Hotel RFP Features That Will Help You Win More Bids

August 25, 2020
Hotel RFP Features That Will Help You Win More Bids
hotel RFP

Let’s be honest here, a hotel RFP is not exciting. They are laborious, time consuming and tedious but they are also one of the most important tools you’ll be using at your hotel. Now that hotel RFP management software is more available for hoteliers, the process is becoming more streamlined and efficient. Hotel RFP software can help hoteliers manage the communication of responding to leads quickly, while allowing you to prioritize finding the right business for your property. Win more business with less effort? Sign us up!

Before we dive into what to look for in a hotel RFP software, let’s make sure we understand what a hotel RFP is first.

What is an RFP?

In the world of hospitality, RFP is defined as “Request for Proposal”. A hotel RFP is a document created and submitted by a buyer (typically an event planner), that outlines everything that the buyer is looking for. The hotel RFP will include details like meeting space requirements, length of the event, and expected number of guests.

A buyer will typically send an RFP to a few hotels that they would like to receive bids from. Once a hotel receives an RFP, they will draft a proposal to the buyer. This proposal will outline what the hotel can offer to the buyer based on what was outlined in the RFP, along with pricing for rooms and other services. In the case where a hotel can’t offer exactly what was outlined in the RFP, they will offer other alternatives and solutions. The goal for the hotel here is to provide a compelling proposal to the buyer and win the bid.

This document could take a hotel anywhere from a few hours to a few days to submit back to the buyer. Managing this task is often complicated due to the many moving parts associated with hotel RFP management. By automating the following strategies with the right, you can respond quicker and win more bids.

Sometimes, you may come across other acronyms like RFI and RFQ. An RFI is A Request for Information which is just to inquire about information about products and services, while an RFQ is a Request for Quote, which requires less information than your typical RFP.

Hotel RFP features that will help you win more bids
1 - Prioritize Incoming RFPS for fast responses

Typically, hotels are dealing with many incoming RFPs from various channels. These incoming RFPs range from big and highly profitable to the smaller events. Each RFP you’re receiving also means that most likely, ten other hotels just received the same RFP as well. Most commonly, hotels will prioritize responding to larger RFPs as they generate more revenue, but hotels are still struggling with response time and an efficient way to quickly identify leads that are worth responding to because not all events are suitable for every hotel or property.

An effective hotel RFP management system will help you:

  • Quickly assess every incoming RFP
  • Automatically route the RFPs to the appropriate sales representatives
  • Respond to the RFPs that make sense for your property within minutes

By being able to quickly identify the right kind of business for your hotel and being able to respond quickly and efficiently, you will be more likely to generate business for your hotel against the fierce competition.

Speed, quality, and accuracy is the name of the game when it comes to hotel RFPs. You are more likely to win a bid if you’re a first responder.

Along with speed, quality and on how you're prioritizing the right deals for your business is also essential. Before jumping in, you need to make a quick assessment of your chances of winning and whether you have the bandwidth to deliver on your promises before you commit. Implementing lead scoring with your unique criteria will help score your RFPs to optimize both speed and quality.

2 - Personalized proposals

One of the 3 pillars to great hotel customer service is personalization. It matters to the guest and can differentiate from a good experience to an amazing memory. The RFP process is an area of the business that can definitely benefit with a touch of personalization.

There is so much information available online that you want to be able to provide value beyond what can be Google’d. Integrating your digital RFP solution with a sales and catering system can help you create auto-generated customized proposals that are catered to group-specific details for the business you’re trying to win.

In example, a hotel RFP solution includes standard templates and customizable templates for specific event types. A wedding RFP template will include different fields and verbiage than a corporate event RFP template.

By being able to create a response that is targeted and personalized specifically written for the event type the client is looking to host, the client will clearly understand your hotel’s capability on delivering a successful event and experience.

Pro tip: Is there already an incumbent for this project? Instead of playing a guessing game, contact the RFP decision-making team and ask. Some committee will be able to provide previous successful RFP responses available to people who request them. In the case that they don't, conduct some research and look up who you're trying to replace. What sets your property apart? How can you be a better fit?

3 - RFP management in real-time

A huge pain point in the hotel RFP process is the management of communication and follow-ups. A good RFP management solution will allow you to communicate with clients in real-time. For example, when a potential lead engages with your property, automated notifications will be sent to you so you can respond almost instantly. This not only helps to engage the client with your quick response, but also streamlines the process and ensures the data is captured correctly.

Higher customer satisfaction through the sales cycle means a better chance of winning bids and generating revenue. Making customers happy also creates opportunities to generate referral business from your clients sharing their positive experience with their RFP process at your property.

4 - Track leads and improve future prospecting

Another way you can benefit from leveraging your RFP software integration with your sales & catering system is from being able to track all your leads to improve your prospecting process. With all of your leads historically stored in one place, you can analyze the data and identify different opportunities for leads depending on size, seasonality, and event type. Then, you can reach out to these groups and see what their future needs are and how your hotel can potentially fill those needs.

It’s important to note that empowering your team to track production is what will make the difference here. The more they use it, the more data is collected which means you can then forecast more accurately and plan for future prospecting.

5 - Keep it in the family

If your hotel belongs to a larger hotel group, you can leverage RFP tools to share information across the different properties. This is important because say your hotel receives an RFP for a great event that suits your hotel type, but unfortunately, you’re already booked with a different event on those nights. With the RFP software, you can easily see the availability of the different properties and refer the party to a different property, ensuring that revenue still remains in the hotel group.

Hotel painful RFP process is a thing of the past with the evolution of hotel RFP management software. It’s easier than ever for your team and event planners to manage the whole process, provide higher customer service and win more bids.

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