For most sales teams, hotel sales pipeline management and forecasting is probably the furthest things from anyone’s mind amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. That being said, there’s no better time then when things are considerably slow to make improvements across your sales process and technology platforms in preparation for future business (that we all know will happen in the near future).
Your hotel sales pipeline is a visual representation of where your leads are in the sales process. It also makes it easier to ascertain the number of sales closed and the likelihood of sales reps reaching their targets in a given period.
The hotel sales pipeline should be analyzed to identify its weaknesses and improvements required – it can help you to discover bigger opportunities to enhance sales for your hotel.
Leads move through the hotel sales pipeline according to their level of interest and urgency. Your sales team should focus on them to quickly take advantage of new sales opportunities and streamline the sales process to make it effective at generating revenue for your hotel.
A study by Harvard Business Review found that companies with a defined sales process experience 18% more revenue growth than the companies that didn’t.
This makes it essential to develop and maintain an efficient sales pipeline and leverage your hotel CRM to determine critical metrics for it.
5 Hotel Sales Pipeline Stages To Consider When Building Key Metrics
The stages of your hotel’s pipeline will help you to track the progress of your sales process effectively and predict revenue, but it must match the lead’s buying journey.
Following are the five considerations that lay the foundation for data that determines the metrics of your hotel sales process:
This is where the strangers are converted to prospective leads. This process is usually carried out via email marketing campaigns or advertising to get your prospects interested in your services.
Research shows that nearly 75% of proposals are won by the first five hotels to respond – making it imperative that you elevate the lead intake process as well as your qualification and reaction times.
Opportunity & Need Analysis
Hotel sales teams should analyze the lead’s interest in the hotel services and their specific needs that require a personalized experience at your hotel.
This is also where managers should look for appropriate hotel sales tools that can relieve the customer’s pain points and figure out what they are looking for. It’s better to consider this early before trying to force a sale that will neither benefit the lead nor your hotel.
The hotel sales team should use the information gathered through the needs analysis to understand if their offerings will be enough to attract the prospective opportunity.
So this is where we determine the value that your customers will derive from the hotel’s services based on their needs and requirements. Keeping this mind will help you to improve the sales process that speaks directly to the customer and ensures their conversion.
A Quality Proposal
If you offer event venue services, chances are that you’ll have to send out proposals to prospective clients to attract them with your offers and services.
It’s the sales team’s job to ensure that the proposal document is tailored to the prospective client’s needs, giving them all the info they to decide in your favor.
This is the ultimate win or loss after all the efforts and if executed properly, this can not only close a deal but also increase sales.
Negotiating the price indicates that the hotel sales process is moving in the right direction.
Consider how many times a prospect got in touch with you to haggle on the price after they’ve read your proposal? That is a win in itself.
However, studies suggest that 36% of salespeople find closing a deal more challenging than generating a prospect, mandating the need for excellent negotiation skills.
The customer just wants to tell you that they have a budget and see if your hotel can accommodate their needs. Make sure you are there to deliver on all counts.
Use Your CRM To Determine Pipeline Performance
Studies suggest that CRMs can increase revenue by 41% per salesperson, making it imperative that they are integrated with all processes to streamline the sales cycle. Similarly, the hotel sales team should learn to leverage the CRM to access relevant consumer data derived at each stage of the sales pipeline.
CRM can be a handy hotel sales tool that keeps track of critical metrics in a sales cycle, such as the ratio of won to lost opportunities at each new stage and the reasons behind it.
Moreover, the hotel CRM can help you measure the number of deals closed by each sales representative and the amount of revenue generated through each opportunity in the hotel sales pipeline.
This data can help stabilize the entire sales cycle and making the necessary changes in the sales pipeline for better results in the future.
You can also leverage the data acquired through the hotel CRM or venue management system to follow up on each opportunity, estimate the length of the sale cycle and ensure your leads are satisfied with your sales efforts.
Effective sales pipeline management allows salespeople to keep track of the opportunities that are won and lost in the sales cycle. It also helps them achieve their sales goals and reach their pre-determined quota.
Hotels must leverage the data obtained through the hotel sales pipeline stages and use it to streamline the sales processes.