rfp software

Create complex RFP responses with confidence. Manage them with ease.

Manually responding to RFPs is a broken process. Advancements in cloud computing and digitization have raised expectations for issuers. RFPs will continue to grow in size and complexity, because issuers expect vendors to be able to access all of their company and product information. There will be more questions about solution fit as well as more emphasis on security, privacy and compliance.

RFP software from Responsive not only streamlines and automates many of your existing RFP response processes, it revolutionizes how you manage projects, govern content and leverage data to pursue only the RFPs that you can win. You’ll work faster, with greater accuracy, so that you have more time to improve every response.

Intelligent software for the strategic advantage.

Automation

Built-in intelligence helps you choose the most promising RFPs and RFI. Automated formatting, branding, and drafting.

Searchable knowledge libraries

Find answers to tough questions with an AI-enabled recommendation engine that scours through your company’s content in seconds.

Easy integration

Responsive integrates with CRMs, cloud storage solutions, Microsoft Office, productivity tools, sales enablement applications, and more.

Customized responses 

Enhance your answers with tables, images and rich text — and export your RFPs into the source file, or your own branded template.

Go from administrative hassle to strategic advantage with Responsive Request for proposal software

 Let insights drive your decisions

Let insights drive your decisions

Decide whether to respond to each RFP and RFI that comes in using built-in intelligence, keeping your team focused on the opportunities you’re most likely to win.

Automate to keep deals moving

Automate to keep deals moving

From automated formatting and branding at intake to building up to 80 percent or more of a first draft automatically, Responsive helps you do more, faster.

 Work seamlessly with integrations

Work seamlessly with integrations

Responsive integrates with CRMs, cloud storage solutions, Microsoft Office, productivity tools, sales enablement applications and more.

Put all content at your fingertips

Put all content at your fingertips

Find answers to tough questions with an AI-enabled recommendation engine that scours through your company’s content in seconds.

 Import from Word, Excel and PDF

Import from Word, Excel and PDF

Quickly bring in RFPs or other requests directly into the Responsive platform, where you can easily develop responses, collaborate and communicate.

Tailor responses for a competitive edge

Tailor responses for a competitive edge

Enhance your answers with tables, images and rich text — and export your RFPs into the source file, or your own branded template.

Smarter RFP software in action

Organizations that use RFP software respond to more RFPs every year than their counterparts, but they also rely on Responsive RFP software for so many other reasons.

Collaborate + integrate across platforms

Users from across your company can access Responsive through more than two dozen applications you already use, including:

CRMs – Access the Responsive content library through your company’s chosen CRM, including Salesforce, Pipedrive, Dynamics 365, PipelineDeals, and HubSpot.

Communication apps – Responsive enables company-wide collaboration through your existing communication apps, including Slack, Google Hangouts, Jira, and Microsoft Teams.

Cloud storage apps – Seamlessly integrate Responsive with Sharepoint, Box, Dropbox, Google Drive, and OneDrive.

SSO authentication apps – Work within your company’s security protocols through SSO authentication integrations with Microsoft ADFS, Microsoft Azure, OneLogin, and Okta.

Browser extensions – Access the content library through Responsive® LookUp and Chrome.

Vendor assessment apps – Securely import directly from third-party platforms using Whistic.

Productivity apps – Work faster using Responsive with Microsoft Suites and Google Sheets.

Sales enablement apps – Revenue-generating employees can access Responsive through Seismic or Highspot.

rfp software

AI assistance: smarter analysis, faster turnaround

Responsive goes beyond simple automation. We use machine learning to intelligently assist you through every step of the RFP response process.

Leverage Responsive to:

  • Auto-identify response content – The advanced artificial intelligence in the Responsive platform automatically identifies response content.
  • Get automated answers – The AI-powered recommendation engine pulls from the content library to recommend answers based on previous similar questions.
  • Assign questions to pertinent subject matter experts – With Responsive, there’s no more trying to figure out the best people to help with your RFP. AI technology identifies relevant and available SMEs.
  • Analyze win-loss opportunities – Not all RFPs are worth a response. Have you won similar bids in the past? Is this one worth it? Responsive learns from previous wins and losses to help you decide whether to pursue the next one.

Content management, unified and simplified

Disjointed content is one of the top challenges of an RFP process. The Responsive content library not only simplifies the search but also does much of the work for you.

