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How RFPIO celebrated the 2021 holiday season

How RFPIO celebrated the 2021 holiday season

It’s that time of year again. Cold weather. Warm beverages. Hot fires. And, of course, holiday parties. Since last year’s […]

Category: Company & Events

How RFPIO celebrated the 2021 holiday season

How RFPIO celebrated the 2021 holiday season

It’s that time of year again. Cold weather. Warm beverages. Hot fires. And, of course, holiday parties. Since last year’s holiday party our US-based team has grown from 70 to almost 150—and our team has also spread out all across the United States.

For us, a growing team means more even more good times! Keep reading to see how we blew last year’s holiday party out of the water with even more fun activities like trivia, terrarium-making, cocktail-making, and a murder mystery.

(P.S. We’re still hiring).

Kicking off the party

We started the party with a few silly ice breakers. We asked everyone one word to describe your vibe for 2021–and a word to describe what you hope your vibe will be for 2022. The results were all over the board, although “bacon” played a big role.

After our ice breakers, we split into 3 breakout rooms: A crafty one, a booze-y one, and an interactive one.

Activity 1: Terrariums

The craftier among us broke off from the main group to pour themselves a glass of wine and put on their creative hats. A guide from Artemisa, Inc gave everyone live remote instructions on how to create their perfect terrariums. In just under an hour, the terrarium-makers had finished and wow-ed us with their masterpieces.

Activity 2: Cocktail Making

Our booze-y group made two delicious cocktails: Colleti Royale and Spanish Coffee (this involved lighting things on fire).

Here are the recipes in case you’d like to make them yourself!

Colletti Royal
1 1/2 oz Resosado Tequila
1/2 oz Cointreau
1/2 oz Blood Orange Juice (Fresh if possible)
1/2 oz Lime Juice (Fresh if possible)
2 Dashes of Orange Bitters
3 oz Sparking Rose
Blood Orange Wheel (for garnish)

Spanish Coffee
3/4 oz 151 Rum
1/4 oz Triple Sec
1 1/2 oz Kahlua Coffee Liquor
3 oz Freshly Brewed Coffee
1 Lemon for Zesting (optional)
Super Fine Sugar
Favorite Whipped Topping
Grated Cinnamon/Nutmeg (for garnish)

Activity 3: Murder Mystery

The more adventurous among us split away to solve the Manor House Mystery, one of the many murder mysteries offered by Wildly Different. After arriving on the scene, they were split into four different groups, each racing against another (and the clock) to solve the mystery in time.

They were met with many challenges along the way, including:

Making a chef’s hat from random household objects

Showing off your best “power pose”

Making a quick and foolproof disguise

But our adventurers were up to the challenge and wow-ed everyone with their cunning and resourcefulness.

Activity 4: Holiday Trivia

After everyone finished their activities and reconvened in the main room (those who had attended the cocktail class were a bit giddier than usual), and we proceeded to the next activity. We used to facilitate our 30-question holiday trivia activity.

We asked questions like, “In what country are Christmas trees decorated with spiders?” (Ukraine) and “According to, what toy was the 1998 holiday season must-have?” (Firby—not Beanie Babies, as 30% of respondents guessed).

Activity 5: Giving Back

While this wasn’t technically part of our holiday party, a big part of the holidays at RFPIO is giving back to our community. This year, our teams adopted two families, one in Portland, OR and one in Leawood, KS. Together, we were able to provide gifts and more for both families. It’s safe to say there will be some very happy children this holiday season.

And on to 2022!

Who said virtual parties had to be lame? Certainly not us.

While the activities were fun, they wouldn’t have been nearly as fun without such a great team. I think I speak for everyone when I say I’m grateful to work alongside so many supportive, helpful, kind, and hilarious people.

With that, the team at RFPIO wishes all of you a wonderful holiday season and smooth slide into the new year.

P.S. If cocktail making and murder mysteries sound like your cup of tea, we’re hiring!

Bid & Proposal Conference Denver: Key takeaways

Bid & Proposal Conference Denver: Key takeaways

We just returned from 3 jam-packed days in Denver, Colorado—and we’re still buzzing from all the excitement. There’s just something so special about having real conversations with people in person. Although, remembering how to talk to people was definitely a bit of a learning curve.

In short, APMP’s 2021 Bid and Proposal Conference in Denver was great. It was held at the Gaylord Rockies—an absolutely gigantic hotel outside of Denver, complete with a waterpark. If anything, nobody was complaining about not getting their steps in.

I’d also like to call out what a good job APMP did with COVID precautions. Attendees could order a COVID test to come to your house right before the conference. And everyone needed to submit a health screening form and get their temperature taken before the day’s activities began.

