting up regular review cycles. The content owner is notified when it’s time to review their question-answer pair. They can then make any necessary edits, and give their stamp of approval.

As a result, the Hyland team trusts the information stored in RFPIO. And because RFPIO is equipped with AI-enabled search, anyone can find the answers they need, using keywords they’re familiar with.

Hyland has also given everyone access to RFPIO Lookup, the Google Chrome extension. Both Hyland employees and reseller partners can key in a quick keyword search right in their Chrome browsers—bringing a robust library of pre-approved content to the fingertips of anyone who needs it.

“Not only is the RFPIO Content Library a place to find answers, it’s also helping us submit stronger responses. We use the stored question-answer pairs as a solid kick-off point, and then tailor each question to our issuer’s specific needs.” Lauren Joy Manager of Proposal Services, Hyland Software

Adjusting permission levels based on user roles

When you’re creating a place for answers, it needs to be something everyone can use. That means it needs to be intuitive and it needs to be simple. For this, the proposal team uses Custom Roles. Each team member sees a different user interface, depending on their role.

Most Hylanders will only see the Content Library and any questions they’ve been assigned to. That way, they can immediately find what they’re looking for when logging into RFPIO.

By making sure RFPIO is something everyone can use… everyone is using it. User adoption has been outstanding.

Hyland also wanted to be able to give their reseller partners access to information about products or services. But, they wanted to keep certain pieces of content internal-facing. Enter the “Reseller” role. By adjusting content permission settings, the Hyland team controls what their reseller partners see.

As a result, the reseller partners can easily access the information they need. And any internal-facing content… stays internal-facing.

Embedding the RFP process into existing workflows

Hyland uses the Salesforce integration to pull data in from an existing account or opportunity. This both ensures the data is matching and also means there’s fewer fields to fill out—saving time and avoiding errors.

They’re also able to more easily track post-project and future engagement. Going forward, they will better understand how their proposals are performing, and gain more insight into their win/loss rate.

The Salesforce integration has helped align sales and proposal teams. Now, sales has full visibility into project status. They can see how a current project is progressing, or check which future projects are in the queue, all from the RFPIO dashboard in Salesforce.

Thinking about implementing RFPIO? Just do it.

RFPIO has helped Hyland strengthen their responses, take on more projects, organize their content library, break down knowledge silos, enhance collaboration, and align their teams. When asked what they would say to someone thinking about implementing RFPIO, Lisa McNeeley only had two words: “Do it”.

“We chose RFPIO because we realized it will help us grow in the long-term,” Lauren added. But don’t just hop right into it. “Make sure you have a plan in place. Figure out the different pieces you need,” she continued.

Once you have the right process in place, the only way to go is up.

“RFPIO has helped us strengthen our responses and enabled us to take on more projects. And the more projects we take on, the more business we’re likely to win.” Lisa McNeeley Proposal Services Team Manager, Hyland Software

Want to see RFPIO in action? Schedule a demo and we’ll give you a customized tour.

How ELMO Software boosts productivity and efficiency with RFPIO

How ELMO Software boosts productivity and efficiency with RFPIO

Elmo Software is the fastest growing HR technology solution in Australia and New Zealand, offering a single, cloud-based platform for organizations to easily manage their HR and payroll processes.

For many of ELMO’s mid-market and enterprise-sized customers, a request for tender is often the first step in the sales cycle. As more organizations are looking to cloud-based technology to streamline processes, ELMO noticed a steady increase in the number of tenders received.

ELMO knew that the more tenders they responded to, the more revenue they could generate. They also knew that the right technology could help them respond to an increasing number of tenders, at the same high quality they were used.

So they kicked off the search for bid automation software.

ELMO Software’s bid management team was spending too much time on manual processes

Jay Kumar, the Senior Bid Manager at ELMO Software, explained that before RFPIO, “the response process was not nearly as efficient as it is now.”

“The most time-consuming part of this process would be following up with the stakeholders to remind them to respond to questions. This was especially frustrating because I already had so many other things on my plate,” Jay remembers. “And I know the stakeholders had their own priorities they needed to take care of. We all felt like we were spending more time than necessary.”

