Understanding AI RFP software

ai rfp software

American football coach Jimmy Johnson famously said, “The difference between ordinary and extraordinary is that little extra.” While he was likely talking about sports, the same can be said for Strategic Response Management and RFP software.

For an RFP, “that little extra” might refer to personalization, compelling storytelling or that special something that differentiates you from your competitors. Easier said than done, right? If your Strategic Response Management teams are like nearly all we meet, there aren’t enough hours in the day for that little extra — even if it means the difference between grabbing your piece of $11 trillion in annual RFP-based revenue, and not.

Is AI RFP software the solution? The answer is unequivocally yes. Read on to see how AI can empower your RFP response teams while mitigating risk, slashing response times and increasing win rates.

How AI is transforming proposal response management

Strategic Response Management (SRM) is one of the fastest-growing emerging business categories. SRM is the ability to quickly and accurately respond to a wide array of information requests from customers, prospects, and partners using technology that centralizes an organization’s most current, compelling, customer-facing information.

AI is transforming SRM by enabling response and revenue-generating teams to generate faster and more personalized responses to complex information requests. The use of AI across SRM is broad, and includes much more than just generative AI (GenAI).

Here are just a number of ways AI augments human contribution in the proposal management process:

  • Completes up to 80% of a first draft in minutes, pre-populating repetitive questions with the most relevant and accurate answers
  • Shreds complex RFPs in seconds to simplify go/no-go decisions
  • Identifies the right SMEs for any RFP
  • Automates tedious, repetitive tasks to streamline workflow orchestration

The Responsive Platform has had AI at its core since the company was founded in 2016. Responsive AI has two layers:

  • Experience layer: The latest in GenAI tech fuels this layer and makes it simple for users to use natural language to generate and refine winning responses
  • Reasoning layer: Powers smart recommendations and intelligent automation

In today’s crowded and competitive B2B landscape, harnessing the power of an intelligent SRM platform is simply a must. RFPs are getting longer and more complex as organizations seek even more information about potential vendors or partners. Old ways of working won’t cut it.

A recent study of over 700 strategic response executives found a major gap between SRM leaders and laggards. Response leaders who standardize on industry-leading AI RFP software like Responsive have a 16 percent higher win rate and generate 34 percent more revenue.

The data are clear: in order to gain a competitive advantage, organizations need to adopt the right AI RFP software.

Understanding the role of intelligent software in proposal response

Close your eyes for a moment and imagine the perfect assistant. They would be intelligent, knowledgeable about your industry and business, able to quickly find what you’re looking for, and take many tedious tasks off your plate – enabling you to do that little bit of extra (a.k.a, the high-value tasks) that drive deals into the end zone.

Now, imagine that that assistant can do the same for any response process stakeholders without compromising their work for you. Despite the title of this article, the best AI-driven software empowers your organization to respond to far more than just RFP.

Holistic SRM platforms like Responsive handle any type of information request – from RFPs to RFQs, RFIs, DDQs, security questionnaires and more – while centralizing company knowledge and simplifying cross-functional collaboration.

The benefits of AI-enhanced automation

AI is everywhere, from customer chatbots to advanced product development and analytics. Most companies have at least one AI tool at their disposal, but for many, the benefits are still abstract. So, let’s dive into the tangible benefits, especially as they impact SRM.

A lot is at stake when it comes to Strategic Response Management: over $11 trillion in revenue is generated just through RFPs annually. Yet, poor collaboration, non-repeatable processes, and siloed and scattered content all result in hurried, less-than-optimal responses and even missed deadlines.

An AI-powered SRM solution solves these problems and offers distinct competitive advantages over manual and less advanced response technologies. Some of the advantages include:

  • Improved win rates — AI-driven insights help with go/no-go decision-making and tailor proposals to better meet the criteria, significantly improving the chances of winning bids.
  • Faster response time — Project management and collaborative tools help move teams along. At the same time, immediate access to up-to-date and approved information enables project managers to fine-tune responses instead of searching for answers, potentially doubling response capacity.
  • Reduced SME burnout — SMEs are typically company leaders and executives. Response is generally not their primary role, but it’s vital nonetheless. Most that we know are happy to help when needed but they become frustrated when they have to answer the same questions over and over again. By automating and refining content governance, AI helps organizations create a repository of company knowledge that acts as a single source of truth. That way, proposal managers can rely on up-to-date and accurate information, oftentimes without even getting an SME involved.
  • Scalability — AI and an array of helpful business integrations enhance the ability to support growing numbers of users and an always-growing content library. By delivering time back to response teams, AI RFP software allows organizations to get more done, faster, without compromising quality or adding headcount.

How leading companies are winning more with AI RFP software

The proof is in the pudding. See how organizations of all sizes benefit from AI RFP software:

Use cases for AI RFP software

The response process is complex and multi-faceted, as is AI RFP software. AI impacts practically every step in the response process, from intake to submission.