Learning and growing

BPC did not lack in informative sessions. With more than 40 sessions over three days, we definitely left with far greater insights than we came with. Here were a few of our faves:

How to use FBI hostage techniques to get what you want from other people

This session was a huge hit—to the point that people had to stand in the back in order to sit in.

And the speakers, Adele Cehrs and Chip Massey, made some brilliant parallels between the job of an FBI agent and the job of a proposal professional.

When an FBI is in a hostage negotiation, they need to connect with the fugitive. So they approach the situation from the fugitive’s point of view. A good FBI agent will say: “I know what you’re going through. You’re looking over their shoulder, thinking something’s going to happen, you can’t trust anyone… You know you’re going to be brought in eventually. I’m here to help.”

If you looked at things from an FBI agent’s point of view, they’d just say, “Listen, I need to bring you in. So come on.” That’s not very convincing.

Proposal professionals are doing the same thing. They’re understanding the situation from the buyer’s perspective. What is their pain? Why are they seeking the solution? How can you help?

These are all questions a good proposal manager will ask themselves.

Bid Responsibility: Effectively Partnering with the Sales Team

The CEO of Patri, Josh Ellars, started off this presentation with this slide.

After this slide was shown, I imagine everyone in the audience mentally said, “Looks about right.”

A stark difference in headcount isn’t the only thing that’s disconnected between bid and proposal teams. In this presentation, Josh explained what else is missing—and what you can do about it.

Exploring the Future of Response Management

In this session, RFPIO’s very own CEO sat down with the President of APMP, Rick Harris for a “power half hour” coffee. They talked about everything under the sun, including where response management came from, where it’s going, and how the relationship between AI and humans will continue to evolve.

This was a well-attended session that saw lots of audience participation where people were able to interact with Ganesh. It was a really fun session to watch!

Managing the Changing Landscape of Response Management

Change is hard, but necessary. Because the risk of staying the same is much greater than the risk of accepting change.

In this session, Angela Earl, VP of Global Marketing at RFPIO, talked about how response management has changed over time—especially over the last few years.

At the same time, buyer’s expectations are changing. Buyers expect providers to know who they are, what interactions they’ve had, and where they are in the decision-making process. Prospects want to be heard, not herded.

Networking and reconnecting

BPC Denver was absolutely a chance for everyone to regrease those socializing wheels, dust off your electric magenta blazer, and get back out into the world of interacting with people in real life.

Luckily, APMP made networking and reconnecting easy. Here are some of the activities we enjoyed:


We kicked off the conference with a “Registration + Reception” combo. This helped jumpstart everyone’s socializing skills and get everyone excited for the days ahead. RFPIO sponsored


“TARA” stands for “The Art of Reconnecting Annually”. And APMP did not disappoint. They had a ton of great food (the truffle mac n cheese was my personal fave), a VW bus photo booth, cornhole, ladder ball, and shuffleboard. It was a lot of fun!


To honor the weirdness of the last year and a half, we were giving out some fun, practical SWAG at our booth—hand sanitizer and notebooks.

We also had a lot of fun with a photo booth! Anyone who took a photo at our booth would be entered into our raffle to win a $100 Amazon gift card. We only had four lucky winners, but a lot of wonderful entries!

On Day 2, I felt like everyone could use a bit of a pick me up… so I hyped up the music a bit. And it worked like a charm. As soon as I put on “We Will Rock You” by Queen, a group of people started stomp-stomp-clapping. And to honor their impromptu-ness, Angela, our VP of Global Marketing, gave them all impromptu raffle tickets!

Chapter of the Year: APMP India

Finally, I want to give a shout out to APMP India for winning Chapter of the Year award! This award honors the APMP chapter that demonstrates excellence in chapter sustenance and development through support of APMP initiatives.

Nice work, APMP India! 🎉

Looking forward

After all the fun we had at BPC Denver, we immediately checked when BPC 2022 would be. It’s already scheduled for May 22-25, 2022 in Dallas.

If you’re interested in more APMP events, make sure to register for their upcoming webinar, “How Proposal Teams Can Drive Sales Productivity and Improve Outcomes.” Watch the webinar here (you have to register before you can watch).

Also, make sure to sign up for updates about RISE UP 2022! It will be a fully virtual event, happening February 16-17, 2021.

How RFPIO celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month

How RFPIO celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month

Hispanic Heritage Month is a period from September 15 to October 15 in the United States for recognizing the contributions and influence of Hispanic Americans to the history, culture, and achievements of the United States.

It started way back in 1968 under President Lyndon Johnson and was officially signed into law in 1988.