The content library in Responsive Content:

  • Stores marketing approved content in one place – Your company’s single source of truth.
  • Lets you stitch together high-quality content – Browse previous responses to create customized answers.
  • Makes creating content easy– Once you answer a question, you can store the Q&A pair for future needs. As your company accumulates knowledge or documents, it’s simple to upload it into your content library.
  • Streamlines content formatting – Organize and format content however you like.
  • Automates responses – With just a few clicks, Responsive customers answer up to 80 percent of the questions on an RFP, regardless of the format.
  • Encourages regular content audits – Keep your content library fresh and up to date with regular audits. Responsive will remind you when it’s time to review specific content.

FAQs about RFP solutions and processes

What is an RFP?

A request for proposal (RFP) is a document that a buyer issues to suppliers that outlines the product or service requirements for procurement. RFPs come in a variety of different formats and narratives (similar to essay questions).

An RFP is the highest form of communication in the procurement process. Most deals are for more than $20,000—often significantly more, like with extra zeros and another comma. They are most common in government, software, insurance, business services, healthcare, and other complex, highly-regulated industries.

Security questionnaires determine whether a vendor (or even the vendor’s vendors) is compliant with the customer’s security requirements. They may include questions about security and privacy, business continuity management, supply chain management, business continuity management, etc. Not surprisingly, security questionnaires are lengthy and complicated, sometimes with hundreds of questions.

Additionally, there are requests for quotes (RFQ)—typically for purchasing goods rather than services—and requests for information (RFI). RFQs, as you might imagine, are about the bottom line, which makes sense when purchasing several gross of industrial screws, but not services that require a more bespoke approach. On the other hand, an RFI might be used to narrow potential suppliers down for future RFP solicitations.

Of course, RFPs often include RFQs, security questionnaires, and RFIs.

The main objective of an RFP is for organizations to formally announce that they are opening a project for bids. RFPs are more formal and exacting than simple requests for pricing, and they’re typically for larger purchases.

An RFP will describe the needs and expectations of the issuer’s project and create the parameters to compare solutions.

RFPs generally require specific information about regulatory compliance, security, etc. In fact, it helps to think of an RFP response as the precursor to a sales contract and something that would even pass muster with legal departments—and quite often, legal has to approve responses before they’re sent to the customer.

RFPs ask for accurate, compliant, contract-ready answers to customer questions. Compare it to purchasing a house. You might want to know the current state of water or electrical systems, and as part of the presales contract process, the homeowner has to submit the answers in writing. The seller is then legally bound to the accuracy of their answers.

The RFP response is more complex than the uninitiated might think, which is why manual processes only allow for a couple of responses per year. There are a few notable challenges in the RFP response process, including:

Overwhelming volume of both siloed and scattered information – Single RFPs often include hundreds of pages, requiring input from multiple stakeholders. Imagine answering dozens of RFPs per year when you use manual processes!

Content quality – You have one shot at answering an RFP correctly. Content should be centralized, current, and accurate, which requires advanced cataloging.

Everybody and yet nobody’s job at the same time – If an answer isn’t in your content library, the RFP will require collaboration, which means consulting with subject matter experts (SMEs). Having multiple people provide different answers is like herding cats, and extremely difficult without response management.

Behind before you’ve even started – RFP deadlines are firm and many responses are time stamped. Missing a deadline by just a few seconds can rule your company out. Response management should keep you on track throughout the response process.

Stakes are high with significant revenue, legal and brand implications – RFPs require impeccably detailed and accurate answers using existing knowledge and collaboration from SMEs. An RFP response process should ensure consistent and on-time deliverables.

There are three levels of RFP software. The first, manual processes, include some software, such as documents, spreadsheets, and a folder tree, but little else. Manual processes are generally acceptable for companies that only respond to a couple of RFPs a year.

I typically refer to the next level of RFP software as “the document suites.” This includes word-processing software composed of essential collaboration tools, content management, templates, and formatting. Document suites are suitable for companies that answer a handful of RFPs each year.

When RFP-based deals are an essential source of revenue, most organizations opt for the third level—a Response Management solution. These solutions help businesses with responses ranging from RFPs to security questionnaires, and offer the most advanced functionality for creating RFPs and managing their workflows. They save time, money, and costly errors through machine learning, robust integrations, and comprehensive and intuitive content management tools.

Optimized workflow

Responsive optimizes workflow by smoothing out the content creation process, establishing workflow roles, providing selective collaboration, curating and cultivating your content library, and letting you spend more time on presentations instead of herding cats.

With Responsive software, users can rename and customize fields and intake forms, and customize frameworks and business processes. Responsive software is a tool that fits with your processes instead of the other way around. In fact, the Responsive product integrates with more workflow tools than any other response management platform.

