Since the business travel sector has become a valuable resource for the hospitality industry, hotels benefit from streamlining their RFP process.
Prospective clients submit request for proposal documentation for two reasons – they intend to book venues and vendors, or aim to gain market insight into prices.
Hotels can turn each into an opportunity. For example, take the time to acknowledge the receipt of every request. Then, file the contact information and use it to cold call during the down seasons.
Most requests come from event planners who work in-house or hired by organizations. They will submit a hotel RFP to book a block of rooms and meeting space.
During the busy seasons, venues receive several requests. Planners know that sought-after locations have limited slots. Others must cast a wide net to find the grounds that meet specific criteria.
Therefore, the request procedure becomes a balancing act between sales and planners and supply and demand.
The following information outlines how hotels can improve the RFP process.
Depending on the property’s size, brand, and location, it might receive hundreds of requests monthly. Taking the time to sort and acknowledge them will take a few hours.
However, it’s an opportunity for the sales team to compile a new database of contact information for the future. After all, your property will experience downtime according to seasonal demand.
Therefore, developing a system for receiving the requests, extracting information, and acknowledging their receipt.
Even large properties can only handle a few clients per day. Thus, consider preparing two types of acknowledgment responses – one for no availability but willing to work with them in the future and another to let the requestor know that the property has availability.
Gauge Sense of Urgency
Sales team members must optimize their time. They also must gauge a prospective client’s sense of urgency.
Planners send out at least three requests per event. They must satisfy their client’s needs, wants, and budgets. Sometimes, their clients like a specific property, but they must also obtain the best price.
Thus, a hotel’s sales team must gauge the sense of urgency per request. The team must avoid chasing a proposal that will not pan out. In the process, they might lose a legitimate request.
Improving the process requires the sales team to develop a system to identify legitimate requests and funnel them through the sales pipeline.
Many industries have adopted customer relationship management software. Then, they set up prompts and reminders that keep leads hot and allow others to taper off.
Check the Calendar
In addition to adopting CRM software, ensure that the calendar always remains updated. It should reflect unavailable dates, spaces, times, and pending requests that might close.
Most weddings took place on Sundays a few decades ago. However, times have changed. In 2022, weddings take place Monday through Sunday as traditions and venue offerings have expanded.
All properties can maximize their revenue by strategically managing their calendars.
Forecast Supply and Demand
An easy way to forecast supply and demand is to incorporate software into operations. It’s also possible to take a look at year-to-date documentation.
No matter what strategy a sales team adopts, look at the past to predict the future.
No one found themselves prepared for the events of 2020 and 2021. However, it’s possible to gauge demand under normal circumstances. In addition, sales teams should remain current on what’s happening in the hospitality industry, their location, and their client’s industries.
For example, San Francisco hosted several conferences, industry events, and training sessions. As the city has deteriorated, so has its demand as a professional destination.
Some clients might need reassurance that their team will have great experiences at your property. Therefore, stay ahead of the curve and have answers ready for frequently asked questions and concerns.
For several years, companies managed departments on excel spreadsheets and paper documentation. In 2022, companies can use software designed for their industries.
When fielding RFPs, the software streamlines the process. Enter the data and scan original documents into the program as necessary.
The goal is to keep every bouncing ball from stopping and catching the ones with the potential to maximize revenue.
More importantly, the sales team will set the tone for outstanding customer experiences.
Hotels of all sizes can keep revenue flowing from RFP requests. The trick is to chase those who will sign on the dotted line and leave a lasting impression on those only seeking information. Although it takes time, acknowledge the receipt of every request. Then, use software to funnel the ones with potential through the sales pipeline.