2020 is expected to be another interesting year for the hospitality industry. While industry forecasts suggest continued growth, economic uncertainty and increased competition will continue to present obstacles for hotel sales managers.
In order to succeed, any hotel sales team must completely focus on the optimization of sales and sales processes that allow them to bring in more leads and conversions, and in turn, increase revenue margins.
From integrating a tailored hotel CRM to allowing your sales team to leverage a venue management system – this article will explore 5 trends that your hotel needs to adopt going forward.
Choose a CRM Purpose-Built for Hotels and Hotels Only
When serving in such a highly specialized niche, you need to have an industry-specific hotel CRM helping your sales team lead your growth strategy. There are many pros to having an industry-specific CRM integrated with your business.
The foremost being that the vendor understands the nuances that dictate your business dealings, and is, therefore, able to create more customized software. The result is a lot of precious time saved that would otherwise be spent designing displays, configuring workflows, field development, etc.
Additionally, having an industry-specific CRM help train your employees better. The measure of a successful CRM always resides on how well the users adapt to it. Having a hotel-only CRM will allow your employees to adapt quickly, while allowing the vendor to put their industry-expertise to use during training.
Add in the flexibility to add your own workflows and configure what suits your team, and you’re looking at a hotel CRM that allows you to build your own CRM alongside best industry practices.
Enhance Your Sales And Operations Through Technology Adoption
Your sales pipeline is the lifeblood of your business. Your sales team needs to have updated knowledge of your leads and at what stage they are.
This is why leading technological niche solutions, such as venue management software, are rising in popularity. They allow hotels to improve their pipeline management strategy considerably, segmenting different consumers based on their level of brand awareness and commitment to buy.
Adopting this level of tech-savviness allows your sales team to personalize your outreach efforts that reflects their stage in the sales pipeline. And not just the sales pipeline, integrating technology throughout your hotel workflow processes will allow you to achieve a level of efficiency conventional methodology just doesn’t have the capacity for.
Invest In New Marketing Channels
The debate between conventional account-based marketing vs. the up and coming marketing channels has been going around for some time – and it shows no sign of having a unanimous winner.
What’s clear from industry forecasts is that account-based marketing is still king. With the majority of hotels still utilizing conventional wisdom to fuel their marketing creatives, there is no reason to abandon this approach.
What remains clear, however, is the fact that investment in new marketing channels is imperative to secure your future.
With 50% of planners stating their venue search begins online, hotel sales managers need to market their hotel on communication platforms that will continue to attract an increasing proportion of their target audience in the upcoming years.
An Increased Focus On Increasing Your Sales Prowess
With the industry poised for growth and the number of travelers predicted to increase, hotel managers need to introduce measures that will boost employee productivity and overall service efficiency.the efficiency of their sales team and help them land more leads.
The hospitality industry is beset by cut-throat competition. In addition to existing hotels, disruptors like Airbnb have further reduced the market size by taking away people looking for new experiences.
This is why sales prospecting has grown to become an important asset, particularly when it comes to hotel sales. While old methods, such as cold calling may continue to derive revenue, there are several new ‘go online’ tactics in place.
Here’s what you can do:
- Apportion time blocks on your team’s schedule for pro-active prospecting and make sure to follow them with discipline. Get your best sales professionals to work on new prospects for your business.
- Specifically, target prospects that can fill in the gap-dates. Considering how hard it is to come up with new prospects, sales managers have to work hard on prospecting existing leads.
- Look back at the leads that have come in the past year or so. Leads that are not followed through are usually lost to competitors. Identify their pain points and customize your pitch accordingly.
Hotel sales managers are tasked with converting first-time consumers into returning ones, and the only feasible way of doing this in the current market is to ensure you remain on your productive best.
With a plethora of options to choose from, any consumer that slips past your sales pipeline is a plus one for your rival. This places a responsibility to utilize your resources in the best possible way to make the most of what you have.
If you’re looking to make the same number of quotas that you made previously in 2019-20, be prepared to work twice as hard. Don’t give up – 50% of all leads convert after 5 calls whereas the average salesperson gives up on a lead after just 2 attempts.
Optimize Your Hiring Process and Sales Team
You know how the saying goes – you’re only as good as your employees. Particularly when talking about your sales team, the quality of your employees will reflect in your revenue figures for the year.
While there is no denying the efficacy of implementing technological solutions like a hotel CRM or venue management software, in the end, leveraging their maximum potential depends on the skillset of your sales team.
This is why it is very important to have a hiring and management process that is optimized to filter out high-quality candidates that know the art of how to sell.
Instead of just instructing them to cold call potential leads, hotel sales managers need to train their sales team to specialize in niching. By identifying niche-relevant pain points and addressing them effectively, your sales team can exemplify the number of leads coming into your hotel.
While group sales are increasing in number and size, increased competition makes the battle for landing clients tougher than ever before. In such conditions, having a highly effective sales team can prove to be the difference between a successful year and one where you fail to hit your targets.
As the hospitality industry continues to tackle obstacles and integrate new players in the market, revenue growth has become even harder to come by.
By using these strategies, hotel managers can streamline their workflows and boost productivity which consequently allows them to provide a better experience that elevates them from the competition.