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The New Hotel Sales and Revenue Management
Metrics - This Could save Your Job!

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April 7, 2009 - It has never been more urgent or more imperative that the effectiveness of hotel sales and revenue management activity has objective metrics for effectiveness - not only on the part of management but especially on the part of hotel sales and revenue managers.
Up until this economic reset the standard was production over the previous year in revenue, room nights, etc.It is obvious to anyone that looks at reports and reads industry trends that demand and subsequent revenue are way down from 2008.If everything goes well, 2010 numbers will make heroes out of the same sales and revenue management managers as increases over 2009 should materialize.

Does this mean that the same sales and revenue managers suddenly got better at their jobs?If there are new people in these jobs in 2010 that were not there in 2009, does this mean that the new team is more accomplished than the old team?The answer is No, not necessarily', to both questions.

Yes, there are sales and revenue managers that managed to ride the wave of a good economy without fundamental skills and well thought out and executed sales strategies.The current economic climate is the perfect opportunity for management to lay them off.However, the honest approach is to let them know that their skill sets and strategies are insufficient to generate positive activity in this economy, give them an opportunity to acquire these skills and measure the results.

The benchmarking of hotel sales and revenue management activity is arbitrary at best.It is interesting how few managers set objective standards and strategies with success metrics in mind. The individuals on the sales and revenue management teams as well as executive level managers are responsible for this. It didn't matter much when revenue was constantly increasing year over year.It matters now!

Revenue and/or the number of sales calls is irrelevant -- what is relevant is that we have an opportunity to develop metrics that many sales organizations in most other industries have adopted.The HotelSalesBlog has had a survey running for three months in which it asks the top issues of concern to hotel sales people --the big winner is Am I going to keep my job?'

Sales and Revenue Managers -- develop metrics for your activity - don't wait for management to impose it on you.

  • Develop a Personal Sales Plan. What are the routes to achieving your goals? How many prospects are in the pipeline? Identify the business you can steal and develop a strategy to do it! What is the DNA of your ideal prospects by market segment? How are you going to find them? How are you going to approach them and what can you use to close them? Engage your manager in the development of the plan - they will be impressed that you are doing this.
  • Prioritize vs. Organize - Discipline yourself Trust me, no one will care if your desk has clutter if you are producing. Prioritize your activity to focus on those activities that have the highest likelihood of generating revenue. First things first- chunk out the day. Prioritize traces - those with the potential to produce revenue the fastest come first. Decide how many new prospects you will contact in a day. What will be the tailored appeal for each - remember it's not about you -- it's what your hotel can do for them. Make time for new prospect contacts - prioritize from hot to cold'. Do admin work, social networking, etc. during lunch periods, before 8am or after 5pm. Schedule meetings for non sales time - ask the GM to do the same. How many referrals from existing clients are you going to ask for in a day, week, and month? Be prepared to make two to three times the number of contacts that you did last year to achieve the same results.
  • You can't manage what you don't measure! If you can't measure it, you can't improve it! RMs, set metrics for the production on new promotions with the OTAs, set metrics for the success of hot dates' on the web site. Set metrics for each new strategy -- for example, how many prospects do you want to close from an online lead site in the next 3 months? If the metric isn't achieved change the strategy! What is the contact to closing ratio for the department and individual sales team members? Get proactive -- measure your own results, don't rely on management to do it for you!
  • Make the plan and share the metrics and results with your manager. Your Manager should be impressed with your initiative and your plan to measure the effectiveness of what you are doing. If you are the only one in the department who is doing this, your manager might be inclined to fight for you if the subject of layoffs arises. Having a personal plan allows sales people to reduce their anxiety know that they are working their plan and measuring the results rather than continuing the same activities that worked in the past but are insufficient in this economy.
Hotel management and DOSs should give up the idea of measuring year over year numbers as the sole success metric for sales and RM activities and initiatives. Try these metrics:
  • Smith Travel Indices. The three indices on the STR report are the only ways to evaluate whether the hotel is successful in this economy. If you are increasing your share of a smaller pie, that is a true accomplishment for your sales and RM team. As this year's revenue over last year is bound to be discouraging and next year's revenue over this year will give distorted success metrics over this year, the STR results are the only reliable metrics of progress.
  • If you are measuring the number of sales calls - give it up! Sale activity is about sales contacts' not quantity of calls. It is also about the quality of the prospects they are contacting - how many are new qualified prospects, how many are servicing' contacts, how many are database mining contacts? Calls are not the only measure of sales activity - email contacts, social networking activities also need to be included in the new metrics and accounted for.
  • Social Networking Sites. Log into their LinkedIn and Face book pages to evaluate how effectively they are using these new channels. If you are a group meeting hotel, be present on iMeet, a social networking site for meeting planners and suppliers. While it is difficult to dollarize' social media activity, it is important to be present where contacts are.
  • Evaluate the ROI on each sales and revenue management strategy. Set a time limit on each strategy with interim benchmarks - don't be afraid to abandon or switch strategies. Better to abandon one strategy and try another than stick with a failed strategy!
  • Evaluate the lead responses from online RFPS sites. Is there a process for handling each of these leads in a timely manner, within hours instead of days? Does the department respond even when they are declining to bid on a lead? Those planners may have other meetings that you would like to have and will be impressed. The lead to closing ratio in this economy will be lower than in the past but any leads closed puts the department ahead of where it would have been. Measure the effectiveness of social group sites - social groups this year are a bright spot in the group mix.
The effort spent by individual sales people and revenue managers that put together a personal strategy and measure the results will make them the rock stars' of the recovery. Management will be more effective in managing sales and RM activity if they adopt new metrics for measuring sales and RM activity and strategies.

