How can entrepreneurs see rapid growth with their SaaS company? By building a strong product.
Ganesh Shankar was invited once again to chat with EPN (Entrepreneur Podcast Network) in a growth-focused podcast interview for entrepreneurs. Back in October, we discussed the importance of using RFP automation to enable sales teams. This time, it’s all about realizing growth through the power of your SaaS product.
Q: Can you tell our audience what RFPIO is all about?
A: RFPIO is an industry-leading cloud application, helping companies respond to RFPs, RFIs, security questionnaires, and unsolicited proposals. We help companies who are responding to these types of documents to manage the content, and to seamlessly collaborate internally with different departments.
Q: I was recently on G2 Crowd and noticed that you guys are the #1 product in the proposal management category for mid-market companies. How were you able to achieve this level of success in such a short period of time?
A: We’ve been rated as the leading mid-market software because a lot of our customers are in that segment. It is purely based on customer reviews. G2 Crowd does a wonderful job rating these different technologies. The approach we took to solve the RFP response process has helped us stand out from other solutions in the market.
We have unique and easy-to-use features that are our secret sauce. We have a patent pending for importing and exporting documents easily. This is our key success mantra, and it helped us to achieve this level of success so soon in the market.
Q: What kind of benefits are RFPIO’s clients experiencing?
A: There are a wide variety of benefits, but the time and cost savings is one of the biggest benefits. We have created an ROI calculator, based on our customer’s feedback, to show how much time and money you can save with RFPIO. Our customers are most excited about being allowed the opportunity cost savings benefit.
With this time-savings, our customers are now responding to more proposals, which means more revenue for them. As a whole community, we are all growing. The second benefit is that the application is geared toward collaboration. It’s designed to encourage inter-departmental collaboration necessary for RFP responses.
People aren’t hunting for information anymore as they have it accessible in RFPIO’s Content Library. And they have a much easier way to collaborate with their peers and SMEs.
Curious about how much RFP software can save you?
Q: Being an executive of a SaaS company, on a daily basis what are the key metrics you track?
A: There are a few key metrics to track as a SaaS solution serving enterprise organizations. The metric I track is the traffic usage that is coming into our application. Are the customers using the tool on a regular basis? If the customer goes silent for more than 20 days, we need to find out why. Maybe they need more training from us?
We look at this traffic to take measures to go back to the user and see how we can help them adapt better to the application. So far, we have more than 80% of companies coming into the platform regularly—and we are very pleased with what we have achieved so far.
Q: Why are strong RFP responses critical for organizations today?
A: RFPs are a means of generating income for companies. Most of our customers who respond to RFPs rely heavily on this type of documentation to source new business or upsell to their existing customers. This is the process that is going to reflect the messaging and image of the company. Having a nicely prepared RFP response will show professionalism.
RFP responses have to be thoughtful, consistent, and up-to-date. In an ever-changing environment, this is very important. Today they might have product-related information that changes with every update. A financial institution will need to change information if the number of branches increases.
Having RFP software like RFPIO helps businesses centralize and manage their content. And, the customer will take notice that you put the best effort in to make the RFP a success.
Q: Any helpful tips you can share for other entrepreneurs building a SaaS product?
A: When we started RFPIO, we listened to a lot of advice. But there are two approaches: launch app and iterate. Go to market as quick as possible and get the customer feedback, then iterate the product as you go along.
When you are new to a young market, you can come quickly and get feedback. This logic may not work for existing solutions. In that case, the feature set you are launching should be top-notch. You can’t come up with a half-baked solution then iterate. When you’re building a product, decide which of these categories you fall into so you can start from the right place.