Because each tender required so much time and effort—and they were responding to so many tenders—the bid management team would often work nights and weekends to get everything done on time.

They knew it wasn’t sustainable to keep working overtime to complete responses. They had to make a change. They started to look for a solution that could help them organize their content, simplify cross-team collaboration, and automate their process. Ultimately, ELMO decided on RFPIO.

By automating the response process, ELMO Software can respond to more tenders than ever before

Sameer Longi, the Consulting Solution Manager at ELMO Software, says that despite having a small team, RFPIO has enabled ELMO to submit more tenders per month than ever before—without the need for extra headcount or working overtime.

Not only is ELMO’s bid management team able to respond to more tenders, key stakeholders are also spending significantly less time responding to questions.

As the bid manager, Jay would often ask different stakeholders for help on questions. However, because answers were all stored in old tenders, rather than a central repository, it wasn’t easy to track down answers. As a result, he often inadvertently asked stakeholders questions they had already answered.

This has all changed since implementing RFPIO. Now, previous question-answer pairs are nicely stored in Jay’s Content Library. Any time he needs an answer, a quick keyword search is all he needs to find what he’s looking for. Any answer he can’t find in the Content Library, he assigns to key stakeholders using RFPIO’s robust suite of project management tools. Each new answer he collects is automatically stored to the Content Library—ready for the next time he needs it.

RFPIO is a place for the entire team to find answers

The ELMO Software team isn’t just using RFPIO as a tool to respond to bid requests. The team can also use RFPIO as a place to find answers.

Solution consultants will often take advantage of the rich Content Library in RFPIO to prepare for their demos. Oftentimes, their prospects will send over a few questions they would like to see answered—and the solution engineers can easily find the answers they need with a quick keyword search in RFPIO.

Over the next six months, ELMO Software will be using RFPIO in more areas of the organization, so more people can quickly find information and resources. Sameer explains, “We’ll often be contacted by people from different parts of the business for additional information. If we can close the loop by giving them direct access to the platform, we can make our process even more efficient.”

“RFPIO makes it really easy to give everyone on our team access to the platform, since we can issue as many user licenses as we’d like at no extra cost”, Sameer added.

“Tenders are a critical part of ELMO’s growth journey. With RFPIO, we’re able to respond to every bid request that comes our way—significantly increasing the potential revenue we can generate.”

Sameer Longi
Consulting Solution Manager at ELMO Software

Merging enterprise-level content using RFP automation software

Merging enterprise-level content using RFP automation software

If your company is being acquired by a larger company, what’s the best way to convince them to adopt your software and processes? Show them the numbers.

When Keith Folz and the Janrain team implemented RFPIO in 2017, they started responding to RFPs 30% more efficiently. After using the tool for several years, RFPIO had become an integral part of Janrain’s response process, helping sales teams efficiently pull together proposals and win new business opportunities.

Then, Janrain was acquired by Akamai Technologies. However, because Janrain had achieved such impressive results using RFP automation, Akamai Technologies decided to move forward with RFPIO post-acquisition.

Throughout the course of the acquisition, RFPIO helped combine the two organizations’ RFP answer libraries—and now plays an instrumental role in keeping the content library accurate and up-to-date.

Going through a similar merger? Learn from the Akamai team’s experience so you can pull through without disrupting your RFP response workflow

“With the 30% increase in efficiency we saw, we really wanted to make sure that RFPIO was something that got maintained when we were going through the acquisition.”

The RFP process, without RFP automation software

In a pre-RFPIO life, the Janrain team needed an entire week just to assemble the RFP response team for each RFP.Of course, getting the team in place was the “easy part”. After that came the actual “responding to RFPs” part.

To do this, technical salespeople needed to spend hours scouring through massive spreadsheets to find the answers they needed—and became overly familiar with CTRL + F in the process.

At the same time, maintaining content accuracy was a persistent challenge that required SMEs to periodically read through cumbersome spreadsheets to update content and data points. The Janrain team knew they were spending too much time responding to RFPs. And thus began the search for RFP automation software.

They wanted a solution that was cloud-based, met the standard for their annual SOC and ISO audits—and, most importantly, had no seat requirements. Because they had so many people inside the organization that needed to work on a single RFP, unlimited users was a must-have.

