2019 was a big year for the response management field—for those on the frontlines handling proposals to the organizations supporting the industry.
From technology innovations, a heightened focus on security, and exciting new research, there is a lot for proposal teams to be aware of going into 2020.
In this article, we're sharing our take on 2019 as an RFP response software provider, including some changes Loopio has contributed to the field.
New RFP Software Innovations & Features
In 2019, Loopio’s product enhancements focused on improving RFP project management. We introduced several features that help teams better harness their collective knowledge and collaborate more effectively on RFPs—even if it’s on a tight timeline.
1. Enhanced RFP Answer Library Access
We launched several features designed to help your entire organization get more mileage out of your response content—and bring more visibility to the work that proposal and security teams do.
First, we introduced Library Users, a user type that gives on-demand access to the content inside your Loopio Library. This way, anyone can leverage intel from your curated Library to confidently answer questions and quickly find the right information—all while staying on brand.
We also launched our Slack Integration so your organization can quickly access Loopio content in places they’re already working in. Team members can search for Library answers directly from Slack, and receive a daily digest of assigned tasks, so you’ll never miss an RFP deadline again.
Whether you’re a sales team looking to improve team confidence and win more deals, or a customer-facing team who needs access to the latest product information, this on-demand access to your Loopio Library can be a gamechanger in 2020.
2. More Time-Saving RFP Automation
We designed several updates to help Loopio users save time on formatting, uploading, and downloading RFPs. This way, they can focus on crafting higher-quality responses.
Our Chrome Extension makes tackling RFPs and Security Questionnaires hosted on web portals easier. Now, users can quickly import an RFP from a web portal into Loopio, and export it back to the portal once it’s complete—no more manual copying and pasting while flipping between tabs required.
Our Export Themes enhancements also make delivering well-designed responses simpler. New customization options for styling and formatting means your submissions can match your branding and help your proposals stand out.
3. Improved RFP Library Searches and Intel
Our research shows that the biggest challenge people face in the response process is finding the best or most accurate content for their projects. Helping our customers manage their content more intelligently has always been a focus for Loopio, and in 2019, we doubled down and delivered some powerful improvements.
First, we optimized our RFP automation tool, Magic. Users can now select the specific Stack, Category, or Tag to run Magic against, which improves the likelihood that it finds the best answer content.
We also made searching your Library for content a faster process by introducing the ability to filter results by Tags. Now, you can use Tags to quickly find relevant answers—without having to create new Categories or Stacks.
Enhanced Project Reports now surface five key metrics that highlight how your team is using Loopio. These reports are generated by Project Type and Time Frame to help you identify trends and see which content areas to focus your maintenance efforts on.
You can stay up-to-date with new features and enhancements in our Help Center.
New Research and Benchmarks for Response Management Process Performance
In 2019, we conducted a 500-company survey on the state of RFP management. The resulting report covers performance benchmarks (including ones specific to industry type and company size) and tactics the top-performing teams use to win more RFPs. It also dives into the top challenges companies face in the response process and gives an outlook for 2020 response trends.
Some key trends we uncovered are:
- For most (63%) of respondents, the number of RFPs they respond to will rise in 2020.
- High performers tend to take longer to respond to RFPs and have more team members involved in the response process—meaning collaboration is integral to improving outcomes.
- Executives and associates don’t know it, but they aren’t aligned around metrics, performance, or ways to improve the RFP process.
- Companies with RFP software respond to more RFPs than average and tend to rate their tools as being more effective than those without an RFP tool.
Download the entire report to see how your process stacks up.
Loopicon Brought The Industry Together To Push RFP Management Field Forward
In 2019, Loopio launched a new conference for response management professionals, called Loopicon. This event brought over 150 leaders from multiple industries together to share insights and explore new ways to level up the response process. Read a review of our top Loopicon learnings.
Response Management Outlook for 2020
So, what trends can we expect to see play out in the proposal management space this year?
Well, as the number of RFP submissions grows (as our research suggests it will), so will the need to improve and speed up the response process.
To support this industry-wide trend, Loopio is continuing to focus on empowering teams to work faster together in the following ways:
1. An Even Smarter Platform
Toward the end of 2019, our Product team received a grant to establish an in-house team focused on Machine Learning. This funding will help us explore ways to add new Artificial Intelligence capabilities to our platform that will improve the response process and our user’s overall experience. Keep an eye out for potential improvements to our search algorithm, content maintenance automation, and more in 2020.
2. A New Project Workspace
This year, we’re committed to making our already easy-to-use platform even more intuitive. Thanks to the feedback from our users, we’ve redesigned the Project Workspace. This update will help you and your team focus on your work, move faster, and collaborate more seamlessly.
You can look forward to trying out all the exciting enhancements to the Project Workspace in the coming weeks. (If you’d like to get your hands on it sooner, let your CSM know.)
3. The Return of Loopicon
We’re excited to announce that Loopicon is returning to Toronto in September of 2020. Get early bird tickets now!
We can’t wait to reunite with the trailblazers who made Loopicon 2019 an educational, boundary-pushing event—especially our amazing customers and speakers who brought their passion and vision to the programming this past year.
We want to close this post with a big thank you to the customers and partners who worked with us in 2019. We couldn’t have accomplished this without your support. Here’s to a great 2020! 🥂