Carol Verret Consulting 
and Training
Consulting
Training Seminars
.
 .


Strategic Prospecting
and Strategic Account Optimization



May 22, 2012

Most sales people will agree that a referral trumps 50 cold calls anytime!  Unfortunately, the process of prospecting and account optimization is usually a haphazard process – a series of tactics and tasks unguided by strategies and goals. 

However, the research indicates that those sales people who develop a well thought out strategy for these processes and implement the tactics flowing from them consistently are more likely to achieve their sales goals.  According to CSO Insights, 76 percent of reps who excel at strategic account planning routinely hit quota and win 53 percent of their forecasted deals.” (Selling Power, 4/14/2012)

A prospecting strategy assumes that a sales person works back from the goal to the strategy to the tactics.  In other words, if the goal is X number of dollars in revenue and your average sale is $X, how many of these prospects do you need to close to reach the goal.   In an excellent blog post on the newsletter Sales Buzz by Michael Pedone, he states “…clearly define what your goal is and who your ideal prospect is and then make that (prospecting) list.”

Unfortunately, sales teams often engage in strategy development during the course of developing the sales and marketing plan and never execute.  This is a bit like not listening to the GPS in your car and wondering why you are not ending up where you want to be. 

Strategic Prospecting.
  • Mentioned above is to start with the revenue goals and work backward to evaluate the revenue of your average contract and how many of those you will need to achieve the goals.  However, if you can increase the average revenue per booking, you can achieve goal on fewer bookings or exceed your goal.  Calculate your contact to closing ratio to decide how many prospects you will need to contact in order to close the percentage that will take you to your goal.
  • Before starting your prospecting journey, define your ideal client.  This will mean that you won’t waste valuable time chasing after prospects that don’t find value in with your prospects or your skill sets.
  • Develop a tactical plane to reach your ideal prospects.   This plan should include finding referrals to pre qualified prospects, social media such as LinkedIn, email approaches and, of course, the phone.   Research the average length of your sales cycle – that is, the time between first contact and close.   This will give you a timeline of how many prospects you need to put in the pipeline in order to close by the end of the year and attain the goal.
Strategic Account Optimization.    There are large demand generators in most every market and/or region.  Unfortunately, most sales people settle for getting a piece of the action without developing a strategy to land other divisions to get a larger piece or all of the pie.
  • In a group of properties within a hotel company, sales can develop a unified strategy to include all properties that stand to gain from this demand generator.   It is mission critical that all the affected sales people develop a joint strategy with the delegation of tasks.  Multi units should have a joint strategy session to ensure that all are on board.
    • Collaboration software or a joint database assists in team sharing of information, activity and passing on leads.  
    • There are however several downsides to this approach – contingency plans in case of team turnover and accountability.
  • In a single property situation, in many cases it will be one sales person designing and executing the strategy unless it is an institution such as a university with multiple levels of business – corporate, association, government, catering, SMERFE – that touch many sales people in the department.  In the first instance, it can be a daunting task for a single person that requires prioritizing the demand generator strategy based on those areas/divisions/departments most likely to have the most demand.   In the second it is the team effort as described above.
Accountability.   The sticking point is this discussion in accountability – who is going to be responsible for executing these strategic plans and who will monitory the progress of the plans.  It would be nice to think that individuals can execute and monitor their strategic plans.   It is not that they don’t intend to but the ‘tyranny of the immediate and the urgent’ often gets in the way.  In the team approach, it would be nice if the teams were self monitoring but in actual practice teams often become less cohesive with time and when teams are composed of peers it is difficult to hold other team members accountable for executing their part of the strategy.   There are several potentialsolutions.
  • There are several CRM programs that prompt a team or team members on a specific project or task related to the strategic plan.  This assumes that the individual sales team members use it.
  • The reporting manager monitors for progression on the strategy and tasks in both situations.
  • Given the statistical relationship between sales people that execute a well formulated strategy, a  53% close rate as mentioned above, the incentive for individuals to self monitor  is huge.
The best business is from referrals from contacts and influencers that you  already know as covered in both the prospecting and strategic account optimization strategic plan versus the cost of cold calling either by phone or email, 
 
There is also an advantage from an organizational standpoint in knowing you have a plan and by following it, it will get you to where you want to go in terms of achieving sales goals.  Just as there is confidence in the car’s GPS to get you to the destination – it may  not be the shortest route but you will get there if you listen to the GPS! 