After evaluating several different providers, they decided on RFPIO.

RFP software increases efficiency by 30%

When still responding to RFPs manually, Keith and his team would spend a week just figuring out who would be on the response team each time a new RFP came in. After implementing RFPIO’s cloud-based solution, that same process took only an hour. Now it’s just a matter of someone like Keith knowing each person’s strengths and assigning them to the right RFP.

The “CTRL + F” method has also run for the hills with the introduction of RFPIO and its AI-enabled recommendation engine. With RFPIO in place, salespeople no longer needed to spend days (weeks, months) virtually memorizing the content library in order to find the answers they need.

RFP software provides stability during a merger

When asked about the role RFPIO played in the acquisition process, Keith immediately responded, “Tagging. If we didn’t have the tagging capabilities, we would have a nightmare of overlapping answers.”

The tagging capability in an enterprise-friendly software like RFPIO ensured they kept certain policies separate in some situations while merging them in others.

“Making sure all the documentation was referenced inside of the right questions was very important. This would have been nearly impossible without RFPIO’s tagging function.”

A cloud solution that keeps enterprise-level content accurate

The former Janrain team remains the core RFPIO users at Akamai. With RFP automation software, they have implemented a 6-month review cycle to keep content fresh. After setting up key stakeholders as reviewers for specific questions, the team can easily send questions off to the reviewers on file to determine whether a certain answer needs to change.

Because of this—and because they are very strict about tag management—salespeople are often able to use the first suggested answer when responding to RFPs.

With a solid review and tagging process in place, salespeople no longer have to comb through massive spreadsheets. And they feel confident that answers in the library have been thoroughly vetted.

Keith and his team are responding to even more RFPs after the acquisition, with the support of RFP automation software. Additionally, the Akamai team responds to each RFP with greater efficiency. As Akamai continues to grow and develop, RFPIO will continue to support them so they can submit outstanding proposals and win more deals.

Unify your revenue team with a response management platform

Unify your revenue team with a response management platform

The rise of the revenue team continues and mid-size organizations are leading the charge. When it comes to revenue responsibilities, the lines have become blurred between marketing and sales departments. Now, the rest of the organization is responsible for contributing to revenue as well.

The response management process is a key revenue-generating initiative for growing companies. To succeed, all of these teams need to work effectively together. A response management platform is here to unify your revenue team and position your organization for growth.

Response management opportunities for mid-size companies

Responders at mid-size companies are team members who respond to business queries like RFPs (Requests for Proposal), security questionnaires, and DDQs (Due Diligence Questionnaires). They both contribute and manage this process, often in addition to their primary job responsibilities.

With response management at mid-size organizations, roadblocks fall into two distinct buckets…

1. They lack X – Commitment, knowledge, an internal champion, support outside the organization

2. The cost of X – Services, resources, operations

Knowledge is a powerful asset for any organization, especially a mid-size organization where you have a combination of specialists and generalists with a multitude of experiences and backgrounds. These resources are valuable and cost the organization.

If a subject matter expert (SME) moves on from your organization, they take a wealth of company knowledge with them. This leaves your response team at a great disadvantage as they lose an important resource that contributed to the process.

Once these internal roadblocks are recognized, they become opportunities for improvement. A response management solution like RFPIO offers a collaborative atmosphere, turning teams into tribes.

Mid-size revenue teams keep the ship afloat

Revenue teams operating under a CRO (Chief Revenue Officer) are becoming increasingly common within B2B organizations. Rapidly growing mid-size companies have set the standard for modern revenue teams. All other companies, from startups to enterprise, are playing by the rules set by revenue teams at mid-sized organizations.

A revenue team involves anybody who is contributing to the revenue of the company. This seems like a broad definition, because it is. It doesn’t go as granular as negative revenue, even revenue, or positive revenue—it’s revenue in general.

Revenue teams might include managers in customer success or accounts working side-by-side with executives like a CFO or CRO. In mid-size organizations, marketing teams and sales teams (including sales ops and sales enablement) are considered part of the revenue team as well.

