THE RFPIO BLOG

Start Responding Like a Pro

The RFPIO blog is full of insights and best practices, giving you the tools you’ll need to streamline your process and respond with confidence.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

Join RFPIO and donate to a family this holiday season

Join RFPIO and donate to a family this holiday season

It’s hard to believe we’ve already made it to Q4 and are closing out what’s been such a great year […]


Category: Company & Events

Join RFPIO and donate to a family this holiday season

Join RFPIO and donate to a family this holiday season

It’s hard to believe we’ve already made it to Q4 and are closing out what’s been such a great year for RFPIO. But beyond the growth of our business and the excitement that has brought us, something we are really proud of is our commitment to the Pledge 1% movement. Their objective is to integrate giving into the fabric of company practices, and we are in full support.

We’ve had a chance to return the favor back to our community in some incredible ways this year. We donated to the Oregon Food Bank, worked with SOLVE to clean up Kelley Point Park, and contributed to Elmonica Elementary School’s MakerSpace program.

This quarter is a special one, though. Now that the holiday season is in full swing, we know it’s an extra difficult time for many people.

OR children poverty 2015

According to data from the Oregon Center for Public Policy, Oregon’s poverty rate is higher on average than the United States as a whole. Among those living under the poverty line in Oregon, one in five is a child under the age of 18.

With that in mind, the RFPIO team wanted to offer up some holiday cheer to children in our community. We came across many fantastic organizations to choose from, but found our match with the Christmas Family Adoption Foundation (CFAF).

CFAF was created in 2002 when founder Mike Burright gathered gifts for a local family that didn’t have much that Christmas. Since then, they have adopted over 2,500 families.

The organization’s mission is, “to create a positive and memorable holiday by giving gifts, clothing, and necessities to families in need.”

With their help, RFPIO had the opportunity to adopt an area family who is going through a hard time, and check some items off their Christmas wish list.

RFPIO Christmas Tree 2017

So in the spirit of the season, we encourage you to join us! You can go to the CFAF website and choose a family to sponsor or nominate for adoption, or take a look at the ways to donate financially.

Happy Holidays from the RFPIO Crew!

A dream come true at Dreamforce 2017

A dream come true at Dreamforce 2017

What a difference a year makes. Last year at Dreamforce, we were the new startup kid on the block. We went to the conference as attendees, soaking up the experience and imagining the possibilities when we’d be on the expo floor showing off our solution.

This year, we put the dream in Dreamforce.

We’ve mentioned before how much RFPIO has grown in just the last year. We’ve developed a strong customer base, won a few awards, and expanded our global team. When it came to our plans for the event, we knew it was time to step up our game.

The focus was on building new relationships and demonstrating how our unique approach to automated proposal response brings teams together.

Here are some notes about our week:

Meeting the right people

Maria: “We talked to people in all kinds of roles—proposal managers, marketers, sales professionals, executives. Some knew they were looking for technology to help manage the RFP process. But quite a few people didn’t even know automated RFP response existed. It was a great experience showing them what’s possible.”

Andrew: “Being at Dreamforce gave me a chance to interact with so many of our customers in person. These are people I talk to often, and there’s nothing like putting a face with a name.”

Mitch: “One evening, just as the expo floor was closing down, a guy ran up to our booth to tell us how much he loves using RFPIO. He said that since he started using it, what used to take him 40 hours now takes half that time, if not less. It was good to hear that validation in person.”

RFPIO Team at Dreamforce

Solving problems for RFP responders

Ganesh: “When it comes to documentation for getting new business—RFPs, security questionnaires, grants, etc.—there’s a real need for efficiency in the response process. I had a lot of conversations with people about how it could be improved.

What I heard is that it’s not so much about the length of the document or short time frame for submission. The most difficult factor is inaccurate information going into an RFP, which is mainly caused by fragmentation of knowledge within organizations.

Our software helps centralize content and encourages collaboration. It was a relief to many people when we could show them a better way to manage the process.”

Andrew: “I talked with customers a lot about maximizing our software integrations. Many commented on how it’s improved collaboration so seamlessly. Being at Dreamforce, we discussed our Salesforce integration quite a bit.”

