Professional services companies know that not all RFPs are created equally. Each proposal you send out to prospects needs to be tailored to that company’s needs—which means no two RFPs you send out are going to be exactly the same.
That’s why “customizability” was top of mind when Cristina Ethridge, proposal manager at Beacon Hill Staffing Group, set out to find the right RFP response software.
Without RFP software, there wasn’t enough time for RFPs
Before RFPIO, all of Beacon Hill’s RFP-related content was stored in—or rather, scattered across—old RFPs and massive spreadsheets. Responding to RFPs entailed a long search through several different documents to find appropriate answers.
Because RFPs are reactive by nature, salespeople could rarely fit these time-consuming tasks into their day-to-day schedules. Instead, they’d work nights and weekends in order to get RFPs in on time. If salespeople couldn’t find the answer they needed, they would often bombard subject matter experts (SMEs) with urgent, last-minute requests—who then had to drop everything to pull together answers before the deadline.
If that weren’t enough, there wasn’t a solid review process in place for making sure RFP content was accurate and up-to-date. Even if salespeople could find the answers they needed, there was no guarantee that these answers were the most accurate.
The result of these problems was two-fold. First, both salespeople and SMEs were overwhelmed and overworked in their RFP responsibilities. Second, the RFPs they submitted weren’t up to Beacon Hill’s standards.
Cristina knew that her team was capable of submitting high-quality RFP responses. The biggest thing standing in their way was time (or, more accurately, lack thereof). This kicked off her search for an RFP response software.
At Beacon Hill, customization is the name of the game
After a long search, Cristina decided to move forward with RFPIO, mostly because she knew the high level of functionality would accommodate every RFP that came across her desk. “Just because I knew all the wacky set-ups that I could expect, I wanted something that had a lot of customization features so that I could actually use the tool for proposal automation.”
The staffing industry, like most professional services industries, is all about customization. Each client gets a completely unique proposal. That’s why RFPIO works so well for Beacon Hill — because it is extremely customizable and includes many unique features.
Cristina also loves that RFPIO supports both images and graphics on its platform, since her team submits a lot of RFP responses that are both text- and graphic-based. Even with added graphics, the export process is quite straightforward. All she has to do is make a few formatting tweaks to the final copy and it’s ready to send off to the prospect.
Using technology to improve content accuracy
After implementing RFPIO, Cristina populated their answer library with company content. Not only does this mean that all company content is stored in one place, but they’ve also been able to put all their content through a moderation cycle.
Before any answer can be added to the answer library, a moderator has to review and approve the answer. And subject matter experts conduct an audit once a year — just to make sure all their content remains true a year later.
Cristina appreciates the peace of mind an updated content library brings, “It’s good to know that when you’re going through and using the recommended answers in RFPIO, you can be sure that the answers you’re using are accurate and up-to-date.”
But, Cristina thinks one of the best things about RFPIO is that it’s constantly updated based on user feedback.
“I remember scrolling through the help center, ‘liking’ another user’s suggestion, and then seeing it implemented in the tool a few weeks later. I’ve never seen another company really listen to customer requests and ideas—and then act on them so quickly.”