Similar to keeping a ship afloat in the sea, revenue takes contributions and effort from everyone. To bring in revenue and maintain revenue, it’s essentially an “all hands on deck” situation. Being that responding to RFPs and security questionnaires is a predictable step in the sales cycle, this process needs to be rock-solid for mid-size companies to achieve their revenue goals.

How a response management platform offers support

Let’s reinforce the two challenge buckets for responders at mid-size companies for a second. You’re experiencing a lack of commitment, knowledge, an internal champion, and/or support outside the organization. On top of that, you’re dealing with the cost of services, resources, and/or operations.

Other revenue teams have been in your shoes too. But, they saw those challenges in their response management process as opportunities and made that process easier with RFPIO.

Uniformity and accuracy

RFPIO’s Content Library is the bread and butter for response teams. This knowledge repository brings uniformity and accuracy to how a company represents itself in any business query response.

Teams across the organization will benefit from a centralized access point to company information. It goes beyond sales enablement, enabling anyone who needs to efficiently find up-to-date content to get the job done. The use cases are pretty endless.

Edit and enhance

RFPIO Lookup takes the strength and capabilities of the Content Library a step further. Rather than being inside the platform, you quickly search for the response with a Chrome extension.

Let’s say you call in a field person to answer a security questionnaire, who doesn’t work inside the response management platform. They use RFPIO Lookup to access the knowledge repository from their browser to select accurate, technical responses. Instead of creating content from scratch or hunting down previous responses, now that person has extra time to edit and enhance the response.

Ease and visibility

RFPIO’s integrations are well-loved by revenue teams. Store all of your content inside the response management platform, using cloud storage integrations with your favorite cloud storage solutions (Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox, Box, and Sharepoint). Collaboration is necessary for any response management team—Slack and Microsoft Teams integrations simplify communication.

Salespeople operate business as usual with RFPIO’s CRM integrations (Salesforce, Hubspot, Microsoft Dynamics, Pipedrive, PipelineDeals). If you’re a sales operations manager, you need to provide visibility into how you’re winning RFPs and DDQs to the C-level team from time to time. Within Salesforce, you can easily run these reports.

Alexandra Maddux

“At Smarsh, we believe our proposals set the stage for an ongoing partnership and raise the bar on what it means for a vendor to exceed expectations. In 2018, the sales enablement team submitted nearly 30 more RFPs/RFIs compared to 2017 and is expecting the same trajectory for 2019. RFPIO allows our team to juggle upwards of 10 projects at a time, in tandem with maintaining the required level of organization to be successful and quality we demand, all while collaborating within the platform across 5 different time zones.”- Alexandra Maddux, RFP/Sales Support Coordinator

When you have a group of responders working together to achieve the same revenue vision, not only is this less stressful, this positive mentality impacts the company’s overall success. Your revenue team will become more unified in achieving that vision with a response management platform. It’s a win-win for everyone.

So…what are you waiting for? Book a demo of RFPIO to unify your revenue team.

6 RFP response email samples worth reusing

6 RFP response email samples worth reusing

Between communication apps, social media, and text messaging, email seems almost quaint. Still, a well-written RFP response email adds a level of professionalism to business communications, especially when you want to impress a prospect.

The reality is that writing emails is a core part of the proposal process, whether responding after receiving an RFP or sending an email for a proposal submission.

After hours crafting the perfect proposal, the email might seem like the sprinkles on top of the icing on the cake, in that it might look nice, but doesn’t add much substance. That doesn’t mean your email should be an afterthought. Like the right suit or hairstyle, the email is the first impression that sets the tone before the prospect even opens your proposal.

At Responsive, the last thing we want to do is put more work on your plate. So here are six of the most successful emails our proposal writers use. Feel free to copy and paste and use them as you see fit:

Request for proposal email sample: Send after receiving RFP

Hi [First Name] –

I am honored that [Vendor] has been selected to respond for [Prospect]’s business through an RFP. We look forward to showing [Prospect] and the whole evaluation team why [Vendor] would be a strategic solution to address the current and future challenges that [Prospect] is facing in their RFP process.

Based on the current status in the request, I will show how [Vendor] will help to: create a more consistent process across international regions, save individuals time to focus on other initiatives, and provide insights into all RFP analytics across your organization.

I will follow up within the next week with any questions we have about the RFP.

