How RFP software helps responders thrive [new research]

Written by
Madeleine Work
Madeleine Work
Updated on
  5 min read

Modern response management teams enjoy the unique time-savings benefits of dedicated technology like RFP software. However, only a fraction (16%) use RFP software to streamline their processes.

Chances are that your organization is grouped with 84% of responders who still rely on a manual approach, even with all of this great technology. Let’s be honest…nobody loves spreadsheets THAT much. Which is why RFP software is the preferred solution for today’s most successful teams.

Rather than spending the next hour hunting down old RFP responses, check out the 2019 RFPIO Responder Survey takeaways below to learn from 125 response management pros who are thriving with RFP software.

Top goals for proposal management professionals

RFPIO customers continually seek out ways to improve their internal processes, whether they are responding to RFPs or security questionnaires—or collaborating to better manage content or win bigger deals. If you’re on a self-improvement quest, you’ll relate to these different responders who manage proposals on a daily basis.

Proposal managers
57% of proposal managers said their primary goal is to improve the proposal management process to save time.
11% strive to demonstrate more value by helping achieve sales KPIs.
11% are continually searching for new ways to make project management easier.
11% want to improve collaboration between departments.

86% of salespeople are looking for opportunities to shorten the sales cycle to close more deals.
7% want to keep their eyes on predictable revenue to achieve their sales goals.

79% of marketers are focused on using automated technology to execute more with less resource strain.
7% would like more visibility into their content management efforts.

Subject matter experts
65% of subject matter experts aspire to increase efficiency through better processes.
22% own their supporting role, helping their organization win deals by providing expertise.

Top challenges for proposal management professionals

It’s rare when a job description only has two words…proposal management. Salespeople, marketers, and subject matter experts squeeze RFP responses into their jam-packed calendars, while proposal managers juggle multiple projects and people to submit proposals before the deadline. Even still, the challenges shared below are further opportunities for improvement.

Proposal Managers
50% of proposal managers said keeping response content up-to-date and accurate is their biggest challenge.
25% are not able to focus on priorities, because they are wearing too many hats.
7% think getting people to adopt new business technology is difficult.

68% of salespeople struggle with managing their time to focus on sales-related activities.
15% said having sales content easily accessible for prospect questions and RFPs is an obstacle.
10% are challenged with being asked to respond to RFPs—and they don’t consider sales proposals a priority.

43% of marketers mentioned their top hurdle was wearing too many hats and not having time for extra projects, like RFPs.
29% think controlling content quality is difficult, especially with RFPs.
14% felt challenged with managing brand consistency and positioning.

Subject Matter Experts
43% of subject matter experts revealed their top challenge was spending too much time on RFP responses.
35% are not able to keep the company content accurate.
17% are challenged by improving the proposal management process.

How RFPIO empowers response management teams

Now that we’ve covered goals and challenges, the question remains: How? How can response management teams reach their objectives? How can they overcome their obstacles? RFPIO was built by RFP responders so we know all about aspirations and hurdles. Here’s how our customers are seeing positive results with RFPIO.

Proposal Managers
82% of proposal managers said RFPIO helps them manage response content all in one place.
7% felt collaborating was much easier with subject matter experts and contributors, while using RFPIO.
7% are saving time, since RFPIO’s export templates make formatting a non-issue.

63% of salespeople said RFPIO enables them to automate their process, so they can make time to pursue new business with RFPs.
17% felt RFPIO’s Salesforce integration made managing RFPs easier.
12% are receiving fewer emails, because RFP communication happens within the RFPIO platform.

71% of marketers said RFPIO helps them centralize company content for easy access.
21% are experiencing easier collaboration during the RFP review process, thanks to RFPIO.

Subject Matter Experts
48% of subject matter experts said RFPIO helps them review content for accuracy and quality, instead of writing repetitive responses.
39% gained hours back in their day with RFPIO to focus on other priorities.
9% are showing executives more value, since executives have visibility into their RFP contributions with RFPIO dashboards.

RFP content audits, opportunities, and roles

It’s tough to know whether or not your RFP response process is rock-solid or full of holes—and whether or not your response management team is where it needs to be. RFPIO customers offer an inside look into their internal processes, sharing practices for auditing RFP content, sources for opportunities, and players involved in response management.

RFP content audit frequency
31% of responders audit their RFP content library once a quarter.
16% audit their RFP responses once a year.
14% never audit their RFP content.
12% prefer to audit their Content Library once a month.

Main source for RFP opportunities
85% of responders receive RFP opportunities directly from prospects.
5% win RFP opportunities via proactive proposals.
5% see RFP opportunities come from government contracts.

Roles for response management teams
32% of responders serve as Project Managers/Facilitators.
19% are System Administrators.
16% are Executive/Decision Makers.
14% are Content/Knowledge Contributors.
6% are Reviewers/Editors.

Favorite time-saving RFPIO features

RFPIO was ultimately built with efficiency in mind. Every RFPIO feature is focused on saving responders time, so they can do their best work together and win meaningful deals as a result.

Content Library
89% love the Content Library for the ability to store, organize, and access responses in a centralized content hub.

Import / Export
49% feel the import and export functionality speeds up the RFP response time and helps them submit a beautifully branded deliverable.

Content Library
24% like the Content Library for keeping all supporting attachments and collateral streamlined and accessible.

23% leverage dashboards for gaining full visibility into RFP projects, including insights into contributors, workloads, and progress.

RFPIO Lookup
21% lean on RFPIO Lookup to tap into the Content Library content straight from their Chrome browser.

20% enjoy reporting features, analytics which help responders see the health of their Content Library and opportunities for process improvements.

7% save time with their preferred software integrations: cloud storage (Google Drive, One Drive, Dropbox, Box, Sharepoint), communication (Slack, Microsoft Teams) CRMs (Salesforce, Hubspot, Microsoft Dynamics, Pipedrive, PipelineDeals).

Response management, before and after RFPIO

RFPIO is so much more than RFP software—it’s a response management platform for managing all business inquiries in one place. Before implementing RFPIO, responders relied on documents and spreadsheets, workaround content management solutions, or even other RFP software providers. Now, with RFPIO, teams are responding to more opportunities in less time.

Responders use RFPIO for all business queries…
97% RFP (Request for Proposal)
88% RFI (Request for Information)
56% Security Questionnaire
40% Managing Company Knowledge
32% RFQ (Request for Quote)
26% DDQ (Due Diligence Questionnaire)
15% Proactive Proposal
10% SOW (Statement of Work)

Before RFPIO implementation…
49% of response management teams spent several weeks completing RFPs.
26% had a 1 week RFP response completion turnaround.
7% spent more than 5 hours on RFP responses without RFPIO.

After RFPIO implementation…
33% of response management teams now spend 1 week completing RFPs.
14% have a 1 day RFP response completion turnaround.
13% only spend 2-5 hours on RFP responses with RFPIO.

It’s your turn to thrive. RFPIO is ready to help your team.

Madeleine Work

As Content Marketing Manager at RFPIO, Madeleine Work is passionate about telling stories of digital transformation. Before diving headfirst into the world of response management, Madeleine lived and worked in Taiwan, using her Mandarin fluency to drive international communication strategy at Taiwanese companies. She graduated magna cum laude from Boston University in 2015. Connect with Madeleine on LinkedIn.

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