You’ve probably experienced it countless times: the tedious, time-consuming process of creating a proposal and answering the same questions over and over again.
Luckily, this can be a thing of the past because you can now leverage automation in the RFP and proposal process.
As you can imagine, automating parts of the RFP and proposal process saves valuable time you can invest in other important tasks. But that’s not all.
We’ll look at more benefits a modern approach to event and group proposals can have for your hotel and guests.
The rise of automation in the RFP process
Over the past few years, RFP tools for meetings and events have developed by leaps and bounds. This has made it easier for organizers to find potential venue partners and send out RFPs to all of them.
This is great for hotels and venues because they get more RFPs and have more chances to win business. However, it also means more work for the sales teams. After all, someone needs to respond to all those RFPs and create proposals.
It's important to maintain the high quality of your responses despite this increased workload. If you want to win business, your proposals must be detailed, relevant and customized. The best way for hotels and venues to do this at scale is to automate parts of your proposal process.
Automating your proposal process
Let's not kid ourselves. Responding to RFPs and creating proposals can feel repetitive and eat up a lot of your sales team's time. It's an important process, nonetheless.
The good thing is that the systems that automate steps of the proposal process are now better, more impactful and affordable than ever.
How does automation in the event and group proposal process look?
First, we should get clear on what it doesn't mean: you press a button, and the proposal is done. Instead, you use a proposal platform to automate certain repetitive steps. This helps you complete proposals faster and better.
Here are some examples:
Create building blocks you can easily add to proposals as needed: This includes menu or venue options, different service packages and overnight stays for various group sizes. Once you've saved all options in your system, you can add the ones you needin your proposal in just a few clicks.
Provide venue information: Create short digital profiles for each of your venues in your proposal platform. They should include the images, video and the specs of every function space. When you prepare a proposal, all you need to do is add the relevant profiles.
Collect answers to FAQs: Your team probably answers the same questions repeatedly. Collect them all, write up the answers and include them in your proposal. That saves your team and your guest time because there will be less need for emailing back-and-forth.
Manage your follow-up: A modern proposal platform will streamline your follow-up process, so nothing falls through the cracks. The system will show who has viewed your offer, if and which changes were made and whether it's been accepted. This makes it much easier to keep an overview and follow up with your potential guests at the right time.
Benefits of automating your proposal process
The points above showcased examples of how automating your proposal process could look. Now, let's look at how your hotel and your guests can benefit from that.
Automating parts of your proposal process with the right system allows your team to respond to proposals 5-8 times faster. For example, imagine your entire team having access to the same building blocks and being able to add new ones when needed. Then nobody has to lose time sifting through old emails to find a previous offer they need to replicate now.
This increases your chance of winning business since research shows that 75% of RFPs are won by the first five respondents. It also frees up your staff for other important tasks like personalizing offers and cultivating relationships with guests. Finally, you reduce the cost of creating proposals since fewer work hours go into each one.
More consistent service
Using automation helps establish processes and guidelines you can apply to all types and sizes of requests. This takes the guesswork out of putting together a proposal and creates a consistent experience for guests. Especially if you work with repeat clients, they will appreciate this professional approach.
Automation and standard procedures also help when you're onboarding a new team member or someone is on vacation. It's easier for newbies to learn the ropes and for colleagues to monitor accounts while other staff are on leave.
Effortless data collection
Data should be at the heart of your business decisions, e.g., which custom offers to include and which rates to charge. Collect data on which offers do best and monitor overall conversion rates to find out where you can optimize your process. An automated proposal management system will do this for you and give you the insights you need for data-driven decisions.
If you want to improve your proposal process with an automated system, now is the best time to get started.
Yes, implementing a proposal management platform will take some time. But you'll gain it back in multiples once your new system is up and running.
That will open up your sales team for other tasks and allow them to do what they do best: interact with clients instead of spending all their time on writing up proposals.
Get in touch with us now, to learn how we can help you make that happen at your hotel.