Earlier in this series we discussed the importance of building relationships with properties throughout the year, not just during the RFP process. These relationships can help get your RFP to the top of a property’s stack. By leveraging National Sales Officers (NSOs), industry contacts and preferred suppliers within the Cvent Supplier Network, you are able to track your relationship electronically and quantify the amount of business you’ve sourced at specific properties.
For our more advanced clients, the Cvent Supplier Network provides the ability to mark preferred suppliers and have them flagged within your search results. Preferred suppliers are properties with whom you have a formal pre-existing relationship. You may already have negotiated rates or pre-negotiated contracts with these suppliers on a property, brand or chain level. The benefit of marking your preferred suppliers within a meetings technology and sourcing via eRFP is having a central database of all the business you’ve given a property to help with future negotiations. Additionally, you are able to bias your search results to ensure that preferred properties are either the only properties returned in a venue search, or have them automatically filter to the top of your search results. This is a great way to remind yourself to check availability with preferred suppliers first while also enforcing sourcing policy if you have multiple users within your account.
In addition to managing preferred venues, the Cvent Supplier Network gives you the ability to add National Sales Officers (NSOs) and your own industry contacts at the property or CVB level. NSOs are a great industry resource in that they work on your behalf for a specific hotel chain or brand. They understand the needs of your business and the value of the properties they represent to direct you to the property they believe will be the best fit for your event or meeting. Additionally, as you build relationships within the industry you can add those contacts to their specific properties to make sure they are copied on any RFPs your send. This ensures that your contact at the property sees your RFP and can help push it to the top of a property's stack.
As your become more strategic with your sourcing process, these advanced features will help you track and manage your RFPs. They also provide insight into your overall spend with properties, which can help you at the negotiation stage. We will provide examples of those reports and advice on how to use them in next week’s post.
In case you missed it, check out RFP and Sourcing Best Practices, Tip 10: Tracking Cancelled Space.