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Join RFPIO to support the Beaverton education foundation

Join RFPIO to support the Beaverton education foundation

Like Van Gogh, Da Vinci, and Michaelangelo before us, last week the RFPIO team picked up our brushes and spent […]


Category: Company & Events

Join RFPIO to support the Beaverton education foundation

Join RFPIO to support the Beaverton education foundation

Like Van Gogh, Da Vinci, and Michaelangelo before us, last week the RFPIO team picked up our brushes and spent an afternoon painting office rooms at Terra Linda Elementary School in Beaverton. This artistic volunteer project was facilitated by the Beaverton Education Foundation (BEF).

The BEF is an organization that coordinates supplemental academic programs for all 53 schools in the Beaverton school district. “BEF helps bridge the gap between what public funding provides and what is needed to provide a well-rounded, quality education,” according to their website.

Executive Director Kristine Baggett says one of the ways they do this is by organizing micro-projects that attract volunteers outside of their immediate scope (parents & school staff). And that’s how RFPIO got the chance to help.

Volunteer Paint Day RFPIO

Baggett said Terra Linda is the host of this summer’s Camp Achieve program, for students who need a little extra help getting up to speed in all school subjects before the start of the year in the fall.

The school staff wanted to make sure the facility was bright and fresh for hosting the camp so they started painting and realized it would require a few more hands. They mentioned this project was long overdue, only to say the paint was “older than the volunteers!”

The RFPIO team spent the afternoon at Terra Linda, spread among two office rooms where we taped cabinets, learned the art of cutting in the edges, and updated the gloomy walls with a fresh coat of bright paint.

Terra Linda Elementary volunteer painting RFPIO

How you can help the Beaverton education foundation

If you have a team of volunteers, the BEF has opportunities throughout the year to help, including signature programs like their long running phone-a-thon in October, hosted by local high schoolers, Camp Achieve summer camp, and after school programs for Beaverton middle schools.

You can also offer assistance throughout the year with micro-projects like the painting day at Terra Linda Elementary. These projects vary in scope and can be anywhere from a couple hours, to helping out for a few days. Another way to help is by making a tax-deductible donation on the BEF website, directly through the donate button or to fund a specific micro-project of your choice. The micro-projects are often matched by local corporate donors, to maximize the effort.

To our local Portland and Beaverton readers, please join us in supporting the Beaverton Education Foundation (beavertonedfoundation.org) to help give area students a more well-rounded and positive educational experience.

RFPIO headquarters outgrows office in under a year

RFPIO headquarters outgrows office in under a year

Just a year ago this week, we made the announcement that RFPIO headquarters had moved into a larger office to make room for growth. Well, surprise! We did it again, after only 11 months. This will be the sixth HQ space. As I write this, I’m proud to announce that we are also moving our Coimbatore office into its third new space. Hello from India!

Sometimes people ask me if I had expected the company to grow this quickly. I may not have been able to see the future, but I always knew our product and our people would be successful. It’s no surprise to my team that my expectations are high, and they’ve consistently impressed me with their responses to the all the challenges that come with growing a company.

In the blog about last year’s move, we asked all the HQ employees what they thought of the new space. We couldn’t do that this year, or it would have been way too long. Instead, I want to talk about some of what’s changed and what hasn’t, and what you can expect from us in the future.

Holy Smoke RFPIO

Our India team observing the Holy Smoke ritual before officially moving in

How RFPIO has changed

Office Space
This new HQ office more than doubles our last space, giving us the room to accommodate almost three times as many people. We are already taking to it like fish to a fishbowl, and made a new hire in just the two weeks we’ve been here.

Now we are getting settled in to our new workspaces, taking in the magnificent Oregon views (a new benefit—lots of windows and outdoor space), and enjoying the extra room to stretch our legs. We’ve also upgraded some amenities. In the last office we were excited about having a sink and a full-sized fridge. Now we finally have a dishwasher. For a startup, these conveniences mean a lot!

Customers
Our user list has grown massively over the last year, in both volume and company size. We’re now at over 25,000 users on the platform and we’ve signed on Fortune 500 enterprise clients like Google, Visa, Salesforce, and Adobe. We recently announced a multi-year partnership with Express Scripts, one of Fortune’s top 25, and a major player in the healthcare industry.

Just this week we attended RSA 2019 to spread the word of our response management platform for security questionnaires and similar business requests. One of the things we were proud to share with conference-goers was our newly announced SOC 2 certification. This was a rigorous process that ultimately ensures our commitment to security for all of our customers.

Former Office RFPIO

We had to get creative about workspaces before the move

More change

Growth: Team and Revenue
In July of 2018 we announced our partnership with K1 Investment Management for a $25M round of funding. This strategic partnership has helped us scale the company wisely, while increasing our revenue ahead of schedule, keeping us in a strong financial standing. Our projections for growth have us more than doubling our revenue and current staff count by the end of 2019.

Honors and Distinctions
We know we’re a great company, but outside validation assures us that we’re on the right track. This year, RFPIO was named one of Oregon’s Top 10 Best Tech Startups, in good company with several local peers. We were given the distinction of market leader on G2 Crowd’s Best RFP Software grid, and have received almost 100 unbiased reviews on G2 Crowd and Capterra from our amazing customers.

RFPIO_James and Stephen

James and Stephen enjoying the view

How RFPIO has stayed the same

Customer support
We’ve added team members to all of our teams, which means that we can offer more to our customers than even before. The product is being innovated upon more rapidly, our internal processes have gotten tighter, and we offer more support services for all types of companies. Everything we do is in service to our customers and their needs.

