Choice Hotels Asia-Pac Attains Best Development Year with Pipeliner CRM
Choice Hotels Asia-Pac is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Choice Hotels International, a worldwide hotel franchisor with over 7,000 franchised properties in 41 countries worldwide. Choice Hotels Asia-Pac’s responsibility is the Asia-Pacific region, which includes Australia, New Zealand, India, China, Japan and Southeast Asia. The company has recently taken on responsibility for Choice Hotels’ India subsidiary as well. Overall, Choice Hotels Asia-Pac is responsible for some 300 properties.
Pipeliner CRM has brought many positive changes to Choice Hotels Asia-Pac—but the most significant was a banner year for the company. “Ultimately Pipeliner CRM has meant that last year we had our best year in terms of development, for a number of years,” related Paul Bromley, CFO of Choice Hotels Asia-Pac. “The tool was a big part of that. It allowed us to understand what we should focus on and how we should get the deals done.”
Choice Hotels Asia-Pac implemented Pipeliner CRM in 2017, as they didn’t have a reliable method for following up opportunities. “We chose Pipeliner because we needed a system whereby we could track the opportunities and interactions we had with prospective buyers, and work them through the process.,” says Paul.
Another requirement was the ability to focus on opportunity specifics. “We needed to be able to have information about which opportunities are worth following up, and which ones we’ve lost in the process,” Paul continues. “We didn’t have any really historical methods to analyze the information and know where and why we were being successful, and where and why we were maybe unsuccessful as well. Pipeliner brought us that functionality.”
There was also an issue that many companies have—of retaining data through sales rep turnover. “Another challenge we had was, if someone was to leave within the team, we simply lost a lot of value from that individual leaving. So we needed a really robust system that would capture all of the interactions. We needed to be able to bring in somebody else, and give them the ability to look through the system and say, okay where are all these deals actually at? What interactions have been had? What is the context that we need to have with them? How do they fit in in the structure of the organization that I’m dealing with? Is this the person ultimately the decision-maker that I’m dealing with? Is this the person that is feeding the information to the decision-maker? That’s all stored within the system.”
Paul and his team first heard about Pipeliner from their European operations who were successful using it. They then tried it for themselves, and found it completely suited their needs. “We found that Pipeliner was scalable and easy to understand, and it met our requirements from a pricing point of view,” says Paul.
They found Pipeliner incredibly easy to implement. “It’s a very user-friendly system,” Paul says. “You can probably go through and give a new person the basics within a half-hour period—it’s that simple.” Following a 1-hour online session, the company was able to deploy Pipeliner to the sales team. They had a few short follow-up calls to refine their use of it, and a couple subsequent calls so that Paul could understand Pipeliner administration. “From there we’ve not looked back,” Paul says. “It’s been a really easy system to use, and it’s been really easy to get new people to be able to use the system.”
Addition of India
At the beginning of 2020, Choice Hotels Asia-Pac assumed responsibility for Choice Hotels’ India operation. They rolled out Pipeliner for that region as well, and it was just as easy. There were some differences in the sales process and currency, but adjustments were smoothly made. Any questions Paul had were rapidly addressed. “When I came across an issue that I wasn’t able to handle, support was really fast,” Paul reports. “Support has been second to none.”
Administration a Snap
“One aspect I really love about Pipeliner is that you can control it from your own point of view,” Paul says. “You’re not relying on developers when you need to make a change to the system. You can do it yourself.”
Sales Rep Adoption
Anyone who has ever managed a sales team knows that it can be a constant problem to get salespeople to record activities, opportunity progress and to manage their processes.
But from the outset, Choice Hotels Asia-Pac sales reps were rapid Pipeliner CRM adopters. “Simple feedback is, they love utilizing it,” Paul says. “It’s integrated with Office 365, so interactions from an email point of view are brought straight back into the system. Salespeople can have a meeting with somebody, can verbally put in some notes straight into their phone, and they will be entered in Pipeliner against the particular opportunity they’re associated with. They can add in any documents, and photos of properties as well.
“It’s simple to use, and that’s why they like it. They don’t want to be bogged down from having to log into a system, having to find the opportunity, and dealing with everything in a cumbersome way. Pipeliner has just become a part of the way they just do the business.”
Pipeliner also allows salespeople to be more efficient. “It provides a workflow process for them. They can set meeting times. They can put follow-up reminders. It drives them forward in terms of the processes they’re undertaking, and their time management is taken into account.”
“When we look at a prospective deal, there are two things that are really important,” Paul describes. “One is the value of the deal, and the other is the value of the property. The two often go hand-in-hand, but not always. Because of the way we can sort information with Pipeliner CRM, we can quickly understand what deals we should be focusing on. From a sales point of view, there are lots of opportunities out there to follow up on—but salesperson time is very precious. You really need to be able to focus on the deals that will bring the best results.”
Would Paul recommend Pipeliner CRM? “I would absolutely recommend Pipeliner to other organizations,” Paul affirms. “It’s a really robust system—easy to use, easy to implement, and cost-effective. You can make changes yourself without involving experts.
“The simplicity of Pipeliner CRM is something that makes it really powerful.”