This year, the RFPIO team celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month in our own way, through cocktail making, pot painting, and a bit of trivia.

How RFPIO celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month

Our Hispanic Heritage Month Event was special for two reasons. First, because we were able to celebrate Hispanic culture. Second, it was our first company event since RFPIO acquired RFP360! It was great bringing the two teams together under one virtual roof and getting to know each other a bit better.

We gave everyone the option to do two different activities: Cocktail Making and Terracotta Pot Painting

Cocktail Making 🍹

For this one, we invited the great Robert Damian Scout to help us become cocktail-making pros. He showed us how to craft a couple of amazing classic cocktails made famous by a man named Don Javier Delgado Corona. He’s an absolute legend in the Hispanic community AND the bartender community worldwide. If you’re looking for a good story, look him up. You won’t be disappointed.

In the class, Robert showed us out to make two classic cocktails: La Paloma and Batanga.

Here are the recipes:

La Paloma
2 oz blanco Tequila (preferably Patron Silver)
½ oz fresh lime juice
1 oz fresh grapefruit juice
¼ oz r squirt of agave nectar (simple syrup works too)
Club soda
Pinch of salt
Tajin or chili salt (optional)
If you’re not a fan of tequila, a grapefruit shandy or beer also works great!

2 oz blanco Tequila (preferably Patron Silver)
¾ oz fresh lime juice
4-5oz of Coke (preferably Mexican Coke)
One whole lime

Shaker tin of any sort (anything with a removable and tight lid will work)
Cocktail Strainer (you can also use your hands)
One sharp knife, big enough to stir into your glass
Preferably a “collins” glass, but any pint-like glass will work

Terracotta Pot Painting 🎨

For this activity, we sent anyone a kit with a few mini terracotta pots and some paint pens.

We kicked off the event by exploring the virtual art exhibit hosted by the Smithsonian museum, Our America: The Latino Presence in American Art.

At this exhibit, we learned about how the civil rights movement of the 1960s and 1970s galvanized Latino artists across the United States, who began creating new images of their communities and examined bicultural experiences. Until recently, this art was not considered part of “American” art—the exhibit at the Smithsonian attempts to change this.

We’d encourage you to explore the exhibit on your own here. It will run until March 2022.

After we learned a bit about the history of Latino art in the United States, we learned more about the significance of pottery in Latin America, but Mexico specifically, and how native indigenous pottery was influenced by Spanish techniques. And then… we took that inspiration and painted our very own masterpieces!

Each participant received two terracotta pots and 4 paint pens… and then we got to work. Here’s a sampling of our collective genius:

Hispanic Heritage Trivia 🤓

We finished off our event with some trivia!

Here are some of the questions we asked. See if you could get them right! (Scroll to the bottom of the blog for answers).

Why does Hispanic Heritage Month start on September 15th?

  1. September signifies the start of Fall in many Latin American countries
  2. It’s Pancho Villa’s birthday
  3. It marks the day many Latin American countries gained independence

When was the first time Hispanic Heritage Week (now Hispanic heritage Month) was celebrated in the US?

  1. 1988
  2. 1968
  3. 1990
  4. 1978

How large was the self-described U.S. Hispanic population as of 2019?

  1. 132 million
  2. 50.5 million
  3. 27.8 million
  4. 60.6 million

How many states had a population of more than 1 million Hispanic residents as of 2019?

  1. 8
  2. 10
  3. 12
  4. 14

According to a 2018 census estimate, the U.S. Hispanic population will reach this size by 2060.

  1. 81.2 million
  2. 91.8 million
  3. 111.2 million
  4. 124 million

What’s the largest city in Latin America by population?

  1. São Paulo
  2. Mexico City
  3. Lima
  4. Bogotá

What’s the highest waterfall in South America?

  1. Iguazu Falls
  2. Tugela Falls
  3. Gocta Waterfall
  4. Angel Falls

Which South American country do the Easter Islands in the Pacific Ocean belong to?

  1. Uruguay
  2. Paraguay
  3. Argentina
  4. Chile

All for a good cause

While drinking and painting are good fun, there was a greater purpose behind our shenanigans.

All participants were encouraged to donate money to Voto Latino, a grassroots political organization focused on educating and empowering a new generation of Latinx voters, as well as creating a more robust and inclusive democracy. We set out with a stretch goal to raise $1,000—and we surpassed that number!

As of October 8, we have $1,175 raised. The fundraiser will be open until the end of Hispanic Heritage Month on October 15. If you haven’t donated yet, but would like to, please visit our GoFundMe page.

If this sounds like fun… we’re hiring

At RFPIO, we like to have fun. If you also like to have fun, you’ll fit right in.