Employee-focused culture
Much like our focus on customers, our employees make this company what it is. We still do quarterly philanthropy events, holiday parties, and team outings. Our benefit package has gotten more substantial. As a commitment to transparency we’ve implemented a monthly all-hands meeting and we’ve started a new lunch & learn program to keep everybody up to date on product news.

Convenience
Our new HQ office is located in the neighboring building to our former office. This means we are still in the heart of downtown Beaverton, which connects many public transportation options and major highways. We’d grown accustomed to our proximity to the neighborhood food carts, so our walkable lunch options remain close by.

New RFPIO Office_Hakeem

Hakeem getting settled in to his new space

The future of RFPIO

As I said before, I’m not sure exactly what the future holds, but I am confident that by this time next year we will be a bigger, stronger company with even more to offer. With teams across the U.S. and in India, we are innovating around the clock.

I’m so proud of what our technical, support, and revenue teams have built and introduced to the market. I’ve been humbled to hear customers say that we’ve brought them relief and have given them more time with their families—that’s the best compliment I can receive.

This new office marks a new chapter in RFPIO’s history, and I can’t wait to see what happens next. As I often say, folks, this is just the beginning!

If you’re in the area and would like to drop in, we would love to see you. The new RFPIO headquarters office is located at:

RFPIO, Inc.
4145 SW Watson Ave. #450
Beaverton, OR 97005

How to support the Oregon Food Bank with RFPIO

How to support the Oregon Food Bank with RFPIO

The RFPIO team is proud to call Oregon our headquarters’ home state. There are many positives to living in a state with such natural beauty and delicious coffee. But Oregon, like many states, has its problems―particularly when it comes to economic inequality.

According to an article in Portland Monthly from earlier this year, Oregon ranks 13th in the U.S. for food insecurity. Sixteen percent of households in the state―around 103,000―are affected by this issue. A report about hunger from 2015 from the Oregon Food Bank says that people are still affected by the Great Recession of 2008. High costs of living and stagnant wages have made it difficult for many people to get ahead.

Team Event RFPIO OFB
Food pantries like the Oregon Food Bank are helping to bridge the gap for those suffering from food insecurity. Their mission is “to eliminate hunger and its root causes…because no one should be hungry.”

We’ve worked with the Oregon Food Bank before through our ROI of Compassion campaign, and believe in their mission, so as part of our quarterly philanthropic initiatives and the season of giving, the RFPIO team spent an evening volunteering at the OFB this December.

OFB_James and Tyler
You never know exactly what you’ll be doing when you show up for a volunteer shift at the Oregon Food Bank. Our project was to fill up as many 2-pound bags of oats as we could in 2 hours. By the end of the shift, we’d bagged 11,026 pounds, equaling 9,188 meals or 139 meals per volunteer.

The OFB collects food from “farmers, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, individuals and government sources,” and distributes the donated food through a network on 21 regional food banks and around 1,200 food assistance sites that serve the state of Oregon and Clark County in Washington state.

OFB Network
In solidarity with this organization and our fellow Oregonians, the RFPIO team asks those in the area to join us in supporting the Oregon Food Bank with a donation, volunteer support, or political advocacy. You can find more information at their website: www.oregonfoodbank.org.

Reflections from the RFPIO User Conference 2018

Reflections from the RFPIO User Conference 2018

It’s here again, that time when we reflect upon where we’ve been and where we’re going as we set our sights on a brand new year. As the RFPIO team looks back on 2018 and considers how much we’ve grown and what we’ve accomplished, one of our proudest achievements was organizing and hosting our first-ever user conferences, to great success.

We knew it might be ambitious to put together not one, but two, big events in only our second full year. But the RFPIO team doesn’t shy away from a good challenge, and we were itching to spend some time with our customers face-to-face.

RFPIO has clients all over the world that we would have loved to visit, but we decided to start in the United States first. Early in the planning process we surveyed our U.S. customers to gauge interest, and determine the most convenient location. We ended up going coast to coast and held two events, one on October 4 in New York City and the other on October 25 in San Francisco.

It was no small feat putting together a program that would wow our clients and give them more tools for response management. We had breakout sessions for best practices with the platform, held a client-lead panel discussion, a town hall for questions with the executive team, and more. Ultimately, we had three main goals:

  1. Build community among our users and the RFPIO team
  2. Provide thought leadership on RFP process and strategy
  3. Offer product training our users can take back to their teams

Through a mighty effort from the RFPIO team and many enthusiastic and generous customers, we had two very successful days of learning, networking, and having fun.

KV-Ryan-User Conference-NYC

RFPIO’s Khalees and Ryan S.

Community

Building community among our users was a high-priority goal. Many of the people we work with are lone wolves in their RFP response efforts, so this was a chance to meet other folks who experience what they do every day.

One of our first sessions of the day was a panel discussion with a few selected client representatives. In New York, the discussion leaned heavily toward RFP process. For Susan Stein of ServiceNow, RFPIO has helped her automate the proposal response process, reduce the time that solutions engineers have to spend on projects, and collaborate more easily with other stakeholders. “They call me the great cat herder!” she told the crowd.

Alexei Budsan of Routematch Software said that he’s saved time and believes more strongly in the quality of his RFP responses. “It’s possible to step away and feel good about the content.” That same sentiment came up in San Francisco, as the discussion focused heavily on the power of having a solid and ever-updated content library.

