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.”
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.”
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.”
Read about how PerfectMind improved response times with Salesforce integration.