Working from home can be both a blessing and a curse for proposal teams. On the one hand, there's no commute (or judgement for wearing sweatpants all day). But on the other, it can be difficult to rally teams to collaborate remotely.
Industry research shows nearly a fifth of proposal managers say collaboration with internal subject matter experts and maintaining project momentum are key challenges for them right now.
While having an efficient Request for Proposal (RFP) process is important, the right tools will also help proposal teams conquer virtual collaboration challenges.
Here’s our recommendations for using Loopio’s RFP software to improve your team’s remote response process.
If you want to see how Loopio automates your RFP response process, check out this 4-minute Product Walkthrough video.
Improve Your Remote Response Process With the Right RFP Software Tools
Build Out Project Timelines & Key Milestones
Outlining a clear timeline is essential to helping your team meet deadlines. Start a new Project, and within a few clicks, you can build a high-level roadmap in a clear calendar view.
Next, add key milestones to your timeline. Many RFP teams use labels like 'First Review' or 'Legal Review’ to ensure they’re on track with deadlines. When adding your final delivery due date, be sure to assign a specific owner to that milestone (and set an automated email reminder just in case).
Assign Dedicated Project Reviews
If you need a Subject Matter Expert (SME) or a member of senior leadership to review your work, simply bring them into Loopio’s streamlined Project Reviews page.
Using this function, you can manage multiple Project Reviews at various stages of the project. Search for another user and set a review that makes sense for your team, ensuring all stakeholders have shared feedback by your deadline. You can also include a message to the reviewer using this tool so they have more context.
Collaborate Live Through Comments
Once you’ve mapped out your project timeline and assign your internal experts, it’s time for your team to start writing RFP responses.
You can use the Live Collaboration function to work with your peers simultaneously without overwriting or duplicating each other’s work. This avoids wasting time messaging back and forth over small details and providing feedback since you’re working directly on the Project together.
Let Team Members Self-Serve
For remote teams that are struggling with unnecessary back and forth questions, Loopio’s Library User Review tool can be incredibly helpful.
It provides any team member with access to the content within your Loopio Library. Teams can self-serve by searching for answers anytime they need them (even while closing a deal on a call). This can also equip team members with marketing-approved answers to sensitive questions around business continuity.
Set-up Integrations With Your Communication Tools
Loopio also integrates with Slack, making communication and collaboration on RFPs even easier for remote teams.
The integration sends a high-level overview of your daily tasks within Loopio directly through Slack. To keep yourself on track, use this integration to see which Library Reviews or Entries you have due soon (and what needs to be done immediately).
Search your Loopio Library directly from Slack by using slash commands. You can filter for the most relevant content, then share it with your team in a direct message or Slack channel.
Access RFP Content Anytime Through Loopio’s Chrome Extension
Using the Chrome Extension, users can access their Loopio Library anytime without ever having to switch tabs (saving you from potential window overload).
You can use the Chrome Extension to:
- Quickly search your Loopio Library to respond to prospect emails, answer support tickets, or complete web-based RFPs.
- Effortlessly kick-off projects by importing questions directly from web-based RFPs, Security Questionnaires, and DDQs into Loopio.
- Seamlessly export completed projects to web-based RFPs, Security Questionnaires, and DDQs.
Keep A Pulse on Remote Workflow Through RFP Metrics & Reporting
See a Full Breakdown of Your Proposal Through the Project Dashboard
Without in-person discussions, many response teams may be looking for a way to get a bird’s eye view of their current projects. This is what Loopio’s Project Dashboard function was made for: taking a Project pulse check.
Try searching your Projects ‘By Participant’ or ‘By Section’ to see a more detailed breakdown of your Project, what you’ve made progress on, and what still requires your attention.
You can also ‘Nudge’ team members through the Project Dashboard, sending them a reminder that they have uncompleted tasks.
Review High-Level RFP Metrics Through Reporting Tools
Once your Project details have been assigned, use Loopio’s Reports to get a clear idea of the trends—including RFP win rate and average completion time. Users can toggle between specific dates to get an even more granular view of how their team is performing.
High-level insights can also help give you clarity on which areas need improvement—and how to better support your team while working remotely.
Measure Success Through Through CRM Integrations
If you don’t yet measure your RFP metrics, now is the time to start. Conveniently, Loopio provides multiple customer relationship management (CRM) integrations, including Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics.
Through dashboards, you can identify which opportunities are directly linked to a Loopio Project, and give visibility to the whole team.
Use this time to update your dashboards and reports with key metrics such as:
- Pipeline with active RFPs
- RFP win rates
- Average number of days spent on RFPs
- Current open opportunities with RFPs
Proactively Review Your Content to Save Time For Your Response Team
Take this opportunity to refresh your RFP content library and set yourself up for future success.
Here are two actionable steps you can start today:
Evaluate and Review Your Content Library
Is there anything you can do to clean up your library content?
If you don’t already organize using Categories, we recommend trying out this feature. It’ll make your content easier to search, so you have more time to focus on building a winning RFP response.
Tip: Do you have a cluttered Library? Use Loopio’s Library Duplicate detection to swiftly review and delete duplicate Entries.
Build Content For Emerging RFP Questions and Trends
You’ll likely see a shift in the type of RFP questions you receive, as topics like risk assessment and business continuity become more prevalent. Use this time to prepare answers and templates to save time and effort.
Templates that may be useful include:
- Statement Of Work
- Security Trust Package
- Business Continuity Plan
- Disaster Recovery
- Proactive Sales Proposal
RFP Tools That Can Improve Your Remote Response Process
If you’re already a Loopio user, reach out to your Customer Success Manager to discuss implementing the tactics you’ve read about today.