Chances for networking presented themselves throughout the days’ events too, and by the evening festivities, many connections had been formed.

Client Panel-RFPIO-NYC

Alexei Budsan (Routematch), Susan Stein (ServiceNow), Elizabeth Duke (Informatica), Josie Fey (RFPIO)

Thought Leadership

It was important for us to give our guests some outside perspective when it comes to RFP management. We invited two of the industry’s premiere thought leaders to give presentations that would speak to building a strong process and organization, agnostic of any tool or methodology.

In New York, we hosted B.J. Lownie, co-founder of Strategic Proposals and a pioneering consultant in proposal response. His presentation was called, “The Proposal Support Function: From Stepchild to Strategic Partner,” and he gave tips for building confidence in proposal support, and how to communicate that importance to management. B.J. recently joined us to give his presentation again over webinar. You can watch that here.

In San Francisco we were joined by Lisa Rehurek, founder and owner of The RFP Success Company. Lisa’s presentation, “Ninja Tricks to Capture the Evaluator’s Attention,” was about getting into the mind of the person issuing the RFP, and how to reflect that in your content. After our user conference, Lisa invited us on her podcast, The RFP Success Show to talk all things RFPIO.

Cision-RFPIO-Case Study

Gavin O’Donoghue from Cision leading a breakout session

Training

The afternoons were made up mostly of breakout sessions, for customers to get firsthand knowledge from the customer success team on how to use RFPIO to implement the strategies and processes we’d been discussing all morning.

Some of our best attended workshops were about best practices for maintaining a clean answer library, training your team, how to use export templates, and collaborating on projects, among many more.

In New York, we were lucky to have a customer run one of the breakout sessions to talk about his success with implementing RFPIO in an enterprise setting. Gavin O’Donoghue was one of our first power users, as the global RFP manager at Cision, formerly PR Newswire. The organization’s growth since the acquisition presents its own challenges, which is a familiar scenario for many of our enterprise clients, and Gavin was able to offer some unique insight.

RFPIO User Conference_Likes

“What did you like about the RFPIO User Conference?”

Lessons Learned

We couldn’t have asked for better turnout, more beautiful weather, or lively and energetic locations for these events. And we definitely couldn’t have done it without the hard work of our marketing, customer success, and executive teams.

In discussions with various clients throughout the day, we heard over and over how much our customer success team has made people feel like they are consistently being heard, and how impressed they were that their product suggestions were often added to the solution―many times just shortly after they’d given their feedback.

The sense of community and connection was incredibly powerful to people, and we are glad to have provided that opportunity. Join us at the 2019 User Conference!

Read more about RFPIO’s company culture here.

Practicing what we preach at Dreamforce 2018

Practicing what we preach at Dreamforce 2018

It goes by so fast! After all the planning and decisions and hard work, Dreamforce is but a memory in our rearview mirror yet again. Salesforce’s user conference is larger than life and there is a ton of stuff to absorb, but after a week, it feels good to be home.

Our campaign this year was focused on something we’ve discovered as RFPIO has grown. We already knew that people who respond to RFPs are incredibly busy. Many have other, primary roles, and these proposal projects—while incredibly important for companies—take up a lot of time and energy. Our response automation software is there to make the process more efficient for these folks and their responses more effective.

RFPIO Fun Survey

What we didn’t know was how RFPIO was making people feel. Overwhelmingly, our customers have told us that saving time on RFP and security questionnaire responses has given them time to spend with their families or do things they didn’t normally get a chance to do. They are grateful for RFPIO, not entirely because it makes them more efficient at their jobs—it does—but for what they can do with the time they are getting back.

And that’s where #WinMorePlayMore came in. We encourage our customers to use their newfound time in ways that enrich their lives, and our time at Dreamforce was spent doing the same.

Dreamforce Mariachi_RFPIO

Mariachi band at Dreamforce

Work/Life Balance

Our customers have told us in many ways that we’ve given them time back to have fun. Hear it from them:

“I’m truly enjoying the fact that I’m not working late every night. This week I finished a huge RFP response 3 days early, giving me time for my husband and I to take our paddle boards out!” – Mona Sampson, RFP Specialist, Writer, and Coordinator at LinkedIn

“RFPIO has saved me countless hours on RFP responses. My kids and I took time to go parasailing in the Gulf. No time is better than time spent with your family!” – Alexei Budsan, Communication Specialist at Routematch

“I have really enjoyed having more time to spend with my kids. We’ve been able to go on several bike rides together. Thanks, RFPIO.” – Mitch Rogers, Engineer, Casualty Solutions at Mitchell International

Giants game Dreamforce RFPIO

Giants vs. Padres

#WinMorePlayMore at Dreamforce

We try to take our own advice, too. The leadership team at RFPIO always stresses the importance of work/life balance and spending our off-time doing meaningful things. We participate in quarterly philanthropy and never miss out on a chance to do something fun as a team.

So we put that same #WinMorePlayMore ethos into effect in San Francisco. We hosted a party with the WalkMe team at the Terra Gallery, caught a bit of a Mariachi band, snagged some tickets to a Giants vs. Padres game (mostly for the garlic fries), and shared a delicious Pakistani/Indian meal at a restaurant called Lahore Karahi. It was an awesome event to be a part of, but the time we spent together was what we’ll remember most.

You know what they say, “All work and no play” makes life dull, right?