“Last year I was in the crowd looking at all the booths wide-eyed like a kid in a candy store, hoping that one day we would be one of those companies. By this year, we had a booth that was full of visitors every day. It was a real dream come true.” – Ganesh Shankar

Standing out at Dreamforce

Mitch: “In an expo center that big, with that many companies, it’s hard to stand out. But RFPIO has what we do right in our name, which made it easier to grab the attention of people walking by.”

Andrew: “One of my favorite touches in our booth was a bouquet of fresh flowers. Sometimes you have to stop and smell the daisies.”

RFPIO Booth at Dreamforce 2017

Challenges to overcome

Ganesh: “We were all so busy talking with people at the booth and showing demos in the meeting room that we didn’t have as much time for other parts of the conference. I wish I’d been able to attend more keynotes and sessions. I would also have liked the team to pursue certifications. But this was our first rodeo, and I think we did well under the circumstances. Now we have lots of ideas for next year.”

Maria: “I had the chance to put on my sales hat during the conference when I was having conversations with prospects. As a marketer, I don’t usually get the opportunity to ask people directly about the challenges they face.”

A worthwhile investment

Ganesh: “Last year I was in the crowd looking at all the booths wide-eyed like a kid in a candy store, hoping that one day we would be one of those companies. By this year, we had a booth that was full of visitors every day. It was a real dream come true.”

Maria Osornio, RFPIO at Dreamforce 2017

Read about how PerfectMind improved response times with Salesforce integration.

Team Spotlight: Meet RFPIO’s Senior Sales Director

Team Spotlight: Meet RFPIO’s Senior Sales Director

It seems like just yesterday was my first day at RFPIO. (It practically was—I only started a few weeks ago.) But in that short time we’ve hit some major growth milestones. We celebrated a significant sales goal, won an award, and added three new members to our team.

One of those additions was David Blume, our new Senior Sales Director. When he first came to meet with the team, he ended up unexpectedly spending the whole day with us. By the time I met him that afternoon, he showed no signs of “all day meeting with new people” fatigue.

senior sales director rfpio

It was immediately clear that David knew the proposal management space and was invested in making it easier and more strategic for companies to respond to proposals and increase revenue.

In a surprise to pretty much no one, sometimes sales and marketing departments can be at odds. But when I asked what kind of advice he’d give to the marketing department, he didn’t skip a beat. David offered valuable ideas that we’ve already incorporated into our strategy.

Once he officially joined the team, we sat down to talk more about his experience, and the time he almost met Tom Cruise. (We’ll save that story for another day.)


What attracted you to RFPIO as a company?

I have over ten years of experience in proposal management, and I’m passionate about the space. I was looking to work with a company that had a fresh perspective on solving traditional problems, and that’s what I saw in RFPIO. I really like the team and I think we offer something very unique in the space.

What are some of your planned initiatives for the sales department? How do you plan to take the RFPIO sales team into new markets?

I want to focus on communicating the strategic value of proposals. I think it’s fair to say that the RFP response process is not always considered to be a strategic way to win business.

In terms of the market, many B2B companies that include RFPs as part of their sales process are using manually intensive methods to complete them. Which means the market for an easy to use Cloud-based solution is underserved.

So, at a high level, my plan is to identify organizations that are not using response automation solutions, and then work with those companies to demonstrate to the sales department the true value that they can deliver.

hakeem and david

You have a lot of experience in the proposal management space. What are some things that you’ve seen change over the years?

In some segments of the market, there’s a trend towards shorter and shorter response times for RFPs, and a move away from organizations requesting a detailed narrative around the value and benefits their prospective vendors can bring.

Today they often lean more toward a checklist-based spreadsheet response which can take some of the value out of it because they’re just weighted and scored. This means greater focus on price and not value.

You previously worked in the proposal management industry in the UK. How does that market differ from other regions, in your experience?

There are more similarities than differences when you look at the people and process aspects. But spelling is another issue!

How has technology changed the space?

You still need to qualify opportunities and agree that these RFPs are worth responding to, and that it’s business you want to win.

The role of RFP automation adds something to the equation to buy you more of the most precious commodity: time.

Automation has historically focused on a few areas. One is around the management and organization of content, which is used as the basis for answers in a response. The other is an effort to improve the workflow of communicating internally with your contributors.

