Loopio vs. Responsive:

Proposal Software Comparison

Date Published: April 30, 2024

Author: Rebecca Swabey, P.Eng.

As an Environmental Engineer in the Civil Consulting Engineering industry, I have a ton of experience writing proposals including Request for Proposal (RFP) responses. These range from short letter proposals for private clients to massive RFP responses that span dozens of pages. Regardless of the client or the type of response, one thing remains true: errors can be costly.

I’m not just referring to obvious errors, like as omitting a mandatory form or exceeding a specified page limit—mistakes that lead to automatic disqualification. There are subtler errors that can also jeopardize your chances. One common mistake is submitting a response that fails to compellingly articulate why your firm is the best choice for the project (a strong narrative). Often, the lead on a proposal may deeply understand the client’s needs, reading between the lines of the RFP. However, with contributions coming from various team members—from engineers to principals—the central narrative can become obscured in the rush to meet submission deadlines.

When I worked on proposals, we did not use specialized software. Instead, assembling relevant content was often a matter of memory, typically involving senior team members recalling which projects to reference. This process usually resulted in multiple versions of a document being circulated via email and stored on various desktops, miraculously coming together at the last moment.

However, with the advent of AI and large language models (LLMs), the landscape has shifted dramatically. It now seems incredibly inefficient not to utilize AI in the proposal process. Leveraging AI tools is a no-brainer, though it comes with one significant caveat: security. It’s crucial to ensure that our most valuable assets, such as intellectual property, are protected as we incorporate these new, AI-powered tools.

This article will explore the security concerns and other factors to consider when evaluating proposal/RFP response software, comparing two tools: Loopio and Responsive.


Customers: Service Providers, primarily in the Software, Healthcare, and Financial Service Industry. Loopio’s clients include Intercom (Software), Blue Cross (Healthcare), American Express (Financial), IBM (Software), and Mackenzie Investments (Financial)

Customers: Sales teams of service providers, primarily in the Technology, Healthcare, and Finance Industries. Clients include Accruent (Technology), Crownpeak (Technology), Express Scripts (Healthcare), Microsoft (Technology), and Western Union (Finance)

AI-Enabled Features

Loopio vs. Responsive on AI-Enabled Features

Loopio Responsive
AI Auto Answer Responses ✔️ ✔️
AI to Summarize Information ✔️
Smart Content Library ✔️ ✔️
AI Enabled to generate outline based on RFP
Name of AI feature Magic Responsive AI Assistant

Why AI-Enabled Features?

When it comes to proposals and RFP responses, AI is a total game changer. Imagine, 10 years ago, a solution design to find relevant content from a company’s library of materials involved a lot of manual effort—tagging content, curating the library, and writing precise scripts to retrieve specific pieces of information. Search capabilities were limited, and organizing information was a constant challenge.

Today, Modern AI systems use natural language processing to understand and interpret the content’s context and semantics directly. This allows for dynamic categorization and sophisticated search functionalities that adapt over time, learning from user interactions to refine results and recommendations.

As a result, AI not only enhances discoverability of content but also significantly streamlines the organizational processes, making content management more efficient and less reliant on manual processes.

What Does this Mean for Proposals?

In short, leveraging AI on proposals and RFP responses means that the work that is typically spent searching for relevant content, summarizing background documents and requirements goes down to virtually zero!

Imagine the time savings! For the consulting engineers reading, you know how valuable billable time is and how too much time spent on proposal preparation can cost you.

What Should I look for When Considering AI-Enabled Features?

It depends! Every industry tends to have different workflows for proposal creation. We recommend mapping out your typical tasks on a matrix, in terms of time vs. complexity (example below).

Once you have everything mapped out, consider, how much are various tasks costing your organization? For example, is it worth it to have billable consulting engineers working on tasks that require a lot of time, and are low complexity (such as digging through folders to find content)? Probably not! Once you have a sense of what kinds of tasks you would like to streamline, check out the features that would make your life easier. Above, we compare Loopio to Responsive on AI-Enabled features.

Civil Engineering and AI-Enabled Features

More so than in any other industry, the preparation of civil engineering proposals poses a substantial risk to billable time. The extensive requirements of the project approach and work plan demand significant input from technical staff like engineers, often taking days or weeks to complete.

We built Equator LDI specifically for civil engineering consultants, to address these issues, leveraging the latest AI-technology.


Loopio vs. Responsive on Security

Loopio Responsive
Secure Encryption ✔️ ✔️
SOC 2 Type II compliant ✔️ ✔️
GDPR compliant ✔️ ✔️
CCPA compliant ✔️ ✔️
Hosted in a private cloud or on private server

What matters when it comes to security?