Here are a number of the key gains you’ll see.

Shred RFPs in minutes

AI can scan and shred any RFx in a matter of a few clicks. Complex RFPs are often hundreds of pages long and usually take multiple days to process. With AI, this process is reduced to minutes. AI tools like Responsive Requirements Analysis speed up the go/no-go decision-making process and facilitate the assignment of appropriate sections to SMEs.

Surface the right content

One of the key benefits of AI RFP software is its centralization of company knowledge. With one location for your organization’s more compelling, current, and customer-facing information, proposal leaders don’t have to waste time hunting down the right answers. The best platforms will even pre-populate repetitive questions with winning responses. This allows proposal teams to spend time fine-tuning instead of searching.

Automate project management

Responding to any RFx is a cross-functional endeavor. With many companies operating under hybrid work models, collaboration becomes tricky and staggered. AI RFP software orchestrates and automates all aspects of project management with an intelligent workflow engine, saving time while making sure that no checkbox is overlooked.

Make the right move with data analytics

As you consider the right AI RFP software for your business, be sure to investigate the reporting functionality. Robust data analytics can be a serious boost to your business, delivering insights like win-loss analyses that assist in making smarter business decisions by highlighting what’s working best in your Strategic Response Management.

Best practices for leveraging an AI-enabled RFP solution

An AI-enabled RFP solution requires a thoughtful and strategic approach to maximize ROI and user adoption. We recommend that technology and response teams consider the following.

Centralize access to your collective knowledge

A core advantage of AI-driven SRM is the ability to instantly surface winning content for questions across all response types. Key to this functionality is an information repository for all organizational knowledge.

As you build your Strategic Response Management strategy and operations – using your AI SRM platform as the command center – be sure to devote ample time to content governance. Reducing ROT (redundant, obsolete and trivial) content is a vital, yet neglected process that will enable you to scale your response processes faster.

Healthcare tech leader Netsmart leveraged the AI content management capabilities of the Responsive Platform to reduce outdated content by 43 percent while growing their library by 105 percent. This solidified trust in the platform, leading to a 540 percent growth in user adoption. With a more reliable source of company knowledge, Netsmart is able to accelerate their response time 10X and submit 67 percent more proposals.

Look for solutions that have key automations that make content governance easy. Additionally, tools like Responsive LookUp democratize knowledge and make it incredibly simple to find company information with just a few clicks.

Integrate your tech stack into one platform

AI RFP software should merge seamlessly into your existing processes, especially if you have adoption in mind. Look for a solution that integrates with your existing technology stack, so all cross-functional collaborators and stakeholders don’t have to make any changes to the way they’re already working.

The best solutions will have native integrations with key tools across the marketing, sales, and RevOps stack, including CRMs like Salesforce and HubSpot, cloud storage solutions like Sharepoint and Google Drive, productivity apps like Slack, sales enablement tools like Seismic, and more.

Prioritize tools that protect your company’s data

Data privacy is a top concern when it comes to AI. As you search for the right AI RFP software, be sure to investigate the AI practices of the various solutions you’re considering.

An AI-driven SRM solution should be built with core AI principles in mind that prioritize the ethical handling and protection of sensitive data.

Harness the power of intelligent automation with Responsive AI

AI-led SRM is quickly becoming the competitive advantage when it comes to driving revenue velocity. McKinsey reports that AI adoption decreases costs and increases revenue. Callan Consulting found that AI-powered SRM adoption leads to 16 percent higher win rates and 35 percent more revenue.

It makes sense. Traditional response processes leave little time for that extra something. Proposal leaders struggle to keep up with lengthier information requests on shorter timelines, SMEs are pulled in multiple directions, and companies are attempting to accomplish more with less. Yet, increasingly, buyers expect thorough, accurate, engaging and polished proposals that directly address their needs.

AI-led SRM solves multiple challenges by automating the most tedious parts of the response process, enabling SMEs and project managers to ensure that customers and prospects see their companies in the best light.

Responsive leverages the power of AI to help organizations drive revenue and reach business goals without adding to company headcount — enabling higher-quality responses in less time. Features like automated content updates, project management tools, leading GenAI functionality, and comprehensive analytics enable businesses to respond to RFPs more effectively and efficiently.

To learn more about how AI-powered SRM can help your organization become more productive and profitable, schedule a chat with one of our experts. 


Wendy Gittleson

Wendy has more than 10 years experience as a B2B and B2C copywriter. She developed a passion for writing about tech from living in the San Francisco Bay Area and working for a technology school. From there, she transitioned to writing about everything from SaaS to hardware and cloud migration. She is excited to be part of the wonderful team at Responsive and looks forward to playing her part in building the future. Connect with Wendy on LinkedIn.

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