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.
---

This article is copyright protected by Hotel-Online. Reuse by other media or news outlets or organizations is prohibited. Personal use and sharing via social media tools is encouraged.

 
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
.
Receive Your Hospitality Industry Headlines via Email for Free! Subscribe Here

To Learn More About Your News Being Published on Hotel-Online Inquire Here

Also See: Pinterest - - The Value Of Pinterest to Hotel Sales & Marketing / Carol Verret / April 2012

The Impact of the Rising Cost of Gas - Why It's Different This time! / Carol Verret / March 2012

The Resolution Solution - 5 Simple Revenue Management Resolutions for 2012 / Carol Verret / January 2012

Solving the Problem with Resolutions - 5 Simple Hotel Sales Resolutions You Can Keep! / Carol Verret / December 2011

High Tech - High Touch - Two Must Have Skills Sets Every Hotel Sales Person Needs! / Carol Verret / November 2011

Carol Verret & Associates Announce the Launch of real simple Remote Revenue Management / October 2011

In Defense of OTAs - Why the OTAs and Online Distribution Platforms are Critical for Hotels, Especially Independent and Boutique Hotels / Carol Verret / September 2011

Small Independent and Boutique Hotels – Online Marketing and Strategic Revenue Management Levels the Playing Field! / Carol Verret / July 2011

Lead Nurturing – The Art of Watering and Fertilizing Prospects! / Carol Verret / June 2011

Hotel Sales - The Clients You Want versus The Clients You Get! / Carol Verret / May 2011

From Mobile Apps to Google Travel, and Don't Forget the FaceBook Booking Widget - It's Complicated for Revenue Managers! / Carol Verret / April 2011

The WOW Factor – The Power Selling Partnership of GMs and Sales / Carol Verret / February 2011

Social Media - The Hotel Sales Tools that NO Property Can Ignore / Carol Verret / January 2011

Recession Lessons – Post Recession Hotel Sales & Revenue Management / Carol Verret / December 2010

The Hotel Sales Office of 2011 – 4 Processes to Fuel Recovery / Carol Verret / October 2010

Habits of Highly Successful Revenue Managers for 2011 Webinar / September 2010

Niches Selling - Locating Lucrative Business that Few Hotels Pursue / August 2010

The Hotel General Manager - The Complexity of Leadership in a 2.0 World / Carol Verret / August 2010

Why Company Team Meetings are Critical This Year / Carol Verret / July 2010

Market Analysis and Sales Office Audit - Look Beyond the Obvious in Turnaround Situations / Carol Verret / June 2010

Dynamic versus Static Hotel Reviews: The Immediacy of Social Network Reviews / Carol Verret / May 2010

2.0 Your Hotel Sales Processes by Market Segment Series – The Corporate Market Webinar April 16 / Carol Verret / April 2010

Marketing to Changes in Consumer Behavior - It's No Longer 'One Size Fits All' / Carol Verret / March 2010

Outrageous! The Cure for the Post Recession Blues! / Carol Verret / March 2010

The Reset Button --- Innovation for Hotel Sales in 2010! / Carol Verret / February 2010

4 Changes in Consumer Behavior & The Revenue Opportunities for Hotels / Carol Verret / January 2010

Recession Lessons:  What Will Drive Hotel Sales & Revenue Management in 2010 / December 2009

4 Post Recession Shifts  in the Hotel Sales Environment; What You Need to Know for Success in 2010 / Carol Verret

The 20% Solution to Increased Market Share and Revenue / Carol Verret / October 2009

Managing Revenue by Market Segment – The Recovery Challenge for Sales and Revenue Managers / Carol Verret / September 2009

The Mindset of the 2010 Business Plan – Survival Mode or Recovery Mode? / Carol Verret / August 2009

The New 'Tipping Points' in the Planners Decision Process - You May be Surprised! / Carol Verret / June 2009

The New Normal – What Does the New Normal Look Like for Hotel Sales and Revenue Management / Carol Verret / May 2009

The New Hotel Sales and Revenue Management Metrics - This Could save Your Job! / Carol Verret / April 2009

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




To search Hotel Online data base of News and Trends Go to Hotel.OnlineSearch

Home | Welcome | Hospitality News
| Industry Resources

Please contact Hotel.Online with your comments and suggestions.