How Payscale reduced RFP response time by 25% after a content refresh

Key results

“Responsive has become the true source of truth across the company.”

– Nick Demarco Sr. RFP Content Writer, Payscale

Payscale, a leading compensation technology provider, started using Responsive in 2018. Then they acquired a few companies. And added new products, personnel and processes. All of it went into Responsive without any tagging or moderation. Before long, there was so much chaos in the Content Library that usage of the Responsive Platform started dropping off. Requests for proposal (RFPs) and security questionnaire responses were slow, disorganized and unreliable.

Payscale brought in Nick Demarco, Sr. RFP Content Writer at Payscale, to right the ship. He was tasked with cleaning up the response content library, building an efficient response process and optimizing how Payscale uses the Responsive Platform.

Key Takeaways

  • Reduced RFP and security questionnaire turnaround time by 25 percent through automation
  • Increased number of questionnaires answered by 50 percent
  • Removed of 4,000+ outdated Q&A pairs to improve response accuracy and speed
  • Improved user experience and expanded usage for sales team and subject matter experts

Payscale’s Response Challenge

Payscale is a growing mid-sized company whose Responsive Content Library reached critical mass. Due primarily to a series of acquisitions and a lack of bandwidth for subject matter expert (SME) reviewers busy with their primary responsibilities, the Content Library became infiltrated by gaps and decay.. Payscale was missing revenue opportunities because of missed deadlines and responses that did not measure up to their product quality.

Nick’s manager finally got fed up with the inefficiency and frustrating employee experiences. “My manager said, ‘We need better tools, processes, and outcomes to reach
the next stage of growth!’ The Responsive platform has been a huge part of that.”

Payscale already had the right tool in place, the organization just wasn’t using Responsive fully. So Nick, an experienced RFP response manager, took over as the central liaison for the company’s response function. Or, in Nick’s words, “We needed a central liaison or resource disseminator, and that’s where I came in!”

Refreshing Responsive Content Library at Payscale

Payscale had more than 5,000 Q&A pairs from all of the companies they had acquired. Rather than tackle all of them, Nick applied the 80/20 rule, meaning they focused on the top 80 percent in terms of recent usage. It’s not that the other 20 percent wasn’t valuable, but if it hadn’t been used recently, then perhaps it was out of date or related to a niche use case.

When Nick engaged SMEs to review, update and standardize the tone, voice and format of the content, his efforts ranged from sending them an email to chasing them (or their manager) down and being more proactive in getting them involved. They were able to move quickly on the project, because the organization as a whole backed the effort. “We were lucky to have a lot of buy-in and a collaborative culture,” Nick said.

The content refresh effort took about six months, but it allowed Payscale to:

  • Drill down to content granularity through tagging
  • Establish content owners who will be accountable for ongoing updates to their assigned content
  • Archive content that is still valuable — that other 20 percent — but not often used to respond to questionnaires

Highlights of Payscale’s Content Library refresh include:

  • Removal of 4,000+ outdated Q&A pairs
  • Added 1,800+ validated Q&A pairs (with 1,000+ more under review)
  • Reduced RFP and questionnaire turnaround time by 25 percent
  • Increased number of questionnaires answered by 50 percent

The project also brought Payscale and Responsive closer together.

“We couldn’t have done it without the Responsive team. Our CSM was willing to hop on a call with us at any point in the process.”

– Nick Demarco Sr. RFP Content Writer, Payscale

Impact of Responsive Content Library Refresh at Payscale

At Payscale, Nick said, “Responsive has become the true source of truth across the company if it’s not a ‘pre-made’ document or whitepaper that lives in other sources.”

Getting the Content Library in order also mitigated employee experience risk as it related to response processes. Nick built valuable inroads with SMEs by establishing a new level of trust. “Responsive is useful outside of just sales and marketing and responses in terms of building those [SME relationship] inroads, gaining recognition, creating buy-in and engagement, and making sure that you have a platform that can serve as this perfect central repository for up-to-date information, that has all these great features and tools to be able to organize your thoughts, so that you’re not thinking, ‘Who do I have to reach out to next to get this done?’”

According to Nick, now when SMEs receive a request from him they say, “‘Hey, there’s Nick. He helped refresh the library and got better sales content out there. What he’s asking for is definitely valuable.’” He continued, “I have contacts across the company, in every single knowledge department, so you become a kind of knowledge disseminator, even outside of sales content. If someone has a question about security, or implementation, I have someone I can talk to about that subject.”

As the Content Library became healthier, the sales team also took notice.

“It makes salespeople aware that not only do we have this great team working for them, but we have this great platform that can serve them in any part of their sales cycle.”

– Nick Demarco Sr. RFP Content Writer, Payscale

Now that the Content Library is healthy and will continue to be so under Nick’s watch, salespeople are encouraged to use it for more than just RFP and security questionnaire responses. “The search tool is very powerful. There’s plenty of filters, tagging, collections…a lot of the answers you might come across on a sales call can be found within the library,” Nick said. “It’s as easy as having your presentation up, and having another screen with Responsive open on the side, being able to search through and find pre-canned responses that you know are vetted, accurate, formatted correctly, etc.”

Looking to the future, Nick will continue to oversee the content moderation cycle with a primary goal of avoiding the Content Library bloat that led to the initial chaos. He also aims to increase the usage of Auto Respond and Deduplication features in Responsive to help with efficiency and accuracy, respectively.

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