And the latter, in my experience, is one of the most challenging parts of the problem, because most RFP responses depend on the expertise of people in the business. But asking them to commit sometimes substantial amounts of time on a regular basis is a big ask. So automation has evolved (and specifically RFPIO’s!) to improve not just communication and collaboration but also making the management and progress of those submissions more transparent.

konnor and david

You’ve been involved with sales enablement for some time. How can RFPIO’s solution enable sales teams in the RFP process?

Many sales leaders acknowledge that RFPs are part of doing business. Some regard it as a necessary evil, and some see it as critically important to the process.

But the one thing that I’ve found is that few sales leaders know, from a dollar standpoint, the value of business that is influenced by RFPs or proposals in general. When they find out that number, win or lose, it often shocks them.

I think those companies that have recognized the importance of this function, understand that a well-articulated proposal is necessary to encapsulate all of the reasons to do business with you.

What’s the weirdest RFP question you’ve been asked?

It’s sometimes the questions that aren’t asked that reveal the most about your chances of winning. Here’s a useful tip: always check the File properties of a Word or Excel-based RFP. We once received an RFP that was authored by the other shortlisted vendor!

What’s something people may not know about you?

I really enjoy riding motorbikes and owned a couple of Triumphs in the UK. Now I have a US motorcycle license and I plan to buy another Triumph early next year. In my head, I see myself as Tom Cruise in ‘Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation’, but my wife thinks I’m more like Wallace and Gromit riding their bike and sidecar.

david blume rfpio

Connect with David on LinkedIn

6 can’t-miss Dreamforce 2017 sessions for RFP responders

6 can’t-miss Dreamforce 2017 sessions for RFP responders

Dreamforce 2017 is approaching quickly. With less than a month to go before the biggest sales technology conference of the year happens, RFP responders are gearing up for the excitement.

It’s my first time attending Dreamforce. As a longtime Salesforce user, I am really looking forward to connecting with the sales community and checking out tons of educational sessions. Needless to say, seeing Lenny Kravitz and Alicia Keys perform will be an amazing experience as well.

Even more exciting is that the RFPIO team will be at Dreamforce in full force with our first booth. Whether you’re a friend of RFPIO—or an RFP responder we have yet to befriend—we would love for you to stop by Booth 1954 to say hi and hang out with us.

If you haven’t checked out RFPIO yet, this is a perfect opportunity for you to learn how you can save time and boost productivity by streamlining your team’s RFP response process. Bonus: We will be giving away an Amazon Fire Stick to anyone who completes a personalized demo with us at Dreamforce.

We know exactly how crazy Dreamforce can be since we attended last year as a team. In 2016, over 171,000 people from 83 countries attended the Salesforce conference in San Francisco. This year is expected to be bigger than ever.

It’s all good…until you realize there are nearly 3,000 sessions you have to choose from. Not to mention, you’ll be running all over the streets of San Francisco (ladies…wear flats!) to try to catch as many sessions as you can in only a few days.

To help our busy proposal managers and sales teams prioritize a bit, we pulled together a quick list of can’t-miss sessions at this year’s Dreamforce. These productivity focused sessions are worth considering as you plan your attack.

6 can’t-miss sessions for RFP responders attending #DF17

3 Tips to Avoid Sales Burnout – Did you know sales has one of the highest burnout rates of any profession? Learn some proven techniques to beat burnout and focus on productivity, so you can keep your eye on the prize.

Contract Lifecycle Management (CLM) Best Practices from Uber and ADP – Become a master of of efficiency, much like our own RFPIO gurus who automate their RFP response process. Learn how to overcome common challenges created by contract and document bottlenecks.

Advanced Reporting Tips and Tricks for New Admins – Reporting is important, but it can take too many hours sales teams don’t have to spare. Find out how your team can minimize reporting time, but still present the data effectively to make informed decisions at your organization.

3 Tips to Boost Sales Productivity With Salesforce Inbox – Administrative tasks like scheduling meetings and replying to emails often distract sales teams from achieving their revenue objectives. Find out how Salesforce Inbox adds 25% more selling time back in their day.

A Connected Business: What it Means and How to Make it a Reality – What does it mean to build a truly connected business? Walk away with best practices to bridge the gap between data and people by automating key business processes.

All Treasure No Hunt: How AI Will Transform Your Leads into Golden Opportunities – One-third of companies completely ignore their best leads today. AI is the way of the future. See how conversational AI is automating lead follow-up in Salesforce to convert more of your leads.

dreamforce conference

Let’s get together at Dreamforce!