We’re hiring in pretty much every department. Check out our most current job listings here. If something catches your eye, please apply! We can’t wait to meet you.

Answers to trivia questions:
C. It marks the day many Latin American countries gained independence
B. 1968
D. 60.6 million
C. 12
C. 111.2
A. São Paulo
D. Angel Falls
D. Chile

To learn more…

Here are some resources you can check out.



A Latinx culture podcast about Mexican and Mexican-American history, folklore, traditions, and art. 

Anything for Selena

Marcia Garcia was 9 years old when Selena was murdered. 25 years later, she’s on a quest to understand what it means to love, mourn, and remember Selena. 

Code Switch

A podcast that tackles the subject of race with empathy and humor, exploring how race affects every part of society. 


Book: The Motorcycle Diaries: Notes on a Latin American Journey, by Ernesto Che Guevara

Book: The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, by Junot Diaz

Article: Dia de los Muertos


Documentary: Latino Vote: Dispatches from the Battleground

Documentary: Underwater Dreams

TV Show: Gentefied

Documentary: Discovering Colombia

Why RFPIO hosted our first virtual sign language workshop

Why RFPIO hosted our first virtual sign language workshop

At RFPIO, we believe that if you aren’t actively inclusive, you will be unintentionally exclusive.

According to the most recent census data, there are over 5 million people who are deaf or hearing impaired living in India — and yet only 1,500 people of hearing know Indian Sign Language (ISL).

At the same time, the number of deaf and hearing-impaired people entering the workforce is expected to increase by 50% over the next five years.

When we saw these statistics… we decided we needed to do something to create an inclusive and welcoming environment for the deaf community.

The RFPIO India team attended a virtual sign language workshop, taking our first company-wide step towards inclusivity

In 2015, K Murali, who is hearing impaired, quit his clerical job to found a school that empowers the deaf and hearing population through education. Today, the school has nearly 50 students and five teachers, giving vocational training to deaf students in skills like website design.

In addition to empowering the deaf community through education, the organization also teaches Indian Sign Language to people with hearing, with the mission of creating a more inclusive society.

On July 3, we invited Sneha Murali (K Murali’s daughter) to host a virtual sign language workshop with the RFPIO India team. We invited all 93 members of the India team to join the 2-hour workshop, where Sneha gave an intro lesson, equipping the India team with the basic tools they’ll need to start communicating in Indian Sign Language.

We’re creating an inclusive environment, because we know we’re better together

The Indian Sign Language workshop is just a small part of RFPIO’s initiatives in creating a more inclusive community.

We believe that technology has the potential to create a more inclusive future—and we would like to be part of it.

Because we know that people work best when we’re working together—we’re happier, funnier, and smarter when we’re together. That’s why we’re committed to bringing everyone together. We know that we’re better together.

If you’d like to do more research on how to create an inclusive and welcoming community for people with disabilities in the tech industry, here are some excellent resources that can get you started:

How RFPIO is staying connected to our community

How RFPIO is staying connected to our community

RFPIO was founded to help, liberate, and empower our users. Our founders believed that a better way existed for RFP response. They knew manual spreadsheet tracking and antiquated software wasn’t keeping up with the modern needs of proposal and sales teams. 

From that deep desire to improve the lives of users, Ganesh, Sunder, and Sankar also understood the value of community.  From RFPIO’s beginnings, the team has actively sought ways to strengthen the communities we share space with—physically and virtually. Over the years, these communities have welcomed us, and every day we are grateful for them.

Our community has been going through some dramatic changes. As needs are arising we’re taking steps to offer support and encouragement. From free collaboration support for our customers to free training and support, our team has mobilized to offer our community the best we have to the community that has supported us.

The Oregon Community Recovery Fund shares our commitment to communities. We are proud to partner with this organization to lend a helping hand to those who could really use one. Together, RFPIO employees and customers raised $2,798 for the fund. Money raised went to support nonprofits working to fulfill a variety of needs including:

  • Basic needs: Keep people housed, fed, healthy, and safe
  • Jobs and economy: Create jobs and connect people to opportunities to foster economic recovery and vitality 
  • Childcare: Provide child care needs for children of all ages, including care for children of essential workers
  • Social and emotional needs: Support for social and emotional issues exacerbated by the crisis including mental health, child abuse, domestic violence, and substance abuse. 
  • School closure: Address lost learning opportunities including distance learning, instructional supports, and more. And provide ancillary services to augment school efforts for physical and mental health and nutrition.
4 steps to achieving work-life balance in your SME role

4 steps to achieving work-life balance in your SME role

Do you feel like security questionnaires and RFPs have taken over your life? This is common feedback we hear from subject matter experts (SMEs) involved in the proposal process.