Remember, you can't manage what you don't measure! If you can't measure it, you can't improve it! How important is this - it could save your job!



Catch me in Tucson presenting a public sales seminar for the hotel sales community of the Tucson CVB on April 28th.

Do you know of a CVB in your community that might be interested in co-sponsoring a sales seminar for your hotel community? We are partnering with CVBs this year to bring affordable sales training to their hospitality communities. Have them contact carol@carolverret.com for more information.

Carol Verret And Associates
Consulting and Training offers training services and consulting in the areas of sales, revenue management and customer service primarily but not exclusively to the hospitality industry. To find out more about the company click on  www.carolverret.net 
              
To contact Carol send her an email at  carol@carolverret.com  or she can be reached by cell phone (303) 618-4065. Visit www.hotelsalesblog.com .


 
Contact:
Carol Verret, Consulting and Training
Carol Verret
5910 S. University #C-18, PMB 374
Greenwood Village, CO 80121
Telephone: (303) 618-4065
carol@carolverret.com
Web Site: http://www.carolverret.com/
Email: carol@carolverret.com
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Also See: Back to Hotel Sales Basics: The Basics Have Changed Big Time!  / Carol verret / March 2009
Stimulate Hotel Revenue -- The Economic Stimulus Package Opportunities / Carol Verret / February 2009
2009 The Game Changer for Innovation in Hotel Sales Processes / Carol Verret / January 2009
Contrarian Strategies for Hotel Sales Departments to Thrive in an Economic Downturn / Carol Verret / December 2008
‘Selling Into’ a Bad Economy – Overcoming Fear and Stealing Share / Carol Verret / October 2008
Habits of Highly Successful Hotel Sales People – Accelerated Sense of Urgency / Carol Verret / September 2008
The Challenges and Opportunities for Independent and Boutique Hotels in a Difficult Economy / Carol Verret / August 2008
The Science of Hotel Sales* – The Benchmarking Imperative for Success in a Difficult Economy / Carol Verret / July 2008
Marketing & Revenue Management Plan 2009 - Succeeding in a Difficult Year / Carol Verret / July 2008
Tactics to Drive Business in a ‘Not So Hot’ Summer / Carol Verret / May 2008
All Marketers Are Liars - Web 2.0 Strategies for Hotel Sales and Marketing / Carol Verret / April 2008
Contingency Hotel Revenue Management Strategies 'I Will not Cut Prices'/ Carol Verret / March 2008
The Contingency Hotel Sales and Marketing Plan - Hope for the Best, Plan for the Worst / Carol Verret / February 2008
Change is the Buzz – Rebooting Hotel Sales Activity at the Property Level / Carol Verret / January 2008
Habits of Highly Successful Revenue Managers Ramped Up for 2008 / Carol Verret / November 2007
Five Tips to Improving Hotel Customer Service with User Generated Reviews / Carol Verret / October 2007
Habits of Highly Successful Hotel Sales People – A Seismic Shift in 2008! / Carol Verret / September 2007
GMs – How User Generated Review Sites Can Make you a Better Manager! / Carol Verret / September 2007
Web 2.0 and Hotel Sales Strategies for '08; What Are Your Clients Saying About You? / Carol Verret / August 2007
“It’s not the big that eat the small, it’s the fast that eat the slow” -- Five Revenue Management Tactics for Independent Hotels / Carol Verett / June 2007
Developing New Hotel Business Using Client DNA / Carol Verret / May 2007
The Jigsaw Puzzle – The Fit of the Revenue Management and Internet Group Sales Pieces / Carol Verret / April 2007
Client DNA - The Gold Standard for New Business Development / Carol Verret / March 2007
The 'I Hate Cold Calls' Web Cast - The New Paradigm of Sales! / Carol Verret / February 2007
Hate Cold Calls? - Discover the New Paradigm of Hotel Sales / Carol Verret / January 2007
Issues in Hotel Sales Training - Metics for Success / Carol Verret / December 2006
Is the Party Over?; The Challenge of Decreasing Hotel Room Demand / Carol Verret / October 2006
The Habits of Highly Successful Hotel Sales People Ramp Up for 2006! / Carol Verret / September 2006
Identifying the WIIFM Factor – The Essential of Hotel Sales Success / Carol Verret / August 2006
Revenue Management for Hotel GMs – What You Don’t Know Can Jump Up and Bite You!/ Carol Verret / July 2006
Feeding the Revenue Elephant; Hotel Revenue Management / Summer 2006
The "Tipping Point" - Identifying the Touch Points in Hotel Sales / Carol Verret / May 2006
