RFPIO’s cloud-based RFP software is a response management solution that eliminates the friction often associated with responding to Request for Proposals (RFPs). Through a no-nonsense set-up, simple and intuitive user interface, and robust integrations with Salesforce and Slack, RFPIO’s response automation technology empowers customers with a streamlined process, so they can focus on what matters most for their business. Below is our interview with Ganesh Shankar, CEO and Co-Founder of RFPIO:
Q: Describe the problem your business is looking to solve and explain how you are solving it?
A: Responding to requests for proposals is one of the most important tasks at many companies, as it represents the opportunity to win new business and generate revenue. However, for the people responsible for completing the proposal, the RFP response experience is frequently frustrating, tedious, and time-consuming.
RFPIO’s software helps businesses effectively manage the proposal process by automating repetitive tasks and improving efficiency through simplified team collaboration. On average our clients have reported saving 30-40% on their RFP response time, and some have cut that time in half.
Q: What’s the best thing about RFPIO that people might not know about?
A: The foundation of RFPIO was built on the shared experience the three co-founders had with RFP response. As a product manager, I was spending nearly 30% of my time just responding to RFPs, so I knew the redundancies and hardships firsthand. That struggle was the driving force behind the creation of our RFP software.
Although we had experience working on RFPs, we didn’t make any assumptions while developing the product. We built a prototype, then validated it by testing with a sample of users. We understood how important it was to get the product into their hands and receive feedback. This helped us create a product that truly put the user first—and set the stage for the positive responses we continually hear from our clients today.
Q: Could you explain the most prominent advantages of your cloud-based RFP automation software?
A: Manual RFP responses are time-consuming tasks that happen cross-departmentally among teams. Salespeople are being pulled away from selling to answer repetitive questions. Proposal managers are racing against short deadlines, struggling with inefficient tracking when assigning portions of the RFPs to SMEs (Subject Matter Experts). Quality suffers as a result—and with an average close rate of 5%, an RFP response that is hastily constructed can lessen the already slim chance of closing a deal.
For example, if a company responds to 50 RFPs each year, and it takes 60 man-hours on average to complete an RFP response, that means the company spends 3,000 hours per year responding to RFPs. If RFPIO can decrease proposal creation time by 30%, the company will gain 900 hours of increased capacity per year.
This additional capacity can be used to help the proposal team “do more with less.” The team will have more time to improve the quality of each proposal, resulting in higher win rates. The additional capacity can also be used to respond to an increased volume of RFPs.
Q: What geographic markets are you focusing on currently?
A: We are fortunate to be in the middle of Portland’s thriving tech community, which is very welcoming to the latest innovations in business solutions. Thanks to this strong local support, our client base started in the Portland area before expanding across the country.
We serve organizations of all sizes and industries that have more than person responsible for any portion of RFP response. So really, the sky’s the limit.
Q: What’s the achievement RFPIO is most proud of?
A: Having experienced the stress that comes with responding to RFPs, being able to alleviate that pain for our clients makes us very proud.
Today there is no shortage of SaaS applications promising to benefit businesses. Often clients tell us how pleased they are with the accessibility of RFPIO, as they don’t have to devote unnecessary hours to training their team. Taking ramp-up time out of the equation allows them to execute and see immediate results.
Hearing the many stories about how the tool positively impacts our clients—the relief over saving time, the excitement to be able to reach bigger milestones—helps us see that we are making good on our promise.
Q: What are your plans for the next 12 months?
A: Over the next 12 months, RFPIO will continue helping sales teams be more effective by providing insights that will help them make sound business decisions.
As our client base grows, our team will grow to support their needs. Our team works together cross-culturally from our offices in Beaverton, Oregon and Coimbatore, India, and we will continue promoting a healthy team culture to recruit and retain top talent.
Q: Are there any challenges or roadblocks that you have overcome that could help other businesses with their success?
A: Start with a strong product and a very clear message. As RFPIO experiences rapid growth, our product has been a solid foundation. That has been a differentiator for us with competition for sales, as well as investment.
And, the importance of networking within the community can never be stressed enough. Especially in the tech-driven world we live in today, any startup or small business can benefit greatly from connecting face to face with others who might become advocates or even clients for their business.Activate Social Media: