How Smarsh’s RFP process persevered through a merger

Key results

Alex and her team at Smarsh have been managing RFPs with RFPIO for a few years and have gotten their RFP process down to a science.

In 2018, the Sales Enablement team submitted 30 more RFPs/RFIs compared to 2017, and they’re continuing to break that record every year. RFPIO empowers their team to juggle upwards of 10 projects at a time, all while collaborating within the platform across 5 different time zones.

This being the case, when Alex learned that Smarsh was merging with another company—along with her beloved, fine-tuned RFPIO process—she knew things weren’t going to be easy. But she also knew the only thing to do was to take a deep breath and get to work.

Through her experience leading the post-merger integration to success, she learned three valuable lessons—that will hopefully help guide others faced with merging two RFP processes.

Lesson 1: Understand each team’s RFP processes

Alex knew that if she wanted to successfully integrate her two teams, everyone on the team needed to feel like their voices were heard.  The last thing Alex wanted was a situation where people aren’t happy with the new system and just continue with their old way of responding to RFPs.

To avoid this, she sat down with her new team members to better understand how they were using their RFP software. She wanted them to be able to share any aspects they liked, so we could integrate it into our new RFP process.

After Alex was sure she had all her people behind her, she started work on the details.

Lesson 2: Understand best practices for your post-merger RFP response integration

When faced with the task of merging two content libraries and two organizational systems, Alex did the only thing that made sense.

She called her account rep at RFPIO.

RFPIO walked Alex through content management best practices, provided a post-merger RFP process integration checklist, and also came on-site several times to offer additional support.

After those first few conversations, Alex had a solid game plan. The first order of business was deleting duplicate reports in each instance and making sure the question-and-answer (Q&A) pairs were up-to-date.

The next step was to consolidate their tags. Before the merger, they had over 400 tags. Under RFPIO’s advisement — and after many calls back and forth with the RFPIO team — Alex managed to knock down the number of tags she had to less than 40.

“I practically had our account reps on speed dial. I feel very fortunate that they were there every step of the way and were willing to take my calls morning, noon, and night.” 

Lesson 3: Trust your RFP software provider

Leading up to the merger, Alex was on a mission to start the content migration with an absolutely flawless content library. So she worked diligently to polish every Q&A pair to absolute perfection.

“But then I came to the realization that perfect is the enemy of good,” Alex admitted, “so I finally let go and decided to give RFPIO the OK to start the content migration.”

“I remember telling RFPIO we were ready to do the content migration and going home for the day. The next morning when I came into work, the content migration was already done. We were operating in one system. The first thing I thought was, ‘Wow, this is great! Why didn’t we do this six months ago?’”

The best thing you can do is stick to your deadlines, keep the project moving along — and, of course, ask your RFP software provider for help.

“I can’t recommend enough that any company going through a merger leverage the processes and the folks available at RFPIO. It makes the process a lot easier than starting from scratch.”  

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