Founded in 1994, Technolutions provides a comprehensive customer relationship management (CRM) solution to higher education institutions. To attract new partners, the company leverages a non-traditional sales process.
“We don’t have a sales department,” said Laura Gardner, Chief of Staff at Technolutions. “Our CEO is still actively involved in working with prospective partners. It’s great because if you want to purchase the software, you get to talk to the person who founded the company and who’s still doing a lot of development.”
When responding to requests for proposals (RFPs), an internal team supports the CEO’s sales efforts.
“We get between 65 and 75 RFPs on average per year,” Laura said. “The people who work on proposals also have other responsibilities.”
Until recently, Technolutions managed this process using time-consuming, manual processes and workflows.
“We were using a combination of different platforms and systems — spreadsheets and Word documents,” Laura explained.
Technolutions wasn’t looking for an RFP management solution, but RFP360 fell in their lap.
“We responded to an RFP from one of our now current partners who was using RFP360 as a buyer to collect and evaluate submissions,” Laura said. “Before that, I wasn’t aware this kind of solution existed.”
Based on that experience, she was willing to investigate how the technology could benefit her organization.
“I got a call from RFP360, and they showed us how we could use the software, not as the purchaser but as the vendor,” Laura said. “After doing some due diligence and looking at competitors, we realized it would really help our process.”
As the only full-circle RFP management solution that serves both issuers and responders, RFP360 had exactly the capabilities Laura and her team were looking for.
“We liked RFP360 because it had the combination of functionality we needed,” she said. “It seemed like some of the competitors focused on producing collateral and proposals as a standalone, rather than as a response to an RFP.”
Now that Technolutions uses RFP360, they enjoy a much more efficient RFP response process that empowers them to create more effective proposals.
“RFP360 gave us a big leg up,” Laura said. “It revolutionized the way writers interact with RFPs.”
Because members of Technolutions’ RFP team wear many hats, it’s important that crafting proposals doesn’t distract from their other responsibilities. RFP360 offers the time-savings they need to ensure that doesn’t happen.
“We have a proposal writer on staff, but even she has other important responsibilities,” Laura said. “RFP360 helps her and the rest of the team quickly craft effective proposals so they can get back to their other work knowing Technolutions is well positioned with our prospective partners.”
How does RFP360 save time? By providing a Knowledge Base of easy-to-update proposal content they can use to get a head- start on RFP responses.
“Everyone — not just the writers, but also our subject matter experts — can update content in one place,” Laura said.
The Knowledge Base also makes it easy to find the right content when it’s needed.
“My favorite feature is how you can go into the questions and type something in the search box, and it will suggest answers,” Laura said.
This is particularly important during times when Technolutions receives a higher volume of RFPs than usual — a relatively common occurrence.
“RFP360 has really helped us handle dramatic influxes,” Laura said. “For example, at one point last year, we had 12 RFPs due in one month, and we were able to submit responses to all of them. Universities often ask the same questions, so having the Knowledge Base suggest answers allows us to rapidly respond when we have workload spikes like that.”
The Knowledge Base also empowers increased transparency so proposal writers can determine who to go to for more information when they need clarity on updated proposal content.
“It’s nice that it lets us keep an eye on who’s doing what,” Laura said. “Before, we would have to dig pretty deep into the responses and people’s work files to see who answered what, but now, we can look through all the previous versions to see who’s changed what. I think that’s helpful to our writers.”
In addition to time-saving technology, RFP360’s responsive customer service team also gives Laura confidence that she and her team can submit proposals on time.
“We’re almost always working toward a deadline. These responses are all very time-sensitive,” she explained. “So, I appreciate RFP360’s responsiveness whenever we have a question or need some help.”