Unified collaboration

The response process can include dozens of stakeholders from multiple departments and time zones. Timely collaboration can be a challenge, but not with Responsive. The Responsive product integrates with most project management and messaging apps, and collaboration is built into the platform.

The Responsive platform collaborative tools allow you to:

  • Consolidate project-specific conversations – Never lose track of comment threads again.
  • Break down knowledge silos – Each stakeholder on a response has a singular goal…winning the bid! Responsive allows you to share knowledge with stakeholders as needed, and vice versa.
  • Track progress of response completion – See whether the project is running on time and whether each stakeholder is doing their part.

Improved win rates

The average RFP win rate is 45%. Advanced response software uses AI to streamline the response process, which means you have more time to respond to more RFPs and win more bids. Additionally, the Responsive Content Library helps improve response quality by suggesting pre-approved answers to most queries, leading to an increased win rate.

Even if your win rate has only nominal gains, you will still produce more revenue because, as with many other things, RFP response is a numbers game. If you have the time to respond to more RFPs, you will have more victories and drive revenue.

“Since implementing Responsive, we’ve been able to do so much more with the same headcount. We’ve increased efficiency by at least 30-35%. We’ve diverted the effort and time to more value-added activities, creating a win-win both for the organization and the team members”.
Shashi K, Assistant VP of Content at Genpact

The Responsive product’s project management features help expedite response turnaround time, scale response capacity, and facilitate consistent deliverables.

Proprietary import and export technology

Most RFPs show up in your inbox as Word or Excel docs. Some appear as PDFs, which less advanced RFP response platforms can’t read. Responsive simplifies the import/export process, even with PDFs, thereby shortening the response time and delivering accurate, timely, and impressive bids. The industry-leading import/export features include:

  • Machine-learning-driven functionality that interprets questionnaires and parses them into components.
  • Specific functionality for the import of several standard questionnaire formats (CAIQ, CORL, ILPA, etc.)
  • Modern, intuitive UX for guiding our machine learning during import.

Adaptive knowledge library

The most time-consuming part of the response process isn’t strategizing. It isn’t even herding those metaphorical cats. Most of an RFP’s questions have probably been answered before, whether for that customer or others—sometimes several others. Answering those redundant questions is where the bulk of response time lies.

The AI-enhanced Content Library expedites the response process by automatically providing pre-approved answers to those tedious questions with just a few keystrokes. The web-based Content Library includes:

  • Auto-suggested answers
  • Auto-assigned content to relevant owners
  • Intelligent, easy search function
  • Cloud-based content storage

Built-in integrations

Responsive is scalable and seamlessly integrates with over two dozen of the most popular sales enablement tools, productivity apps, CRMs, cloud storage providers, communication platforms, and SSO authentication software products.

  • CRMs – Responsive integrates with the most popular customer relationship management (CRM) tools, including Salesforce, Hubspot, and several others. Users can start, monitor, and collaborate on projects within the CRM. For example, with the click of a couple of buttons, the RFP goes from Salesforce to Responsive and puts compliant content at the finger of frontline teams.
  • Communication apps – Distributed workforces have made communication apps such as Slack and Microsoft Teams a modern necessity. RFPIO functions within those apps to keep teams aligned and projects on track.
  • Cloud Storage – Responsive integrates with Google Drive, Google Cloud, Sharepoint, OneDrive, etc., so all documents can be stored in the cloud.
  • SSO authentication – Users can log into Responsive through Microsoft ADFS, Microsoft Azure, Okta, or OneLogin.
  • Vendor assessment – Responsive teams with Whistic to seamlessly import third-party vendor security questionnaires.
  • Browser extensions – Stakeholders can access the company content library directly through Chromium Edge or Google Chrome.
  • Productivity – Responsive users can search, import, and export using productivity tools such as Google Docs and Microsoft Suite applications.
  • Sales enablement – Two-way Responsive integrations with Seismic and Highspot allow users to import and export collateral, spreadsheets, diagrams, etc. between apps, and improve collaboration between sales, presales, and executives.

Robust project management tools

The Responsive management solution alleviates common challenges in meeting deadlines with better workflow assessment, even with distributed workforces. Responsive Project management capabilities include:

  • Trend analytics – Using insightful at-a-glance dashboards, built-in analytics allows users to analyze time and resources dedicated to an RFP, and track which questions are answered manually or through the content library.
  • Task management – Responsive breaks projects into bite-sized pieces and helps project managers assign tasks to those who aren’t buried under other responsibilities, and track progress.
  • Review cycles – Multiple stakeholder RFPs should have multiple stakeholder review processes. Responsive allows companies to set up review cycles on questions, sections, or the entire RFP.

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