Join RFPIO and donate to the children’s book bank

Join RFPIO and donate to the children’s book bank

“The more that you read, the more things you will know. The more that you learn, the more places you’ll go.” – Dr. Seuss, I Can Read With My Eyes Shut

It seems a simple message, that reading books can open our eyes to worlds and ideas that we hadn’t known before. We’ve heard this from our teachers, Reading Rainbow, and of course, Dr. Seuss.

Children's Book Bank Library

According to The Children’s Book Bank of Portland’s website, there’s data to back this up. “Research shows that children with books at home who are read to at an early age become better readers and do better in school.”

However, access to literature is not quite as simple. It goes on to say that children in low income neighborhoods have significantly fewer books to read than their peers in middle and higher income neighborhoods.

Ratio of books to children in middle income areas: 13 to 1
Ratio of books to children in low income areas: 1 to 300

The Children’s Book Bank’s primary mission is to support literacy and changing lives through books. They honor this mission by giving new and slightly used books to children in schools and homes in areas that need some extra help.

Todd Diskin, Partnership Manager at The Children’s Book Bank, says their efforts focus on three areas:

  • Quality: Lightly used or new, to give kids a positive experience with each book.
  • Quantity: Enough volume to serve each child with multiple books for their current phase of life.
  • Content: Books featuring characters that reflect children of diverse backgrounds.

With the assistance of The Children’s Book Bank, the RFPIO team held a book drive for donation to this important local organization. They made it incredibly easy to set up, with downloadable materials and information at the ready on the organization’s website.

RFPIO Team Children's Book Bank

And, not only can you donate books, but The Children’s Book Bank offers opportunities for donating time as well. They hold team workshops for cleaning and sorting books throughout the year.

We encourage our fellow Portland and Beaverton area network to consider submitting a donation, running a book drive, or volunteering at their Northeast Portland location.

If you’d like to keep up with The Children’s Book Bank, now’s the time! Coming up in October is the organization’s Sixth Annual Children’s Book Harvest, an annual drive with a goal of 20,000 books.

Clifford & CBB

Dreamforce 2018: Worthwhile sessions for RFP responders to see

Dreamforce 2018: Worthwhile sessions for RFP responders to see

Excuse me…how is it Dreamforce 2018 already? That’s exactly what we said here at RFPIO. We’re heading out to San Francisco in a matter of weeks. It’s our second time having a booth (Booth 1806…come say hi) and our first time sponsoring a Dreamforce party.

Needless to say, life is crazy for the RFPIO team as we gear up for one of the biggest events in Dreamforce history. That didn’t stop us from taking some time for our fellow RFP responders who are also attending #DF18.

Every year we have a tradition of sharing a suggested itinerary to help you navigate the chaos of Dreamforce. Why? Because there are about 3,000 sessions to choose from, and that can be a tad overwhelming when you have 10 RFPs on your plate.

Yes, there are plenty of resources that outline can’t-miss Dreamforce sessions. Around here, we do things a little differently—and select sessions that make sense for RFP responders. We know you’re busy closing big deals with your brilliant RFP responses, so we did the session grunt work for you. Here are the #DF18 sessions you should check out.

#DF18 sessions for RFP responders to check out

But…before you map out your #DF18 sessions, it’s a good idea to pause and see where your time will be spent best while you’re at the conference. Remember, there are literally thousands of sessions to choose from. And, you want to maximize learning opportunities.

For modern organizations to succeed, it takes quite a combo:

  • Growth
  • Alignment
  • Security
  • Productivity
  • Artificial Intelligence (AI)
  • Collaboration
  • Efficiency

First, take the pulse on your organization to identify where the imbalances are. Next, do the same for yourself to find out where you need more education and/or inspiration. Now, fellow RFP responder, you’re ready to select Dreamforce sessions that will help you achieve those goals. Good luck…

Growth

How to Increase Revenue Efficiency & Unlock Sales Growth

Sales leaders and executives spend thousands of dollars on tech to improve data and sales productivity, yet they get little ROI. Discover the steps leaders must take to get salespeople to adopt new technology and get better data in and out of the CRM.

Sell More with Lead and Opportunity Management

Learn how to best manage Leads and Opportunities. Uncover ways to optimize leads and opportunities to improve sales reporting, and take back tips to ensure you are leveraging online resources and developing the right strategies for continued success.

The Rise of Revenue Ops: How Sales, Marketing and Business Ops Drive Growth

Sales, marketing and business ops are coalescing to form the rise of revenue ops. Learn from industry-leading professionals on how they built and executed go-to-market strategies to accelerate revenue growth.

Alignment

Taking an Industry: Driving Growth Through Sales And Marketing Alignment

Success comes when you’ve set up the right alignment with your sales and marketing team. Learn new and innovative elements, from processes to tools, to enable your sales team and align your outbound marketing activity to drive impactful growth within your industry.

Full-Funnel ABM: Aligning Across Your Tech Stack

ABM, marketing automation, and CRM are the core pillars of an effective B2B marketing plan. When the three pieces are seamlessly integrated, their value surpasses their individual ROI. Learn how Demandbase, Pardot, and Salesforce help customers create wildly successful ABM strategies.

Aligning Customer Success and Service to Drive Company Growth

Building customer loyalty requires more than just great service—it also requires a great customer success program. Hear about best practices to better align your success and service teams.

Security

Security in the Cloud: Securing Your Customer Data

Have you wondered what it takes to secure your data in the Cloud, especially your critical customer data? Find out how to secure your Org and improve your security posture.