Schedule time for a personalized demo and we’ll see you in San Francisco.

Join RFPIO in the Give Back to School campaign

Join RFPIO in the Give Back to School campaign

It’s back to school time, so the RFPIO team is giving back to our educational community. For our Q3 philanthropy mission, we’re partnering up with a local school in Beaverton to support their school year initiatives.

There are many causes, and each quarter we think about the best way to lend a helping hand to our community. There are plenty of options online, but we truly love to serve our local organizations. We are fortunate to have the support of our community as a rapidly growing startup and we feel it’s important to give back.

school libraries

Source: American Association of School Librarians

As Salesforce partners, we work with Pledge 1% to participate in the culture of giving.

In Q1 we hosted the ROI of Compassion and helped Oregon Food Bank bring over 600 meals to families in need through online donations and an office food drive. In Q2 we got our hands dirty with SOLVE for the Go Green campaign and cleaned up Kelley Point Park on Earth Day. The result? Nearly 6,000 volunteers collected 35 tons of trash and debris from 162 sites.

Now we’re kicking off our Q3 initiative, the Give Back to School campaign. It was difficult to choose from so many wonderful schools near our headquarters, but Elmonica Elementary happens to be the same school where Ganesh’s daughter attends—so we reached out to find out how we could help.

That was when we discovered their amazing new program, MakerSpace.

pledge one education
Elmonica Elementary is beginning to use the idea of MakerSpace to enhance the learning environment by combining the benefits of library, media, and technology. The Elmonica staff believes in teaching students to be independent thinkers who will actively learn and create. MakerSpace blends the traditional library experience with 21st Century technology skills. Elmonica would like students to explore STEM learning while they research ideas.

Being a technology company, the RFPIO team was excited to help support this forward-thinking program to support the students at Elmonica. Last week RFPIO donated to the MakerSpace program, giving solar robots and a crazy fort (yes, we’re considering one of these for the office!).

“In a traditional library setting students listen to a book that is read to them, then check out a book. We want to flip this idea so that students can still listen to a book, then actively engage in processing and creating new information. Students interested in robots can read about them before entering challenges where they build a robot that can move weight or go a certain distance. Elmonica is looking to create active learners in all aspects of the school day. The MakerSpace program will make this learning style achievable.” – Cynthia Moffett, Principal at Elmonica Elementary School

Want to contribute to RFPIO’s Give Back to School campaign?

Supporting education is incredibly important and we’re excited to help make a positive impact on Elmonica’s bright young minds. You can help too!

We understand if you have local schools you want to work with, and we fully support that. If you’re not sure where to start, and you’d like to join forces with the RFPIO team, you can donate to Elmonica’s MakerSpace program easily by selecting items straight from their Amazon wish list.

Donate online right here to help Elmonica Elementary!

Join RFPIO and SOLVE in the Go Green Campaign

Join RFPIO and SOLVE in the Go Green Campaign

The RFPIO team is on a new philanthropy mission in Q2 we decided towe’re getting green with it! In celebration of Earth Day on April 22, we’ll be getting our hands dirty for a good cause with the Go Green campaign.

As Salesforce partners, we work with Pledge 1% to participate in the culture of giving. In Q1 we hosted the ROI of Compassion and helped Oregon Food Bank bring over 600 meals to families in need through online donations and an office food drive.

It’s always tough to pick one cause to contribute our time to—as there are so many important causes. In the spirit of Earth Day—and the beautiful state of Oregon we are happy to live in—we decided to pledge our 1% community involvement to SOLVE.

portland forest park
SOLVE is a non-profit organization that brings together individuals, business groups, and service and conservation groups through volunteering and education to restore our natural spaces and take good care of this great state of which we are all so proud. SOLVE facilitates Oregonians of all kinds coming together to volunteer, focusing on beach and illegal dump cleanup, planting native trees, removing invasive plants, and other environmental maintenance projects. SOLVE annually creates an average of 40,000 volunteer opportunities in 170 communities all across this diverse state.

On Friday, the RFPIO team will be cleaning up Kelley Point Park in north Portland to help benefit the community—and of course…earth. We’ll be removing all trash, invasive plants, and placing mulch around a natural plant area.