You receive a request from your proposal manager at the last-minute and you drop everything to jump in and lend support. From there, it’s a mad dash to the finish line. To “catch up,” you end up working late into the workweek evenings—or even Saturday mornings—to contribute your response content.

So, how do you adjust your SME role in the proposal process to work in your favor? Let’s help you achieve work-life balance and get your weekends back.

1. Find the root cause of your work stress

Something is taking up all of your time…what is driving that? Maybe you feel generally overwhelmed, because you wear multiple hats in your SME role. You’re pulled in a million different directions and you don’t know which way to go first. Everything is a priority.

This feeling is very common for SMEs who respond to RFPs. There is no simple cure for overwhelm, but you can find the root cause of your work stress. Start by looking at how you and your response management team might improve your proposal process to save time.

Maybe you’re a really slow writer or you can’t stand writing. Creating content isn’t quick and easy for anyone, but it’s definitely easier for professional writers. If you don’t have internal proposal writers on-hand, maybe it’s time to outsource writers who gather informational bullet points from you then bring the response content together.

Once you understand what is taking up your time, the next step is getting support. Many subject matter experts are afraid to ask for help and they are worried they will not seem proficient. If you ask for help now, you will be less likely to say “no” later when you are overwhelmed by tasks.

You and your team are better off with an honest conversation about workloads, especially when everyone is dealing with the pressure of tight deadlines and burnout in the proposal process.

2. Play to your strengths to succeed

We all have strengths and weaknesses…that’s human nature. Figure you how to play to your strengths so you’re in a position to be as successful as possible. Who else should you get involved in the response process?

One person can’t possibly know everything there is to know about the organization. When providing the most relevant and accurate responses, it’s best for you to stay in your lane—and for other SMEs to provide responses to the other areas of the business you are not an expert in.

It’s better to be proactive with solutions, so you’re not saying to your proposal manager: “I’m too busy, so I can’t do that.” Instead say: “You know what? That’s not my area of expertise, but I know that X, Y, and Z can fill those roles and fill them well based on my interactions with them on previous proposals we completed together.”

Your organization will be better served and more efficient if the appropriate team members respond to the appropriate questions and sections. Stick with what you know and help your proposal manager find right-fit resource alternatives so you don’t leave anyone hanging.

3. Have the right people and processes in place

You and your proposal management team will work better and faster when you have the right people and processes in place. Get more people involved and be sure that each contributor knows which part of the process they step into.

Technology like proposal software supports you and your proposal process. Proposal software unifies your entire proposal management team. Because there are unlimited user licenses, everyone works more efficiently within a dedicated response management platform.

Integrations with Slack and Microsoft Teams eliminate back-and-forth emails and unnecessary meetings. The searchable Content Library stores and organizes all of your existing responses, so you select relevant content, customize at will, then move onto the next task on your list of priorities.

Again, responding to security questionnaires and RFPs should never fall on one person…you or any other team member. Response management is absolutely a team effort. To win a deal, you must submit high-quality content. The only way winning content will happen is with a team of specialists banding together, owning specific sections that relate directly to their subject matter expertise.

4. Unplug, recharge, and do your best work

Achieving work-life balance is something we all want—but, it’s also something we all need. We live in a hyper-connected world, where it’s all too easy to “stay on” even when we’re supposed to be off. To do your best work, you need downtime to unplug and recharge.

If you’re responding to RFPs on the weekends, that takes you away from family time and personal time. I know that in my personal life, I need to have an outlet to reenergize. For me, that means playing golf. For you, that could be a completely different hobby, sport, getaway, or even blissfully binge-watching your favorite show on Netflix.

Unplugging can also mean taking 10-15 minutes on a weekday afternoon to take a walk. Even if you’re in the middle of working on a complex security questionnaire with your team, it’s okay to give yourself a timeout or shift something to the next morning so you can get back into the project when you’re fresh.

Communicate with your proposal manager to keep them in the loop. Reassure them that you will do your best work if you have a little more time to develop high-quality responses. Let them know exactly when you will deliver the responses, so they know you’re handling the assigned task.

Security questionnaires and RFPs aren’t going anywhere. Today’s organizations are seeing an increasing number of these documents during the sales cycle.

The goal with any response submission is to put your organization’s best foot forward. Take a breather and spend some time thinking about what support mechanisms you need in your SME role.

Working through this actionable plan will help you add more value to your organization. And you’ll finally achieve what you thought was unreachable before…work-life balance.


