Reflecting on the 2019 APMP Nor’easters Pursuit Expo | 4 Noteworthy Takeaways for RFP & Proposal Professionals
By Jonathan Covey, Upland Qvidian
The Qvidian team recently attended the 2019 APMP Nor’Easter’s Pursuit Expo in Portsmouth, NH. As I pulled into my driveway after the commute home, I found myself thinking – after chatting with many at the event, it’s clear that the industry is thriving – and needs are evolving at a lightning-fast pace. So to keep up, solutions like Qvidian RFP software are going to be necessary to resolve many of the challenges professionals are facing now and will have to tackle in the future.
Here are a few items from the event that have struck me as noteworthy.
A Surprising Amount of Companies Still Rely on Excel
I get it – spreadsheets are the tried and true, all-serving mechanism, and Excel remains a catch-all for many busy teams who just haven’t yet found a reliable solution for their content. But there are SO many of you out there looking for something better!
Sure, spreadsheets are still workable for some use cases, but today’s proposal process demands more. The ideal proposal automation solution should enable you to house a robust library where content is tagged accurately for ownership, required actions are obvious, version control is accessible, and content is concise and current. With a reliable RFP automation solution in place, your content library can truly be considered the sought-after Single Source of Truth. Can you put that same level of trust into a difficult-to-manage spreadsheet?
These days, projects are managed best within the right proposal automation solution. User-friendly features like drag and drop, autofill, and access to backend analytics will keep your project on track while reducing the time it would take to work manually – we’ve seen customers report improvements of up to 40% – while also improving accuracy and efficiency.
Thought Leadership is Key to Growing the Industry
My colleague and I were at our vendor booth when a woman (not a current customer) stopped by to chat. She was quick to share how much she appreciates Upland Qvidian for the support we provide to the proposal community through our best practices assets, our Thought Leadership webinars, and our blogs and industry articles. She also shared conspiratorily that she receives emails from another proposal automation vendor that (in her words) “hounds” her often.
We know making a sale isn’t about sending a barrage of prospect emails. It’s about being a trusted voice in the industry – throughout their entire RFP journey. For more than 20 years, the team at Qvidian has been committed to sharing best practices to help industry professionals to make the right choice when choosing an automated solution by providing all the necessary information to make the best choice and find the best fit for their needs (even if it isn’t us).
Beyond that, Qvidian’s thought leadership is part of our commitment to being a trusted advisor (product-agnostic) before, during, and after organizations implement a solution. We’re here for the long haul, committed to making the industry better, and in turn, make you more successful – whatever solution you choose to help you along the way.
A Proactive Approach to Proposals is HUGE Right Now
And that means that more companies are taking a deep dive into how automated solutions can help them get ahead of the game. During the event, in one of the automation solutions-focused breakout sessions, attendees who already used an automation solution were asked to raise their hands. Then the question was raised, “who loves their solution?” One individual enthusiastically raised their hand again, citing that their solution helped their team to be less reactive, and more ahead of the game.
There are many RFP automation software solutions out there right now. But after attending APMP Nor’Easters, it’s clear to me that there aren’t many organizations getting the most out of the content they already have. Qvidian helps teams be more proactive by providing a solution that learns which content is most useful for projects and suggesting which content to use.
Having a robust RFP software automation solution ensures you have just the right content at your fingertips – a recipe for crafting relevant, stand-out proposals to share with prospects proactively, rather than tasking already busy teams to scramble to get proposals out the door reactively, which often means their efforts are falling short of competitors who are already in the game.
Existing Upland Qvidian Customers are Committed To Our Solution
A lot of companies say it, and we enthusiastically mean it – we LOVE our customer base. And we are committed to 100% Customer Success (so much so that we’ve built that mantra into everything we do). During the event, we had one enthusiastic Qvidian customer shouting praises from the rafters (well, from the exhibitor floor, but he was shouting!). Several of our eager customer advocates shared:
- They love the reliability and ease of securely accessing Qvidian online anytime.
- With Qvidian, it’s incredibly easy to keep content fresh across multiple teams and to capture and add new answers from RFP and questionnaire responses into the library.
- Analytics provide constant visibility into what’s going on and helps to highlight team accomplishments.
- Best practices, a help center, and a skilled Education Services team make onboarding new team members and business units a breeze.
Back to our very enthused Upland Qvidian customer, Bill Ivanov of Allscripts. While we chatted at our booth, he stated, “I love Qvidian! It is a nice area for document and outcomes and helps to access content quickly and easily, which makes the whole process so much better.”
Speaking on behalf of the whole Qvidian team, we vow to continue working hard to provide leadership within the industry and create solutions to give our customers tools and expertise they need to help them achieve their next big win – into 2020 and beyond. Cheers!
Jonathan Covey is a Business Development Team Lead at Upland Qvidian.