Did you know invasive plant removal is critical to our environment? Our water, wildlife, and economy are threatened by invasive species. Native plants and animals are pushed out, and entire ecosystems and agricultural areas can be seriously degraded or destroyed. That’s why environmental cleanups are so important and we’re excited to help SOLVE make a difference.

pledge one

Want to contribute to RFPIO’s Go Green campaign?

We’d love for you to join us at the Kelley Point Park Cleanup, but we understand that isn’t possible for all of our wonderful clients, partners, and friends. But you can still help us keep the earth beautiful!

Donate online right here to help SOLVE make a bigger impact to save our planet. On behalf of Mother Nature, we thank you for your support…may the forest be with you!

The RFPIO team gives back over 600 meals to Oregon Food Bank

The RFPIO team gives back over 600 meals to Oregon Food Bank

The ROI of compassion has been in full swing since January and we are excited to share our progress. ROI is a big driver in the business world, so we put a spin on that concept by creating a campaign that focused on an investment in our community. The RFPIO team committed to this campaign as part of our Pledge 1% participation in promoting a culture of giving.

As a growing local company, we are grateful for the support we have received from the tech community since we first launched the RFPIO platform last year. This is our way of paying it forward by pledging our 1% community involvement to the Oregon Food Bank.

food donation bin
Oregon Food Bank takes a holistic approach to ending hunger by bringing our community together to provide food, education and hope to our neighbors in need.

Last year, the Oregon Food Bank Network distributed more than 1 million emergency food boxes to people facing hunger throughout Oregon and Clark County, Washington. On a monthly basis, Oregon Food Bank helps 1 in 5 households struggling with hunger.

We kicked off the ROI of Compassion in January, because it is one of the most challenging times for food banks. Giving skyrockets during the holidays and drops off at the beginning of the year. Giving food to families in need is a worthy effort any time, so we extended our campaign to run through the end of Q1.

food drive
During that time the RFPIO team has raised nearly $200 online for the Oregon Food Bank. With the help of our partners at Regus and our fellow office neighbors, we also filled a food bin with in-kind donations.

Since a $10 donation provides 30 meals, we are excited to announce that the combined effort so far has brought over 600 meals to families in our community.

But, as you can see…our work isn’t over yet!

The campaign runs until March 31 and we have a big goal to reach. We hope you’ll join our culture of giving, so we can make a bigger impact on Oregon Food Bank.

pledge one goalHere Are 3 Ways You Can Join the ROI of Compassion

 

#1

Donate food to our office bin!

#2

Donate online at Oregon Food Bank!

#3

Leave a review on G2 Crowd and we’ll donate $5!

Join RFPIO and Oregon Food Bank in the ROI of Compassion

Join RFPIO and Oregon Food Bank in the ROI of Compassion

There’s no better way to ring in the new year than by inspiring others to give. As a local company, we understand the importance of community. We have been very fortunate to receive incredible support from the tech community since we first launched the RFPIO platform a year ago.

Now it’s our turn to pay it forward in a different way. To kick off 2017, the RFPIO team is giving back to our amazing community with our Q1 initiative…

We talk a lot about ROI in the business world, focusing on what the ultimate reward will be for the effort we put in. The “ROI of Compassion” puts a little twist on the concept we know well, by channeling the return back into the community for the generosity we invest.

As Salesforce partners, we work with Pledge 1% to participate in the culture of giving. Though it was challenging to pick just one cause—as there are so many important causes in need of resources—the RFPIO team has decided to pledge their 1% community involvement to the Oregon Food Bank.

Did you know that January is one of the most challenging times for food banks? Giving drops significantly after the holidays—so let’s change that by bringing some warmth and cheer to the people that need it this time of year.

Oregon Food Bank takes a holistic approach to ending hunger by bringing our community together to provide food, education and hope to our neighbors in need.

Last year, the Oregon Food Bank Network distributed more than 1 million emergency food boxes to people facing hunger throughout Oregon and Clark County, Washington. On a monthly basis, Oregon Food Bank helps 1 in 5 households struggling with hunger.

It’s time to add value back into our community with a little time and kindness. We hope you’ll join our culture of giving through mid-February, so we can make a bigger impact on Oregon Food Bank’s needs.

donate

Ready to join the ROI of Compassion initiative?

Donate online at Oregon Food Bank!

