Proposales saves us up to 25,000 hours a year on creating and editing proposals. This helps us boost our guest experience as well as our bottom line.
Vice President Sales
Strawberry Hotels (formerly known as Nordic Choice Hotels) is one of the largest hotel groups based in the Nordic region with over 200 properties in the Nordic and Baltic countries. The company offers the budget-oriented Comfort Hotel, the mid-scale Quality Hotel, as well as the upscale Clarion Hotel and Clarion Collection chains. On top of this, Strawberry Hotels also operates 34 independent hotels and the long-stay brand, Strawberry Living. Around the world, the group is known for its forward-thinking approach to design, technology and sustainability.
Recently we met Anant Vithlani, Vice President Sales at Strawberry Hotels, at the beautiful Clarion Hotel Sign in downtown Stockholm. He shared with us how sales teams at Strawberry Hotels properties have been using Proposales to streamline their workflow and improve the guest experience from the first interaction. We also learned how much time the entire sales team now saves on creating customized, branded proposals and which new opportunities this brings.
Streamlined sales process and more efficient workflow
In the past, we created proposals in Microsoft Word and sent them to clients as PDFs. This was a very time-consuming process, especially when the team created offers for large events or groups. It also took long to make changes requested by clients as this often involved redesigning the entire document. We felt this process was costing us business opportunities because it slowed down our response time especially during busy periods. That’s why we began looking for a faster and more elegant solution.
When we came across Proposales, the intuitive interface and web-based proposal system immediately convinced us. Now, our sales team can use the drag and drop modules to build customized offers for clients in a fraction of the time it used to take.
On average, Proposales saves us 5-15 minutes per proposal. Given that we send around 100,000 offers group-wide in a normal year, this adds up to 500,000-1.59 million minutes (roughly 8,300-25,000 hours) saved in twelve months. We reinvest this time in follow-up and building relationships with clients which has helped us improve our customer experience and our hit rate.
Proposales’ intuitive and module-based system allows us to create perfectly branded proposals in minutes. Now, we save between 5-15 minutes per offer which adds up to 500,000-1.5 million minutes saved in an average year.
Increased conversion rates through faster response times
Research has shown that being the first to respond to an RFP drastically increases your chance of getting the business. It also makes your offer stand out to potential clients, who often use the first proposal they receive as a benchmark for their decision-making. Thanks to Proposales, we’ve been able to take advantage of this because we can put our offers together so much more quickly now.
The faster response time goes beyond the initial RFP though. When potential clients request changes, we can update the offer in minutes and get back to them almost immediately. This, as well as the practical e-signature, makes the entire process much easier for our customers as well. Now, they no longer have to print, manually sign, scan and email the contract, which makes working with us feel effortless.
Proposales has made the RFP process so smooth for us and our clients. Since most manual steps have been eliminated, we can respond to clients more promptly than ever. And they do the same – once, a client accepted our offer within only 27 seconds.
Helpful analytics improve the follow-up process
Proposales provides valuable analytics about how our potential clients interact with our offers which makes our work even more efficient. For example, we get pinged when recipients open and view a proposal. We can see how much time people spend reviewing the offer and if they make any changes to it. This allows us to time our follow-up communication well and to directly address our clients’ requests.
Our data also shows which deals have the highest profitability and would therefore have the biggest impact on our P&L. Knowing this, we can better prioritize our work and increase our hit rate among high-profile offers.
Finally, Proposales sends us a notification three days before proposals expire. This gives us one more chance to follow up with our potential clients and see if there’s something we can do to make our offer more attractive and win them over.
Thanks to the vast amount of time Proposales saves us on creating and editing proposals, we can dedicate more time to this kind of personalized follow-up. This shows our clients that we are genuinely interested in their business. That, combined with our prompt responses, has had a positive impact on our conversion rate and overall profitability.
We reinvest the time we save with Proposales in following up and connecting with our clients. Even this process has become more efficient and effective thanks to the system’s analytics. Our bottom line proves it.
Improved branding and layout of proposals
When we manually created our proposals in Microsoft Word and PDF in the past, our team did their best to create a clean, appealing look. However, these tools had many limitations which made it difficult to apply uniform branding and get the exact layout we wanted. Updating proposals when clients changed their requirements was also time-consuming because it often meant having to reformat everything. In short, we always had to compromise between spending a lot of time and creating a visually appealing offer.
Proposales has completely solved this problem. First, we can easily apply our branding. That includes our color scheme, fonts and logos. Second, the option to easily add or update text, image or video modules means that edited elements no longer upset our existing layout. Instead, they smoothly fit in with the remaining proposal content. This saves valuable time on formatting and ensures our offers always have a clean, uniform, well-branded look.
In the short term, this creates a better impression on potential customers and can make them more likely to choose us. In the long term, this boosts our brand awareness in our target market and will likely lead to increased revenue for us.
With Proposales we can create the same branded look and feel in every offer. In the long run, this will help us keep building brand awareness among our target audience.
Fast, customized set-up
The Proposales team was eager to understand what we expected from a new RFP platform. This led to a close collaboration and a set-up that perfectly matches our requirements.
One add-on we’re especially excited about is the integration between Proposales and our CRM system. It allows us to automatically register and track all proposals in our CRM and thus eliminates the need to manually enter this data. Linking these two systems has made tracking, prioritizing and following up on our offers much easier and more efficient.
The customer support we’ve received since the beginning mirrors this initial positive experience. When we inquired about a special function regarding the display of VAT for our Norwegian hotels, the Proposales team was very helpful and keen to find a solution.
The Proposales team has been very kind and helpful since the beginning and especially during the pandemic they made our lives much easier.
Quick implementation and easy onboarding
Since Strawberry Hotels runs over 200 hotels and we wanted to implement Proposales at most of them, I expected the roll-out to take a long time. I was very positively surprised when everything was in place within only about a month. From the first moment, the Proposales team has been great to work with and very supportive.
Proposales has also proven to be very easy to use for our team. It took many of our salespeople as little as ten minutes of training time to learn how to navigate the system thanks to its intuitive interface. After this, they’re able to deepen their knowledge of the system simply by working with it and creating offers for clients.
A word to your peers
A modern proposal solution is a must for sales teams that want to both create a smooth client experience and increase their hit rate. Of the many alternatives available in the market today, I would recommend only Proposales to fellow hoteliers.
It’s so easy to use and saves so much time. Apart from that, Proposales also stands out as a company. The team will always listen and do their best to offer support. Partnering with a supplier where collaboration is frictionless and straightforward has made our lives much easier.
Today, nobody on our team would want to go back to working without Proposales. If we stopped using the system, our staff may just go on strike.
Inhouse Sales Manager