Earn Loyalty with Customer Data Privacy

In a post-GDPR age, where customers worldwide are evaluating data use and consent, customer loyalty will shift to those who best manage and protect their data. Learn how a rich consent experience fosters brand loyalty for the long haul, all while opening up new opportunities for deep personalization.

Financial Services on the World’s Most Trusted Enterprise Cloud

Join Salesforce technology and financial industry compliance experts to learn how Salesforce’s trusted platform empowers your compliance programs and how you can excel with our best practices.

GDPR: How Large Enterprise Customers Accelerate their Compliance

GDPR is here to stay. Industry leaders will show you how to accelerate time to compliance by automating critical GDPR requirements, including the Right to be forgotten, the Right to portability, or the Personal Data life cycle.

Productivity

Adding Productivity and Efficiency to Your Sales Process

With constant pressure to grow and beat last year’s numbers, there are always more efficiencies to tackle and advantages to gain. Learn exactly how high-growth companies achieve outsized results by evolving their sales processes.

Rethink Work: How Google Cloud and Salesforce CRM are Transforming Productivity

Google Cloud and Salesforce have partnered to help surface data for increased work productivity. Spend less time entering data and more time building meaningful relationships with their end-customers.

Supercharge Productivity with Lightning Console Apps

Users often complain they can never see everything they need on one screen and that getting their job done often requires too many clicks. Learn all the tips and tricks for boosting productivity with Lightning Console.

3 Tips to Fuel Sales Productivity and Boost Win Rates

In today’s selling environment, lean sales teams have to move quickly and efficiently. Learn how you can gain back hours of productivity by streamlining the repetitive tasks you and your reps do every day.

Artificial Intelligence (AI)

State of Sales: AI & Humans – The Best of Both Worlds

AI is freeing reps to focus where they’re needed: on the activities where a human touch is required. Cut through the noise and get a better understanding of how AI is being applied to sales challenges at the rep and manager levels.

The Value of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in Sales

Sales Cloud customers are taking their sales organizations to new heights with artificial intelligence (AI). Learn how leading companies are eliminating data entry and increasing win rates.

How Leading Brands are Elevating Innovation through Artificial Intelligence

Learn how leading global brands are unlocking ways to get closer to their consumers and improve speed-to-market through connected innovation by leveraging AI.

Getting Started with Artificial Intelligence: 3 Ways to Accelerate Growth

Join us as we demystify AI. We’ll share tactical strategies for introducing intelligence across your business to drive efficiency, and you’ll walk away with actionable ways to turn your company into a growth powerhouse.

Wealth: Using Artificial Intelligence to Grow Client Relationships

Only a handful of advisors are actively transforming client relationships into a wealth of new opportunities. Discover how AI can help you know your clients’ relationship networks as well as you know their money.

Collaboration

Industry Leaders Invest in Collaboration to Enhance the Employee Experience

Executives are focusing on empowering their workforces to become more productive and connected. Learn what industry leading companies think about the intersection of software, culture, and employee empowerment.

#workdifferently: Visualize Your Thinking for Better Collaboration and Learning

One of the most common occurrences in business is when good conversations, ideas or decisions are expressed verbally, but not captured. We’ll discuss how to apply visual thinking to synthesize, record, sketch, diagram, and develop collective understanding across a group.

Culture Matters: How Caterpillar is Boosting Collaboration, Speed, and Alignment

Digital transformation isn’t just about technology. Companies should also rethink cultural norms, work environments, and behaviors. Learn how to build a digital culture, and how you can realign your company’s culture to achieve digital success faster.

Efficiency

Automate from Intake to Survey: Platform Tools to Up Your Program’s Efficiency

Learn about Salesforce automation tools and how to simplify your complex business processes. Listen to how automation processes have aided organizations in improving programs, enhancing data quality, and saving staff time that can instead be spent where it matters most.

Learn How Leading Financial Institutions Optimize Field Sales Efficiency

Hear from three leading financial services institutions that are improving banker/producer efficiencies to drive revenue and create better customer experiences. Uncover how these companies are effectively managing complex territories and ensuring max facetime with clients.

5 Big Plays to Transform Your Documents and Contracts on Salesforce

Every day organizations manage dozens of documents including contracts, sales proposals, and customer communications. Discover 5 Big Plays to transform your document and contract management processes.

#WinMorePlayMore at Dreamforce 2018

What would you do if you had more time in your day? That’s exactly what we asked our clients and many others in a recent survey. RFP responders work hard, after hours and weekends to complete RFPs before the deadline. Obviously, this is not fun for anyone.

We all know how important it is to respond to RFPs, because that team effort can mean landing the next big deal. Now that RFP software like RFPIO is here to empower teams, people have more time to focus on other priorities but also improve work-life balance. That’s where #WinMorePlayMore comes in.

“I’m truly enjoying the fact that I’m not working late every night. This week I finished a huge RFP response 3 days early, giving me time for my husband and I to take our paddle boards out!” – Mona Sampson, RFP Specialist, Writer, and Coordinator

Whether you prefer the great outdoors like half of our survey responders, or would rather spend time with your family like another 22%, having more hours in your day is a good thing. RFP software can help you reclaim time, so you can make bigger strides personally and professionally.

Want to win more, play more? We’re happy to show you how with an onsite demo at Booth 1806 at #DF18. Schedule your demo and we’ll give you an outdoor bluetooth speaker to use when you’re enjoying more free time…and less RFP response time.

P.S. We made you a Spotify playlist of tracks with positive vibes to help you get charged up for this year’s Dreamforce. You can find it here as well.