The "Tipping Point" - Touch Points Make a Difference in Customer Service Training / Carol Verret / April 2006
Selling Up! Taking Group Room Revenue to a New Level / Carol Verret / February 2006
Revenue Management 2006; The Risks and Rewards / Carol Verret /January 2006 
Revenue Management and Group Sales - The Partnership Not the Disconnect / Carol Verret / November 2005
Habits of Highly Successful Hotel Sales People / Carol Verret / September 2005
Triple Witching Hour - The Marketing Plan, Revenue Management Strategy and RFPs for '06 / Carol Verret / August 2005
"Smile" is a Learned Behavior - Creating a Culture of Customer Service / Carol Verret / July 2005
Revenue Management Systems -- Considerations for Evaluation / Carol Verret / June 2005
Disconnect -- Aligning the Revenue Management and Sales Strategies / Carol Verret / May 2005
Independent Hotels & Resorts; Ride the Wave or Float with the Tide? / Carol Verret / March 2005
Hospitality Sales Training Companies Reach Across the Competitive Playing Field to Combine Live Seminar Expertise with  the Convenience of the Internet / Carol Verret / January 2005
Revenue Management - The Challenge for Hotel Sales / Carol Verret / January 2005
Hotel Sales Departments -- Issues in Processes and Functionality / Carol Verret / November 2004
The GM'S Role in Revenue Management / Carol Verret / October 2004
Transforming the Hotel Sales Organization; Alignment with the New Realities of Sales / Carol Verret / August 2004
The Revenue Management Strategy - The Pre-Plan Marketing Plan / Carol Verret / July 2004
Hotel Revenue Management this Summer - a Game of Skill, Art and Most of All Nerves / Carol Verett / May 2004
What Do Meeting Planners Want? Hotel Sales Managers Want to Know! / Carol Verret / May 2004
Revenue Management -- The Integration of Revenue Drivers / Carol Verret / March 2004
CYBER SALES -- Hotel Sales in an Internet World is the New Reality / Carol Verret / February 2004
The New Realities of Hotel Sales - Focus on Revenue Generation / Carol Verret / January 2004
Hotel Sales -- Innovation in the Face of Limitations / Carol Verret / November 2003
The Good News & the Bad News; Improving Economy = New Hotel Development / Carol Verret / October 2003
Leadership - General Managers Managing the Sales Process / Carol Verret  / October 2003
When the Crystal Ball is Cloudy; Marketing Plans for 2004 / Carol Verret / July 2003
Partnership of Sales and Technology; Using Tech Tools to "Sell" the Hotels / Carol Verret  / July 2003
Back to the Basics? The Basics of Hotel Sales Have Changed! / May 2003
Creating Sales "HUNTERS": The Skill Sets Required in the New Hotel Sales Environment / April 2003
Heightened Security Requires New Strategies in Hotels Sales / Carol Verret Consulting and Training / Mar 2003
Revenue Recovery - Building The ‘A’ Team in Sales / Carol Verret / January 2003
Contingency Marketing Plan – War In Iraq! / Carol Verret / November 2002
Playing the Rate Game - Positioning -- Positioning -- Positioning! / Carol Verret / October 2002
The Rate Game - Playing to Win / Carol Verret / October 2002
The Challenge of Marketing Independent Boutique Hotels / Carol Verett / August 2002
Hotel Sales in a Limited Service Environment - The Rules Have Changed / Carol Verett / August 2002
The General Manager’s Role in Sales -Chief Marketing Officer of the Hotel / Carol Verret / April 2002
100% Market Share Penetration is Not Good Enough / Carol Verett / January 2002
The Key to REVPAR Recovery –  New Business Development / Carol Verett / December  2001
Trash the 2002 Marketing Plan - And Just Start Over / Carol Verett / September 2001
How to Use Consultants Effectively –  A View From the Other Side  / Carol Verret / August 2001
How Soft Is Your Hotel's Economic Landing?  / Carol Verret / Aprl 2001
The ‘Value Proposition’: Marketing Yourself to Prospective Employees / Carol Verret / January 2001
Generation Y:  Motivating and Training a New Generation of Employees / Carol Verret / November  2000
Why Customer Service Seminars Don't Work / Carol Verret / October 2000
Creating a Culture of Customer Service / Carol Verret Consulting and Training / Sept 2000 
FAT, DUMB AND HAPPY – The Seasonal Boom and  Bust Cycle / Carol Verret / August 2000
Surf's Up - Ride the Wave or Miss the Boat -The Effective Use of Technology in Hotel Sales / Carol Verret / July 2000 
Measuring Effectiveness of  Hotel Sales Departments / Carol Verret / June 2000
Hotel Sales Training - The Need for Immediate Results / Carol Verret/ May 2000



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