You deserve to get your weekends back. Reach out to our team and we’ll show you how RFPIO saves you time and helps you prioritize.

Brighter classrooms for a brighter future

Brighter classrooms for a brighter future

On February 14, 12 RFPIO team members took a short trip to Veerasamy Mudaliar School, a government school not too far from the Coimbatore campus. Our goal? Brighten up the barren walls with whimsical paintings that simultaneously entertain and educate.

Our hope is that the paintings will not only create a lively, positive learning environment but will also fill the students’ brains with important information—even as their eyes wander around the classroom.

The headmistress, teachers, and students were thrilled with what we accomplished in just two hours! Over the next three weeks, our team will return to the school in shifts, with the goal of filling the walls with as many paintings as possible.

We can’t wait to see what the classroom looks like when we’re done!

RFPIO donates to March of Dimes, joining fight against premature birth

RFPIO donates to March of Dimes, joining fight against premature birth

Premature birth (birth before 37 weeks of pregnancy) and its complications are the #1 cause of infant mortality in the United States. In the United States, the preterm birth rate is 9.8 percent. In other words, 1 in 10 babies is born too soon.

March of Dimes is leading the fight for the health of all moms and babies and has helped millions of babies survive and thrive for the last 80 years. They support moms throughout their pregnancy, advocate for policies that prioritize their health, support radical improvements to the care they receive, and pioneer research to find solutions to the biggest health threats to moms and babies.

RFPIO—like March of Dimes—believes that every baby deserves the best possible start. That’s why, this year, we’ve decided to donate money towards initiatives that will bring down the premature birth rate in the United States—and make sure that moms and babies have the help they deserve.

Visit the March of Dimes website to learn more about how you can help.

9 Dreamforce sessions RFP responders can’t miss

9 Dreamforce sessions RFP responders can’t miss

It’s official: fall has arrived. Besides the much anticipated (or dreaded) return of pumpkin spice-flavored everything, the end of summer also means the beginning of Dreamforce-mania 

And we couldn’t be more excited.

If you’re going to Dreamforce, come say hi! We’ll be holding down Booth 610. 

And if you are going to Dreamforce… you’ve probably already taken a quick glance at the available sessions, only to discover that there are more than 2,700. 

Lucky for you, we’ve scoured through all 2,700 different sessions to find the ones most useful for RFP responders like yourself.

The official RFP Responder guide to #DF19 sessions

RFP responders wear a lot of hats. In fact, your job title likely doesn’t even have the word “RFP” in it. 

So that means if you want to do Dreamforce right, you’re going to have to cover a lot of ground. 

We’ve broken the sessions into a few topics that are near and dear to any RFP responder’s heart.

Sales & marketing alignment 

More often than not, RFP responders fall smack in the middle between marketing and sales.

On the one hand, you need to make sure your company’s marketing messages are coming through in your proposals. 

On the other, you’ve got to make sure the RFPs you’re going after align with your company’s sales goals.

Here are the top Dreamforce sessions that address alignment:


Because coffee can only get you so far.

And because being more productive means you have more time to spend on things that actually add value to your life (think: friends, family, sleep).

Check out the Dreamforce sessions that can help make your team more productive:

  • Boost Service Cloud Agent Productivity 
    • See what productivity tools are available to you and what other customers are using to help users save time and work with records faster and more efficiently.
  • Increase Productivity with Screen Flows (1) 
    • Shave just one minute off a common task, and you could save hundreds of hours of productivity for your team! Learn how to turn your company’s multi-step business workflows into a highly efficient experience, using just clicks. 
  • Empower Your Teams with Virtual Assistants
    • Deep dive into how virtual assistants can help drive faster revenue cycles and improve sales results by enabling your teams to manage tasks through conversational user interfaces.

Collaboration & communication

Collaboration and communication are the bread and butter of high performing proposal management teams. 

It also sometimes feels less like collaboration and more like herding cats.

And clear communication? Fuhgeddaboudit.

Here are the top sessions for enhancing your team’s communication and collaboration:

Helping Beaverton teachers help their students

Helping Beaverton teachers help their students

Across the country, schools are abandoning cumbersome textbooks in favor of equivalents that can be downloaded and printed out for free. And this isn’t just for cost savings — found that Eureka Math, an online distributed math program that teachers can download and print out for free, was more aligned to national education standards than some traditional textbooks.

On the one hand, students no longer need to lug around 20-pound backpacks and schools are able to save substantial cash on textbooks that are not only expensive but also quickly become outdated. At the same time, however, schools are increasingly desperate for paper.