When comparing security features, consider the following categories:

  1. Access Control: Ensuring that only authorized users can access and interact with the proposal software is critical. Inadequate access controls can lead to unauthorized viewing, editing, or deletion of sensitive proposal documents.
  2. Data Breaches: The risk of unauthorized access to sensitive information contained within proposals, such as financial data, intellectual property, and client information, is a primary concern. Data breaches can occur due to hacking, malware, or insider threats.
  3. Data Integrity: Maintaining the accuracy and consistency of data throughout its lifecycle is crucial. Threats to data integrity include unauthorized data alteration and corruption due to software flaws or malicious attacks.
  4. Data Loss: The potential for data to be lost due to system failures, accidental deletions, or catastrophic events requires robust data backup and recovery procedures to be in place.
  5. Compliance Issues: Proposal software must comply with relevant legal, regulatory, and industry standards regarding data protection, such as GDPR, HIPAA, or industry-specific guidelines. Failure to comply can lead to legal penalties and damage to reputation.
  6. Intellectual Property Security: Protecting the unique proprietary data, content and innovative techniques used in proposal software from theft, reverse engineering, or unauthorized exposure.

Civil Engineering and Security Features

Your team, your proposals, and your technical approaches are not just integral to your business, they are your business! We recognize the importance of protecting these valuable assets when it comes to generating proposal responses.

We built Equator LDI specifically for civil engineering consultants, to address issues related to data security, and protecting intellectual property.

API and Integrations

Loopio vs. Responsive on API and Integrations

Loopio Responsive
API Enabled to integrate with CRM software ✔️ ✔️
API Enabled to integrate with communication software ✔️ ✔️
API Enabled to integrate with cloud storage ✔️ ✔️
API Enabled to integrate with SSO software ✔️ ✔️
API Enabled to integrate with productivity software ✔️

Why do integrations matter?

If there is a data source that would improve your ability to create winning responses, then you probably care about integrations! For example, historic cost data from your project tracking software, or client data from a CRM.

Some firms do not need or care about extra integrations, and that’s fine too. In this case, be careful when reviewing proposal software options to ensure you are not paying for features you don’t need and won’t use!

Civil Engineering and Integrations

Most existing proposal software on the market is packed with integrations that offer little value to civil engineering firms. We understand the importance of cost-effectiveness in the civil sector, and paying for unnecessary features and integrations is unacceptable.

We built Equator LDI specifically for civil engineering consultants, ensuring it is the most cost-effective solution available.

Onboarding and Support

Loopio vs. Responsive on Collaboration

Loopio Responsive
Concurrent Editing ✔️ ✔️
Non-subscription holders can comment or provide responses ✔️
Non-subscription holders can view only
PM tools to assign roles and responsibilities within platform ✔️ ✔️

How to compare onboarding and support

An excellent onboarding and support system meets customers where they are, seamlessly integrating into their solutions and workflows. This ensures that help is readily available without the need to scramble when assistance is required.

To assess the onboarding and support for the solution you are evaluating, consider the following questions:

  1. How easy is the software to use?
  2. Can users easily self-educate and upskill using the software?
  3. Do you want your team to have to attend in-person onboarding or have the option to onboard asynchronously?
  4. When issues arise, is the support documentation clear and easy to navigate?
  5. When is your team typically working on proposals, and when might they need support when stuck?
  6. Does the onboarding and support team bring industry-specific experience and value to the discussion?
  7. Do you want a dedicated account manager to be your team’s consistent point of contact?

Once you have mapped out your wish list from an onboarding and support perspective, check out the comparison between Loopio and Responsive above.

Civil Engineering and Onboarding and Support

Engineers are busy and shouldn’t have to endure hours of onboarding and support calls. We believe a well-designed product should be intuitive and usable without the need for human intervention.

At the same time, we view ourselves as an extension of your team and aim to add value wherever we can, while building a relationship with your firm.

With Equator LDI, you have the choice to self-educate or speak directly to one of our proposal experts, whom you’ll know by name!

Trials and Pricing

Loopio vs. Responsive on Pricing

Loopio Responsive
Free Trial
Various Pricing Plans based on Usage ✔️
Pricing plan is per user ✔️
Pricing plan is per team ✔️

How to compare trials and pricing?

Pricing plans should align with the value that the customer derives from the product. There are various ways to price proposal software, including per user, per team, or based on the number of proposals. Comparing these can be like comparing apples to oranges, so it’s crucial to establish a common baseline for comparison.

Consider how your organization will actually use the software once fully operational. Evaluate the costs based on the number of users or the estimated number of proposals you expect to handle, and the expected return on investment given the benefits promised.

A good trial provides just enough exposure to the product and its results to help you understand how the benefits will manifest in your organization and what the likely return on investment will be.

Civil Engineering and Trials and Pricing

We believe that pricing should be 100% aligned with the value your civil organization experiences. That’s why we have established pricing based on the actual number of proposals generated with the software rather than the number of users, which can vary dramatically depending on the season and type of proposal.

With Equator LDI, your organization can participate in a paid trial of the software on a single proposal before committing to a full deployment. If you are not satisfied with the results of your paid trial, you won’t be charged a penny!