Every $10 donation provides 30 meals.

OR…

Stop into our office and donate food to our bin at:

1915 NW Amberglen Pkwy #400
(Regus Building)
Beaverton, OR 97006

How the RFPIO India team spends their half-day Fridays

How the RFPIO India team spends their half-day Fridays

One of the coolest things about working at RFPIO is being a part of an international team. We have offices in both Beaverton, Oregon and Coimbatore, India, and we are proud to be a living representation of the success that can happen cross-culturally.

Technology allows us to do some pretty amazing things today, breaking down barriers that used to exist solely because of a geographical distance. But the ease of communication is only one part of it—the RFPIO team on both sides of the world just work really well together.

Even with the twelve-hour time difference, we are all in sync. We share the same vision to offer the best possible product to our clients—and we also enjoy a great work-life balance that encourages a continuous positive spirit to support that collective vision.

In India half day Fridays is one of the many perks of working at RFPIO. So, to get to know our Coimbatore team a little better, we asked some of our employees to share how they like to spend their half days when they’re not busy making our software as awesome as ever.

How do you like to spend your half-day Fridays?


rfpio family time

Manish, VP of Technology

During the week it’s difficult to spend time with my daughter, because it’s so busy. Having half-day Fridays means spending more time with her, and it’s great to be home waiting for my daughter when she is done with school.


coimbatore hiking

Shajudeen, QA Analyst

Coimbatore is surrounded by the Western Ghats, a beautiful mountain range that keeps the climate pleasant year-round. The forest here is home to many varieties of wild animals, especially the Asian elephants. Hiking in the mountains is a popular pastime for Coimbatoreans, and I am always happy to carry on that tradition of enjoying nature.


hot air balloon festival coimbatore

Deepan, Business Analyst

I had the chance to participate in the International Hot Air Balloon Festival by Global Media Box and Camping Retreats recently. It was an amazing time!


roosters in india

Dinesh, UI Engineer

I spend every Friday with my pet roosters and hens. Breeding chickens is my favorite pastime.


wildlife sanctuary

Sathish, QA Analyst

I like to visit Mudumalai Wildlife Sanctuary, which is about 100 miles from Coimbatore. Leaving early from the office allows me to arrive before dusk and enjoy the views.


rfpio culture

Emmanuel, Sr. UI Engineer

I listen to good music and I enjoy photography whenever I have leisure time. I also spend most of my free time with my baby.


temple coimbatore

Kaliraj, Technical Lead

Spending quality time with the family is the way I enjoy spending my half days. I also take the opportunity to visit temples around Coimbatore: Perur Patteeswarar Temple and Maruthamalai Temple. The ancient sculptures and stone carvings share years of history and teaches the real tradition of the Hindu culture.


We hope you enjoyed getting to know some of the RFPIO team today!

Are you in Coimbatore? Check out our open positions!

Relationships, technology, and data ruled Dreamforce 2016

Relationships, technology, and data ruled Dreamforce 2016

When nearly 200,000 people invade a crowded city like San Francisco, that might seem crazy any other week of the year. When it’s Dreamforce, all bets are off as salespeople, marketers, CEOs, and every techie imaginable come together to learn and connect…and celebrate all things Salesforce, naturally.

As the new startup kid on the block, the RFPIO team was excited to attend—and ready for almost anything.

salesforce dreamforce

Ganesh and Britt were having their first Dreamforce adventure, while Angela was on her fifth. Even with their different levels of conference “black belts,” the team spent the week soaking in unbeatable inspiration from one of the biggest sales conferences of the year.

Now that the team is back in the swing of things, we thought we would share a few takeaways for those who didn’t get a chance to attend this year’s conference—or those of you who went and had an entirely different experience.

So, what do we think ruled Dreamforce 2016? Relationships, technology, and data.


expo at dreamforce

Ganesh

What was your first impression of Dreamforce? Will you be back in 2017?

My first Dreamforce certainly isn’t going to be my last—it was quite a party from the daytime sessions to the nighttime events. Now that we are Salesforce partners, I am convinced that RFPIO should have a dedicated booth next year.

So, yes…I will definitely be back to explore more great sessions and the latest technology Salesforce has to offer.

You had several meetings with prospects. Can you share the importance of personal connections at Dreamforce?