With 94% of US teachers spending their own money on school supplies — at an average of $479/year — RFPIO decided to step in and take care of their paper needs. RFPIO, including both founders and individual employees, collectively donated over 20 boxes of paper to Ridgewood Elementary School in the Beaverton School District. To put that into perspective, we managed to fill 2 cars with paper that we dropped off the Friday before school started. 

Sometimes it’s the little things that really make all the difference. If you want to support teachers, check out Donor’s Choose. You can donate to specific districts, projects (books for libraries, STEM tools, etc), or simply choose any classroom you deem worthy of your dollars!

A Passion to Improve: 2019 APMP Bid & Proposal Con Orlando Recap

A Passion to Improve: 2019 APMP Bid & Proposal Con Orlando Recap

At this point in my professional life, I’m comfortable saying that I’m a seasoned conference attendee. I’ve been to countless other marketing conferences, from Dreamforce by Salesforce to the “SiriusDecisions and Gartners” of the world.

Heading to Orlando last week happened to be my first time attending APMP’s Bid & Proposal Con (BPC). After many years of being the conference pro, I suddenly became the conference rookie. Seeing this proposal management event through a rookie lens was both eye-opening and inspiring.

Maybe you attended the conference and you’re ready to reminisce, or you didn’t attend and you’re curious about what you missed. Either way, I’m excited to share some of the insights and moments I experienced at BPC Orlando with you today.

How APMP’s Bid & Proposal Con is a conference unicorn

Sales and marketing exhibitor events tend to focus heavily on selling products and services. I won’t say none of that was happening at BPC in Orlando, being that our own team had booths where we gave demos of RFPIO.

However, the main difference between BPC and the other conferences I’ve attended was the emphasis on bettering the proposal professionals themselves. As usual, we ran with that educational focus in our booths as well. Because at the end of the day, proposal management professionals are less accepting of sales pitches and name-dropping. They want to learn how to improve in their roles.

Another thing that makes BPC unique is that it is one of the rare opportunities when proposal management professionals come together in one room—without being surrounded by 10,000 marketers and salespeople marketing and selling to them. Instead, they can focus on connecting with their peers and sharing knowledge about the day-to-day life of a proposal professional.

The expansion of proposal management thought leadership

As the proposal management industry expands, so do the thought leaders within the space. Not even five years ago, it was challenging to find resources and camaraderie. Thankfully, APMP has been leading the charge. Now an increasing number of proposal professionals are getting involved, sharing their expertise to help the entire community.

Some of the must-see BPC presentations came from RFPIO’s circle of friends, including:

  • Writing AUDACIOUS Content: Winning Proposals with Confidence – A lecture by our client, Lori Coffae, Content Writer from SHI
  • Realistic Solutions to Unrealistic Schedules – A lecture by recent RFPIO webinar guest presenter, proposal graphics expert, and Principal of 24 Hour Company, Mike Parkinson
  • Lessons from the Mouse: Adding Creativity to the Proposal Lifecycle – A lecture by friend, industry expert, and CEO of BZ Opportunity Management, Kevin Switaj (Check out Kevin’s government RFPs podcast here.)
  • Creating a Proactive Small Proposal Shop – A panel moderated by Kevin Switaj, featuring our clients—Lauren Daitz from HALO Recognition and Priscilla Swain from Casenet—both Senior Managers in their proposal departments.

My colleague, Chris Pulley, attended the Creating a Proactive Small Proposal Shop session. Both Lauren and Priscilla shared their experience with using a response management platform and how RFPIO has saved them an immense amount of time.

An attendee asked about the best way to start with response management software like RFPIO and Lauren had some great advice to share: “We had the same dilemma…we weren’t sure when to begin the process. The only advice I can give is that you should start!”

apmp presentation

Demystifying AI and the future of proposal management

We keep hearing “AI is coming, AI is coming,” but the fact is that the future of proposal management is happening. Our clients have been using artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities in the RFPIO content repository already.

For those unfamiliar with these capabilities, there is a lot of mystery around AI as a whole. During BPC, I presented on the Leveraging AI for Persuasive Proposal Writing panel, and the audience discussion was really interesting. There was a big debate about what AI really is and what it means for modern proposal management teams.

The conversation turned into the need for digital transformation in order to leverage some of these upcoming AI innovations. People who are not yet using a response management platform have not started digitizing their process. And, they’ll have a really hard time adopting any of these AI technologies.

Like the BPC audience, you’re probably wondering how long it will be until proposals start writing themselves. Well, we can’t predict where AI is going to be over the next ten years. Most immediately in the next few years, AI will be used mostly to do the repetitive things you don’t want to do, in addition to the ability to handle high volumes of data analytics.