Looking forward after securing $25 million in series A funding

Looking forward after securing $25 million in series A funding

Closing Series A funding is a big deal for any company. Which is why I am proud and happy to announce that RFPIO is beginning a thrilling new chapter. We have secured $25 million from K1 Investment Management (K1), so that we can further revolutionize the proposal management industry.

Did I ever think RFPIO would grow to this point? The answer is yes.

Even when I was running demos by myself in our first office, an 84-square-foot closet, I had no doubt that we would become such a compelling force. I recognized the growth potential in every team member who drove our mission forward and every client who was positively impacted by our dedication.

As I look back at the mere 18 months of our company’s existence, I am very grateful. As I look at the road ahead, I’m excited to see RFPIO’s growth story truly unfold.

Growth highlights from an unforgettable first 18 months

It’s hard to believe that this great journey with RFPIO began 18 months ago, with only four of us: AJ Sunder as CIO, Sankar Lagudu as COO, Manish Bafna as VP of Technology, and myself as CEO.

Every workweek was a learning experience for us, and there were many memorable “firsts” that got us to where we are today…

The first paying customer

After running a successful beta program for six months, we won our first paying customer, Stephen Marsh from Smarsh. Stephen was so impressed by RFPIO’s ease of use and intelligent capabilities that he decided to sign on and invest in our company through Archivist Capital. It was the best validation we could have asked for. Today we have hundreds of happy customers.

The first employees

It gave us immense pride when we hired Mitchell Hipp as Senior Account Executive at our Beaverton headquarters, and Emmanuel Rajayah as Senior UI Developer at our Coimbatore office in India. This was the first time people put their trust in our leadership team. We have not lost a single employee since we started RFPIO.

rfpio team's funding celebration

The first Fortune 500 company

Signing a Fortune 500 company made our team feel like we could conquer the world. LinkedIn was the first enterprise company to use RFPIO, and many others have followed: Google, Adobe, Atlassian, Change Healthcare, ServiceNow, Siemens, Tenable, Zoom Video.

The first 1,000 users

The day we realized RFPIO had 1,000 users was just cause for celebration. Our users feedback has helped shape and strengthen RFPIO’s platform and that will carry on as we reach unexplored heights. Now we have more than 12,000 users.

Series A funding: The ingredient we needed to scale

While the Seed round of funding through Elevate Capital was primarily focused on building a strong foundation, this Series A round will be more of a strategic partnership for our organization’s next big leap.

Our new investor, K1 Investment Management, is completely dedicated to funding and supporting SaaS companies. The K1 team uses RFPIO for managing their own RFP responses—early on, they believed in RFPIO’s mission and wanted to help us succeed. We were drawn to their expertise in the software industry, so it was a natural partnership. This Series A funding will allows us to make an even bigger impact.

We are looking at scaling the entire business, to include not just revenue and customer base growth but company expansion as well. As the India and Beaverton teams grow, our focus will be on establishing a solid middle management team. Global expansion is happening as well, and we are looking at options for another RFPIO office where our second largest customer base is located in Europe.

RFPIO is already the first artificial intelligence (AI) enabled solution in our industry, and we have dramatically improved the way organizations respond to RFPs. Being able to invest heavily on the product side will allow us to enhance our technology, then move into offerings in adjacent areas of proposal management. This funding gives our product more horsepower to fuel our customer’s goals and aspirations.

We’re just getting started

As we enter this new world of growth and expansion, we remain loyal to our people. The key to RFPIO’s success is the team standing proudly behind us. Every one of us is driven by passion for our product and our clients. The positive vibes we have in our office speak through our technology and service.

We are an intrepid team. Everyone here is invested in RFPIO’s success.

Read more about RFPIO’s $25 million funding announcement on:

The Wall Street Journal

The Oregonian

Fortune

Portland Business Journal

GeekWire

Join RFPIO in supporting the St. Andrew Legal Clinic

Join RFPIO in supporting the St. Andrew Legal Clinic

Last Saturday, the RFPIO team laced up our running shoes, did a few stretches and put our feet to the pavement in participation with the St. Andrew Legal Clinic’s (SALC) 18th annual Race for Justice 5K.

St. Andrew Legal Clinic provides legal representation for low-income people in family law cases, including child custody, child support, domestic violence prevention, divorce, and adoption. According to their website, 50 percent of SALC’s clients have an income of $1,400 or less each month, and 45 percent belong to a minority group.

The organization has been serving Oregon families for over 38 years. They have offices in both Multnomah and Washington counties.

Race for Justice Start
Executive Director at SALC, Kevin McHargue, said, “Because St. Andrew Legal Clinic charges a sliding scale fee based on income, we rely heavily on support from the community through events like the annual Race for Justice 5K.”

This year’s event brought in over $100,000 in donations, and all of that money will go toward legal services for SALC’s clients.

The Race for Justice was an all-ages event, with fun for the kids like clowns, balloon animals, and a children’s race before the official 5K. It was a clear, sunny morning for some exercise, and though our paces varied (some by a lot), each member of the RFPIO team put forth a lot of effort and had a good time. And we were even rewarded with pizza and beer at the end!

RFPIO_Race for Justice Finish
There are other ways to help the St. Andrew Legal Clinic and their clients throughout the year. Along with the Race for Justice, SALC puts on a food and wine event called the Taste for Justice, coming up this October 18th at the Elysian Ballroom in SW Portland.

Organizations can sponsor the Race for Justice and Taste for Justice, and individual participants can join, volunteer or donate money.