As most sales occur virtually, Dreamforce is the perfect opportunity to meet prospects face-to-face and get to know them on a more personal level. It also gives the prospect an opportunity to know more about you and your company, which opens up conversations about how our tool integrates with Salesforce. The wonderful thing about Dreamforce is that everyone is connected to Salesforce in some way.

Making time at the conference for meetings is key to future opportunities. If every conversation happens remotely, you risk lacking a real connection with your prospects that has the power to deepen the relationship.

dreamforce conference

Britt

Session: #MarTech Demystified: Build Your Small Business Marketing Stack
By: Scott Brinker of Ion Interactive and Chiefmartec.com and Travis Wright of CCP Digital

Why did this session stand out to you?

This session was actually a last-minute addition for me and I was stunned by how jam-packed it was with solid insight. The Q&A led by Capterra’s Director of Marketing, Katie Hollar, was seamless, and both Scott Brinker and Travis Wright peppered plenty of humor throughout to top off a memorable discussion.

Frankly, it was the one session I went to where everyone was truly engaged—which is no easy feat with an audience of easily distracted marketers. It’s safe to say I wasn’t the only one in the room who didn’t want this session to end.

What were the key takeaways?

Beyond marketing technology, Scott and Travis provided learnings that can be applied to any solution purchase. They really stressed the importance of what technology means for individual companies—and how to get the right team and stack in place.

  1. Technology Investment: Use the 90/10 rule. 90% should be spent on teaching your team to understand and maximize the tool. The money invested in the software should be the smallest part of the ratio.
  2. People Investment: Wright warned there can be a deficit in your organization if someone is holding the keys to your castle. Employees will not stay at your company forever, so it’s smart to train multiple people on the tool.
  3. Future-Proof Technologies: As Brinker wisely said about the vendor selection process: “Vet vendors through a lens of optionality. Anticipate transitions. Say: I love you, I hope this lasts forever…but what is the prenuptial here?”

radius dreamforce

Angela

Session: The Network Effect on B2B Data
By: Darian Shirazi of Radius

Why did this session stand out to you?

What really stood out about the Radius session was how direct and valuable it was. Most of the sessions at Dreamforce take an aspirational theme—like exploring predictive analytics to get more accurate or quality leads, or 10 segmentation ideas you haven’t thought of before.

Darian’s discussion was refreshing, because it wasn’t about the shiny objects and tools. It was about the foundation of good data.

What were the key takeaways?

All of the campaigns and tactics are only as good as your data. If the data is bad, nothing will work—and unfortunately, the time and resources your company spent will be a waste of energy.

When you buy a tool, it can take months before you see revenue generation. If your data is in bad shape, it can take even longer. The house has to be in order.

Everybody tries to scale through automation. Think of the efficiencies that could be gained by sales teams if they had a good data set to work with.


dreamforce expo

Thanks for joining us on our Dreamforce journey! Here are some videos if you missed it.

Did you have any conference favorites? We’d love to hear about your experience!

6 must-see sessions at Dreamforce 2016

6 must-see sessions at Dreamforce 2016

Dreamforce 2016 is coming up next week and a few members from the RFPIO team are heading out to San Francisco to soak in some knowledge and connect with the sales community.

In case you’re still planning your Dreamforce attack—or curious about what you’ll be missing—here are six sessions we are looking forward to at this year’s conference to inspire you!


ganesh
Ganesh Shankar, CEO and Co-Founder
Dreamforce Focus: Sales Enablement and Technology

Is this your first time going to Dreamforce?

Yes. We are now a registered Salesforce partner, and we want to strengthen that relationship by showing our support and connecting with the greater sales community at Dreamforce.

What are you most excited about?

I’m a big advocate for improvements in sales operations, so I am most excited to learn about the latest technologies that will help teams become more efficient. The conference is a wonderful opportunity to meet with sales teams in the field dealing with the same inefficiencies as our clients, and explain how RFPIO fits into that ecosystem to support them.

One session I’m looking forward to is:

Quote-to-Cash Kickoff: Introducing CPQ, Contracts, and Orders

I’m looking forward to this session because:

Since this is the next step for companies after they submit RFPs, this is an intriguing session for me to hear how Salesforce is enabling sales teams to work out a truly tough process. We can relate to the pain and headaches that salespeople know every day, and we hope to see some valuable tools release that will improve the overall approach and win rate.