Imagine a team of humans going through 20,000 of your previous proposals, connecting the dots between selections and outcomes. One BPC attendee popped up and said this analysis would take 30+ years for his team to complete manually.

So, AI isn’t replacing anyone’s job. AI is giving you the opportunity to accomplish things you couldn’t before.

A hunger for knowledge and preparing to evolve

Again and again, from conference attendees and the APMP team hosting the conference, I heard the same thing. There was an immense hunger for more knowledge about how technology will evolve the way we manage proposals.

People wanted to see what products were out there and they listened attentively during demos. We’re just starting to see the early adopters in this industry, the bell curve in terms of technology from proposal management teams.

Over the past few years, there has been a dramatic increase in technology solutions that specifically empower proposal professionals. People are ready for it and they’re learning everything they can about these products to find out how they will benefit and improve.

The BPC experience is all about a passion to improve

I’ll sum up the way I felt when BPC ended in a single word…excited.

While sitting on the long flight back to Portland, Oregon, I still felt excited about the general sense that everyone was at BPC to better themselves. They truly want to make themselves and their companies successful.

They were passionate about improving their proposal management teams, passionate about accepting and making changes with processes and technology, and passionate about supporting each other. That kind of passion is exciting to see—and I can’t wait to see it again at the next APMP Bid & Proposal Con.

Are you ready for the future of the proposal management industry? Schedule a demo of RFPIO to start evolving your response process.

Join RFPIO to make the magic for Camp Kesem

Join RFPIO to make the magic for Camp Kesem

We recently had the honor of attending the annual Make the Magic fundraiser put on by the University of Oregon’s Camp Kesem organization. The event was held at the Multnomah Athletic Club in Portland on a Friday evening last month.

RFPIO has worked with Camp Kesem before, through the encouragement of our Customer Success Manager, Ryan Slee, who has been involved as a volunteer with the U of O chapter since 2012.

Kesem is a nationwide organization that conducts free summer camps for children dealing with the loss of a parent to cancer. Ryan is passionate about the organization and the kids they are able to support.

“Camp Kesem is a spot for the campers to seek strength, find strength in themselves, find strength in others, and build a long lasting support system with fellow campers who are going through the same thing.”

Through Ryan’s dedication we were introduced to Make the Magic, and were happy to offer our support, make up our own camp nicknames, and have some fun for this worthy cause.

Make the Magic Kylie Schultz

About Make the Magic

This was a beautifully put together banquet that was well-attended by about 200 people. The posh Multnomah Athletic Club provided a perfect backdrop for an elegant evening with dinner, drinks, presentations from a camper and parent, and a silent auction to raise money for the organization.

At RFPIO, we keep it pretty casual, so it was nice to see the team dress up and bring their loved ones, especially for an important cause like this.

Over 5+ Million children have been affected by a parent’s cancer. – Camp Kesem website

One of last year’s campers spoke to the crowd about her experience at Camp Kesem and how it’s changed her life. She explained that because of her stepmom’s cancer, she has had to be strong for her younger siblings, and Camp Kesem has provided her with a chance to let down her guard, have fun, and connect with other kids who know what she’s going through.

Her stepmom followed with a presentation of her own about how brave her daughter has been in the face of this difficult situation. They were powerful stories that highlighted just how much these families are facing, and the relief that Camp Kesem provides.

The night closed out with a silent auction full of prizes like a wine tasting package and a set of Oregon Ducks football tickets.

Make the Magic Tyler Kamerer

Making an impact

Ryan said it was one of their most successful fundraising events for Camp Kesem. “We are so pleased at the turnout and participation at this year’s Make the Magic. Through the silent auction, we raised $65,000, which is the highest amount we’ve ever raised and a record breaking number among the whole countrywide Kesem organization,” he said.

“I’m also very proud to report that we had a record number of camp counselor alumni attendees. People who get involved with this organization remain deeply connected to it.”

Make the Magic Mitchell Hipp

Ways you can help

There are several ways to support Camp Kesem. The University of Oregon chapter has created an Amazon Wishlist for this year’s camp, with items that you can donate directly. “These items are inexpensive and can go a long way in making it a memorable experience for the kids. The tealight candles are especially important because they are part of a remembrance ceremony. Any help is appreciated,” Ryan said. Find your nearest Camp Kesem chapter here.

Magic events for the Kesem organization are held across the country throughout the year. You can see if there’s one near you on their events page.

The RFPIO team is proud to partner with Pledge 1% to support non-profit organizations on a quarterly basis. Take a look through our blog to see other orgs to which you can donate time, money, or resources.

If you belong to an organization that is looking for corporate sponsorship, please send information via email to or call our RFPIO office line at 971-470-3112.

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