If you or someone you know might be a candidate for their services, the SALC’s contact information can be found on their website at www.salcgroup.org.

Communicating business value and aligning teams at APMP

Communicating business value and aligning teams at APMP

Last week we traveled south to San Diego for the Association of Proposal Management Professionals’ (APMP) annual Bid & Proposal Conference. “The world’s largest conference for proposal, bid, tender, capture, business development and graphics professionals,” according to their website.

These are the people that we work with every day. It was our second year at the event, and since last year, our presence and impact within the proposal management industry has grown.

We were thankful for the opportunity to share thought leadership on two panel sessions with other industry experts: “Communicating Tangible Business Value Propositions,” and “How to Wrangle Your Subject Matter Experts.”

David Blume_RFPIO_APMP

Communicating tangible business value propositions

A poacher turned gamekeeper
As an accomplished sales professional, David Blume, RFPIO’s Senior Sales Director, knows what it’s like to just want to get the RFP out the door and focus on “real” sales opportunities. To demonstrate his evolution in this area, he gave a hunter’s analogy. In the past, he was a poacher—focusing on the highest quality sales and using laser focus to attack.

Now, David considers himself a gamekeeper, managing the whole perimeter of the RFP process and all the wild elements that come along with it.

Aligning teams internally
It’s not that sales and proposal teams are at odds. They are both in pursuit of new revenue.

David said the difference is in their horizons—RFP teams want to build a repeatable process and improve capabilities over the long-haul to support future business. Sales executives are focused on the next one or two quarters, so their time and attention are likely centered elsewhere.

And oftentimes, sales cycles can be long and complex—a proposal is just one element to that process. However, its impact is generally underestimated. An RFP gives you the chance to articulate:

  • Your understanding of your prospect’s needs.
  • How you can help them solve that problem.
  • The tangible value you will deliver.
  • Why they should choose you over your competition.

This calls on both sales and proposal teams to align. Your company’s value should be communicated throughout the sales process, and the RFP should be the icing on the cake. Align your resources internally first, and RFP wins can be truly shared across departments.

A message for the marketers out there: When developing case studies, try to include quantified evidence to support your company’s value proposition. You’ll appeal to sales teams especially if you can include a dollar value.

RFPIO Team APMP

Are all RFPs worth it?
As you’re evaluating an RFP, make sure you know precisely what corporate initiative the investment supports, what you expect the return on investment to be, and why you’re pursuing it at this moment.

An exercise: Find out the the monetary value, win or lose, of the all of the business influenced by a proposal (RFP response or sales generated) in the last year. What would an extra deal a month mean for your organization’s bottom line?

Once you’ve decided an RFP is a viable opportunity and your sales and proposal teams are working together to deliver your value proposition, make sure your message is:

  • Quantified (use real numbers wherever you can)
  • Evidence-based (show, instead of tell)
  • Differentiated (describe how you stand out from the competition)

“An RFP is not a quote, or a bill of materials. It’s a critical selling document designed to move the deal forward,” David said. “It has the potential to persuade (or at least reinforce the solid work done by sales and others), and to quantify business impact and value.”

How to wrangle your subject matter experts

Like herding cats
Ganesh Shankar, RFPIO’s CEO, knows it’s not easy to manage subject matter experts. After all, he used to be one. From his perspective, the elusive SME is focused on their primary roles, and may not have the time or interest to offer input into the sales process.

Proposal managers, we know how hard this makes your job. You’re stuck between sales and product teams and marketing, trying to manage an important revenue-generating process. It takes a village to respond to RFPs and requires a special kind of tenacity to solicit input from people across your organization, over and over again.

20 Stats That Will Make You a Better Proposal Manager

But when it comes to the people in your company who understand the technicalities of your product or service—the SMEs— there are implications of non-responsiveness. These are “ready made opportunities,” and avoiding them will have consequences.

So how do you get them to pay attention to you and answer the questions you need, in order to support an opportunity for the whole company?

Ganesh Shankar_RFPIO_APMP

Communication and ownership
Try implementing a system of communication in your organization where the subject matter experts are looped in from beginning to end of the process, avoiding surprises and allowing them to take ownership. This way, they can see and feel the impact of the proposals they’ve responded to, whether they are positive or negative.

Let them use their own tools
When it comes to content management, organizations should understand which tools their busy SMEs are working in from day to day. Consider utilizing integrations so they can collaborate without having to learn a new tool. If you’re using RFP software like RFPIO, you can integrate technologies like CRM and collaboration and cloud-storage tools.

Define a Service Level Agreement
Only approach an SME with a proposal if it’s been qualified to the company’s agree-upon standards. Once you’ve determined it’s a worthwhile opportunity, give as many details as you possibly can. Let them know exactly what the document is, what they are being asked to include, and approximately how long it should take, so that everyone is on the same page. Make sure to give them some lead time, too. Don’t ask for input at the last minute.

The responsibility here doesn’t fall entirely on the proposal manager, though. If the proposal team has kept up their end of the agreement, the SME should be responsive and clear about their timelines and contributions to the RFP process.

9 Challenges Every SME Shall Overcome with RFP Software

From Ganesh’s point of view, these are the three best ways to try and manage difficulty getting responses from subject matter experts, and relieve you from your frustrations in the RFP process. Forget wrangling, and start working harmoniously.

Making the most of MarTech Conference 2018

Making the most of MarTech Conference 2018

Last week my colleagues and I attended the MarTech West conference in San Jose. According to their website, the organization’s mission for the event is to “cross-pollinate the best ideas and latest innovations across marketing, technology, and management.”

