Comparison

Best RFP Software: My Personal Experience

Looking for the best RFP software? Read my personal experiences with Loopio, RFPIO, and AutoRFP.ai to streamline your RFP process.

September 4, 2023

Introduction

Navigating the Request for Proposals (RFPs) maze was a cumbersome task, often plagued by inefficiency and a great deal of manual labour. Thankfully, we now live in an era where adopting modern RFP Software can be a game-changer.

I've had personal experiences testing, buying and using platforms including Loopio, RFPIO, and now Co-Founding AutoRFP.ai. Here's why each one has its merits.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are based on my personal experience and do not constitute professional advice. Please conduct your own research before making any decisions.


The Old Way: RFPs and Their Challenges

Back in the day, preparing an RFP was quite an ordeal. Coordinating with multiple departments, manually sifting through previous content, and incessant editing consumed days or weeks. It involved:

  • Collecting insights from Subject Matter Experts (SMEs).

  • Drafting responses and documents from scratch.

  • Coordinating with multiple teams for contributions.

  • Long review processes.

It was evident that we needed something to streamline the process. Today, procurement processes have become more 'strategic' and include requirements from Modern Slavery, GDPR and ESG, not to mention another 10+ acronyms they seem to generate at will. This has ballooned both the volume and complexity of RFPs. It demands a solution.


Modern Solution: RFP Software

Fast forward to today, where several RFP Software solutions promise to take the hassle out of RFP writing. Here's my personal take on AutoRFP.ai, Loopio, and RFPIO. Here, we will compare their key functionality and not in a way that Capterra or G2 would, but from my personal experience.


Table stakes features

When it comes to RFP software, there are some basic functionality that you'd expect any serious player in the market to offer. Loopio, RFPIO and AutoRFP.ai all come with these "table stakes" features, setting a baseline standard in the industry.

  • Centralised Content Repository/Library: All platforms offer a centralised content library, making it easy to store, access, and manage your RFP documents and templates.

  • Collaboration Tools: Multi-user collaboration is a given with all solutions. Team members can simultaneously work on the same RFP, add comments, and make real-time changes.

  • Compliance and Security: All platforms are built to adhere to rigorous security and compliance standards, ensuring your data stays safe and adheres to industry requirements.

  • Project Importer: All solutions provide a way to import new RFPs from formats such as Word and Excel.

These features are often considered the minimum requirements for a competitive RFP software solution today. Therefore, while these functionalities are essential, they aren't necessarily the factors that will tip the scales in favour of one platform over another. The unique features, pricing, and user experience will be your key differentiators.


Loopio: The Library-Centric RFP Software

LoopIO was founded in 2014 in Canada by three founders Jafar Owainati, Zak Hemraj and Matt York.

Sales Process:

My journey began with scheduling a demo through a Canadian Account Executive, who later handed me off to an Account Manager. Both were exceptionally helpful, despite the time zone challenges. We managed to coordinate a few calls for a live system walkthrough.

Though I was eager to fully explore the system, I only had the opportunity to upload a few past responses into a test account. A thorough setup to gauge the system's full capabilities wasn't feasible at this stage.

Before proceeding any further, I was required to settle an annual invoice, as the company does not offer a monthly billing option at the time.

Loopio's Top 3 Competitive Features:

From the demo, the system looked pretty usable, with everything I was expecting from a system. A few things stood out:

  • Magic: Searches and pastes the most relevant content as the response automatically

  • Library Reviews (closing loops): Feedback loops to improve content over time.

  • Custom Export formats: Configure a custom proposal export format.

Loopio’s primary strength is in managing a robust, reusable content library to speed up the RFP process.

Loopio Pricing:

This is private, so it can't be disclosed. It's also not available on their website. They don't currently have any pricing transparency.

Implementing Loopio

At the time, knowing no better, I implemented Loopio. On my first run of 'Magic' after spending hours getting set, I was sorry to see after paying my annual invoice that it was not so 'Magic' after all as it pasted the same piece of content about our Mobile App across ten or so different questions of varying relation.

I also found that the review process seemed to entail me checking every single response in our library every 6 - 12 months, including even our company name.

A lot of this experience is what drove us to build AutoRFP.ai.


RFPIO: The Enterprise Ready RFP Software

RFPIO was founded in 2015 by 3 founders Ganesh Shankar, AJ Sunder and Sankar Lagudu.

Sales Process

In my experience, I dealt with the sales team based in India, who in my opinion, weren't able to give me a comprehensive idea of the solution and how it would fit into my workflow as Loopio. Nor was the demo as tailored as Loopio's. So, I didn't get the best first impression at the time.

Given that I would probably be paying 10,000 USD+, I expected a slightly higher quality and maybe a more region-specific approach.

Although throughout the demo, the software seemed to be solid and was certainly competitive with LoopIO. Honestly, it was hard to tell who had the best software for us, so it came down to the people I met.

RFPIO's Top 3 Competitive Features:

The few things that stood out to me were:

  • Integration Capabilities: RPFIO has a ton of integrations with CRMs and Cloud Storage solutions.

  • Reporting: RFPIO also seemed to have very comprehensive reporting capabilities.

  • Usability: I would say that RFPIO's new UI has fewer clicks required for common tasks than LoopIO, and it's easier to see multiple requirements simultaneously. Again, an opinion based on the design of each interface.

Based on this, I assumed that RFPIO was probably a better fit for mega enterprises with extremely high volumes of RFPs and that it may not be a fit for me and my team then.

RFPIO Pricing

This is private, so it can't be disclosed. It's also not available on their website. They don't currently have any pricing transparency.


AutoRFP.ai: The AI-Driven RFP Software

AutoRFP.ai was built from the ground up to leverage AI for automated responses nearly ten years after RFPIO and LoopIO were developed.

Sales Process

We provide a thorough 30-minute demo to walk you through all our product features. After the demo, you can opt for a one-month Proof of Concept on our most affordable plan, free to cancel any time.

Given our confidence in both our solution and its pricing, we maintain full transparency and offer a hands-on experience with our product.

AutoRFP.ai Top 3 Competitive Features:

Customers choose AutoRFP.ai for a host of different reasons but some of the key ones are:

  • AI-Powered Response Engine: Generate draft responses within seconds.

  • Intelligent Reviewer: 0-100 scores and actionable feedback on your responses.

  • AI Tools: A suite of AI RFP tools to assist with providing a winning response.

AutoRFP.ai provides a complete AI RFP Platform that benefits companies by reducing response times and increasing win rates.

AutoRFP.ai Pricing

Unlike RFPIO and Loopio, our pricing is transparent and, as far as we know, is the most affordable solution of them all.

What would usually cost 10,000+ USD in a comparable solution is just $1,200 USD with AutoRFP.ai.


Picking Your Winner

Deciding on the best RFP software comes down to your specific needs, in my mind:

  1. AutoRFP.ai is a top pick for those who want AI-driven innovation across the RFP process and want more than just a software solution.

  2. Loopio is ideal if you’re grappling with content management and want to take a centralised, review-based approach.

  3. RFPIO is versatile and suitable for various proposals, particularly for large organisations.


Closing Thoughts

While all three platforms offer excellent features, my personal experiences highlight the value of AI in AutoRFP.ai, the content management prowess of Loopio, and the versatility of RFPIO.

If you have any questions, don't hesitate to reach out!

No matter your choice, upgrading to modern RFP software is a win-win situation.

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