Another session I’m looking forward to is:

Administer and Build Proposals with Lightning and Salesforce CPQ

I’m looking forward to this session because:

I am curious to see how RFPIO can complement these technologies from Salesforce. Presumably they are building the proposal from content they are already using in their RFPs. So this session will shed some light on how they are doing this manually, giving us an opportunity to see how our tool might be able to help through automation.

What do you think the big theme is this year?

Sales enablement continues to be important year after year, with teams from companies of all sizes still battling inefficiencies. Sales needs more tools to help them focus on customer relationships and revenue generation, so they can spend less time worrying about documentation and manual processes—and focus on their primary job responsibility.


britt-skrabanek-rfpio

Britt Skrabanek, Communications Manager
Dreamforce Focus: B2B Content Marketing and SEO

Is this your first time going to Dreamforce?

Yes! I’ve been a consistent player in the B2B content marketing game for going on three years now. I have written post-conference blogs previously for others who have attended, but I’ve never actually been. I’m pretty pumped!

What are you most excited about?

Learning! Yes, I am that nerdy. I’m a champion for sales and marketing alignment, and Dreamforce truly embodies that concept by bringing the business community together to learn from each other in the great city of San Francisco.

One session I’m looking forward to is:

3 Effective Ways to Supercharge Your B2B Social Marketing

I’m looking forward to this session because:

I am not shy to say this…B2B social marketing ain’t easy. There are days when I miss the young me that ran content for a lovable non-profit, because engagement just happened. The business audience can be a tough crowd, and this session promises “not so typical” social media use cases which I’m eager to explore.

Another session I’m looking forward to is:

SEO Wins & Content Marketing Tactics: Turn Your Search Visitors into Customers

I’m looking forward to this session because:

I love how upfront the description for this session is…everybody is creating content nowadays. It’s true, and while I think it’s wonderful to see businesses getting in touch with their creative side, the noise is unmistakable. We spend a lot of time and resources on content, and this session offers actionable SEO tips and accessible conversion tactics to help make an impact—and show it with metrics to back up this monstrosity of an effort.

What do you think the big theme is this year?

Not everyone loves this word as much as I do, but “reinvention” certainly comes to mind. I think it’s crucial for those of us who have been doing content marketing for a while to embrace new ideas and channels to stand out from the crowd.


angela-earl-rfpio
Angela Earl, Senior Director of Marketing
Dreamforce Focus: ABM and Sales and Marketing Alignment

Is this your first time going to Dreamforce?

No, this will be my fourth year at the conference and each year it seems I learn another trick about navigating Dreamforce. I remember my first year—and honestly, even the second—as very overwhelming. One tip to anyone going for the first (or second) time: Look for sessions near each other in 2-hour blocks to keep from wasting time walking the place to place.

What are you most excited about?

All of my previous times at Dreamforce were solo ventures, so I’m excited to be going with a great team this year. Sharing the experience in real-time will be more enjoyable and rewarding for me. Oh, and the U2 concert, of course!

One session I’m looking forward to is:

Debunking the Myths of Account-Based Marketing

I’m looking forward to this session because:

Though it isn’t a new concept, Account-Based Marketing (ABM) can be a very effective strategy for tech companies I work with, but many marketers and sales folks I meet are struggling with getting their technologies to align with this way of thinking. It will be interesting to hear Salesforce’s ABM recommendations.

Another session I’m looking forward to is:

The Power of Data in Sales and Marketing Alignment

I’m looking forward to this session because:

I’m really looking forward to hearing what Akamai Technologies has to say about the power of data. Why? Because data is sexy and I never tire of hearing stories of what others have done. And as a marketing operations nerd at heart, I’m hoping for new ideas or insights to share with sales and marketing teams who continue to struggle with coming together for the greater good of the company.

What do you think the big theme is this year?

Predictive tools are continuing to be a big conversation. But, they require a solid foundation (clean data and well-defined processes) to be effective. This year I’m hoping to see less product pitching, and more shared experiences beyond implementation from those who have been on the journey, to get useful and actionable insights.

 

Are you going to Dreamforce?
We’d love to hear what sessions you are most excited about!

Get the latest stories delivered straight to your inbox

Subscribe to our blog and never miss an important insight again.

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.