Technologies in the marketing and sales enablement spaces emerge and connect year over year, and we were thrilled to be alongside so many companies showcasing these innovative products and services.

It was our first time sponsoring a booth at MarTech, so we absorbed as much as possible and took stock of our experience. Here are a few things we learned that made it a standout event for RFPIO and one we’re looking forward to attending in the future:

RFPIO_MarTech Booth

Attend an unplanned session

I had high hopes for my session-going at MarTech. I’m a marketer, so I’m often researching marketing and sales enablement tools that could enhance our processes and results. Alas (and fortunately), we had a steady stream of traffic to our booth, and my time wasn’t as flexible as planned.

This change of plans ended up working in my session-going favor. A booth visitor had told me about a presenter who was extolling the virtues of the RFP in the technology vendor selection process. The speaker, Tony Byrne from Real Story Group, was giving another presentation at a nearby stage.

We’ve talked before about how RFP software fits into the marketing and sales technology stack. The challenges of responding to requests for proposal, “ready made opportunities,” can be improved with RFP automation software.

On the other side, if you’re the one sourcing a technology vendor, Byrne suggests using the method of design thinking to plan a system for evaluating tools. He also suggests reframing your RFP by asking narrative questions. Don’t ask if their solution integrates with the ones you use, ask them how it will work within the context of an actual, real-life scenario that’s causing you trouble.

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Real Story Group

Try something new

This is something a marketer often thinks about. We’re going to this event—how do we stand out from the rest, and attract the people who can benefit from our product or service? And how do we do it without breaking the bank?

What worked for us was to give attendees an incentive to ask us about what RFPIO does. We dropped an invitation to coffee on us (via a Starbucks gift card) in the complimentary conference bags. This served a couple purposes: 1) it gave visitors a soft way to start a conversation about our technology, and 2) allowed us to offer something useful and easy to transport.

Have to give a shout out to Valassis Digital for their creative use of individually packed cookies to market their digital advertising platform. “Don’t rely on cookies for your digital advertising.” Talk about something useful!

Valassis Digital MarTech

Explore the city

This luxury is not always possible, but can be really rewarding if you have the chance. When attending conferences, sometimes you’re in and out so fast, you don’t have time to remember where you are. But you traveled to get there, why not make the most of it?

We were in San Jose, right in the thick of sunny Silicon Valley, so we decided to do as the locals do and try some new technology—we rented Bird scooters. It was an inexpensive and super convenient way to get from place to place when we weren’t carrying luggage or event swag. And let’s face it, they were really fun.

If you can, try to bookmark a day around the event that gives you a chance to do some extra exploring. Even if you don’t have that much time, grabbing breakfast or dinner at a local establishment can give you a peek into a community’s culture.

Bird Scooters

Connect with people

This may seem obvious, but it can actually be one of the hardest things to do. I get it—you’re busy talking up your business from the confines of your comfortable, handsomely-adorned booth.

We were lucky too—our neighbors (shout out to the team at Adstage!) were awesome (not the least of which because they offered us sparkling water in a koozie). They were the first ones to ask us about RFPIO, and engaged with us candidly about our respective parts of the marketing and sales tech ecosystem.

But we also made sure to spend some time venturing out to talk with our fellow conference goers about what they do—including, and especially, some of our customers. With a global user base, we don’t have the chance to meet each of them in person, and this was our opportunity to put a face to a name.

Overall, it was a positive event that connected us with people, ideas, and technologies that will enhance our marketing and sales processes as our business scales. We are already looking forward to next year’s MarTech West conference—see you in 2019!

Join RFPIO and support the kids at Camp Kesem

Join RFPIO and support the kids at Camp Kesem

This quarter, as part of our commitment to Pledge 1%, the RFPIO team came together to donate to the University of Oregon’s chapter of Camp Kesem. We are proud to sponsor local initiatives, and were introduced to this incredible community effort by our teammate Ryan Slee.

Camp Kesem is an organization that conducts free summer camps for children dealing with the loss of a parent to cancer. Ryan has volunteered with the U of O chapter of Camp Kesem for over seven years and is passionate about the organization and the kids they are able to support.

About Camp Kesem

Camp Kesem was founded in 2000 at Stanford University by founder Iris Rave Wedeking. It’s a volunteer effort driven by college students who plan and staff the camps, and has since become a national organization with university chapters across the country.

According to their website, “for many children their Camp Kesem experience is a life-changing event—providing a community of children with similar experiences, and a safe and welcoming environment to have fun and rediscover their childhood.”

Camp Kesem at Night

Support and community

The American Cancer Society says that children “grieve differently from adults, and each child is different too. Each phase of growth and development may bring up new aspects of the loss and the child may grieve over and over.”

Keegan Daley, the University of Oregon’s Camp Kesem Director, said, “Camp Kesem is important because it provides a unique, safe space for these children to be themselves. It creates a loving and inclusive atmosphere where they can connect to others who are in similar situations, be understood, and just let loose and be a kid again.

I wanted to do something that made a difference in this world, and I found that in Camp Kesem. I continue to volunteer for Kesem because of the family-like community it has created for me and because these kids inspire me every day.”

Camp Kesem

How 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.

If you are in the Portland area and are interested in supporting the organization further, they are hosting a benefit event at the Urban Studio on NW Davis Street on April 28 called Make the Magic.

Find Your Nearest Camp Kesem Chapter

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