Thanks again for the opportunity!

[Sender]

ProTip: Provide three specific pain points you will solve to show you are the right partner.

Looking for more RFP response templates? Download our guide.

Request for proposal email sample: Send to clarify RFP project

Hi [First Name] –

It is apparent that [name(s)] spent a lot of time putting this request together. Thanks for sending us such an organized RFP outline…they aren’t always delivered this way!

At this time we are still reviewing, and the requirements are aligning well with [Vendor]’s offerings. We have outlined a few comments and questions. We would like to schedule a one-hour review session with your team to cover everything.

Is your team available at [11:30 a.m. PST] on [Friday] for this review session? Please confirm and I’ll send over a calendar invite.

Thanks and talk soon!

[Sender]

ProTip: A positive tone is always key with clarification requests.

Request for proposal email sample: Use for proposal submission

Hi [First Name] –

I trust you are well and busy as you receive and review multiple RFP responses. Attached, you will find the following files and folders to accompany the RFP response from [Vendor]:

  • [Relevant File / Folder]
  • [Relevant File / Folder]
  • [Relevant File / Folder]
  • [Relevant File / Folder]

Our team would be honored to earn [Prospect]’s trust and business as a result of this RFP submission. The connection we have with [anecdotal personal point, story, business fact, mutual customers, relevant content identified in the sales process] makes the potential of our doing business together that much more exciting.

We look forward to the next steps to come as we continue this process together. I will be standing by for any follow-up questions from your review.

Thank you!

[Sender]

ProTip: Bring in a personal touch to avoid a bland RFP submission.

Request for proposal email sample: Send to follow-up on proposal submission

Follow-Up #1 – When you haven’t heard from the prospect, and the deadline has not passed.

Hi [First Name] –

I trust this finds you well and in the throes of the RFP review. As we approach your review timeline of [August 1], I wanted to check in proactively on [Vendor]’s submission.

Are there any follow-up questions or clarification points needed from [Vendor]? I would be happy to hop on a quick call or share a sample of our work to clarify any other functional requirements you might have.

Speak to you soon,

[Sender]

Follow-Up #2 – When you still haven’t heard from the prospect, and the deadline has passed.

Hi [First Name] –

I’m reaching out to see if I can get an update on [Vendor]’s recent RFP submission. We passed our deadline of [August 1], and I haven’t heard from anyone at [Prospect] yet.

Perhaps the project is hung up due to competing priorities, the project is taking a different direction, or another vendor has been decided? Whatever the case may be, any updates would be greatly appreciated.

Speak to you soon,

[Sender]

ProTip: Keep your first follow-up message brief and polite. On the second follow-up, gently back away to see if that draws them in.

Request for proposal email sample: Send after winning proposal

Hi [First Name] –

I was thrilled to learn that [Vendor] moved forward in the selection process. I speak for the entire team when I say that we appreciate the opportunity to earn your business.

Per the outline of the RFP process, the next step is an onsite presentation for the last week of [August]. I am available [Mon-Wed] in the [afternoons]…do any of these times work for your team?

Very excited, thanks!

[Sender]

ProTip: Show your enthusiasm and keep the momentum going to move the project forward.

Request for proposal email sample: Send after losing proposal

Hi [First Name] –

Thank you for the update. I am surprised by this result as I remember specifically how well the demo went with your team, and the excellent fit between [Prospect] and [Vendor].

I absolutely respect your decision, and I only ask for some additional feedback so I can understand how [Vendor] can continue to improve. Let’s schedule a few minutes to chat, so I can better understand the specifics you were looking for. Any feedback I can glean in this scenario is very valuable.

Thank you very much,

[Sender]

ProTip: Lose gracefully, but demonstrate complete confidence in your solution until the end. You never know…they may be back!

The formula for creating winning RFP responses

Want to stand out in the RFP process? Our guide can teach you how to write a winning RFP response.

Respond fast. Save time. Win more.

Add RFP software to your sales tech stack for response automation with a human touch, content governance that establishes trust, and outcomes that will only improve over time. Learn more about Responsive.

See how it feels to respond with confidence

Why do 250,000+ users streamline their response process with RFPIO? Schedule a demo to find out.