General Managers Workshop: Managing
Today's Hotel Sales Teams

By David M. Brudney, ISHC, July 2005

I conducted a Sales-oriented workshop recently for a group of G.M.s from a medium sized hotel management company on the West Coast.

In an effort to create a program whereby all the participants might have a stake in the exercise, I polled each G.M. asking what questions, issues, challenges they would like to see addressed.

G.M.s Want to Know

Here’s what they submitted - - if you were participating in the session, would you have listed any of these issues?  Which ones?  What new issues, questions and challenges would you have added?  Let me hear from you and then I’ll do a composite and then let’s begin a series with some good, topical dialogue. 

  1. What percentage of time should a G.M. spend directly in Sales?
  2. What percentage of revenue should be devoted to Sales and Marketing (S&M)?
  3. What realistic R.O.I. should we expect from S&M expenditures?  5-to-1?  7-to-1?  15-to-1 or higher?
  4. What metrics should be used to measure Sales activity?  Are there any industry benchmarks?
  5. Authority to quote group rates: when should the G.M. know it’s “safe” to empower Sales to do so?
  6. What types of incentive programs work the best?
  7. How long should a G.M. give an under-performing Sales associate?  Is there a timetable?
  8. In interviewing potential Sales candidates, what are some “good fit” questions to ask?
  9. What intrinsic qualities should a G.M. look for in the best potential Sales candidates?
  10. Time management: can it be taught?
  11. How to deal with Sales associates’ lament: “not enough hours in the day to do all I have to do”
  12. Bonding and socializing with the Sales team: how much is too much?
  13. Sales office systems for smaller, limited service hotels: are there any good alternatives to costly software programs?
Okay, let the dialogue begin!  Let me hear from you: G.M.s, owners, corporate staff, Sales associates, e-mail me your comments on the issues above and in my next article we’ll share answers, opinions, ideas - - maybe even start some debates.  This should be fun for all!

© copyright 2005

David M. Brudney, ISHC, is a veteran sales and marketing professional concluding his fourth decade of service to the hospitality industry.  He is the principal of David Brudney & Associates of Carlsbad, CA, a marketing consulting firm specializing in the hospitality industry since 1979 and a charter member of International Society of Hospitality Consultants.  Previously, Brudney held sales and marketing positions with Hyatt, Westin and Marriott.


David M. Brudney, ISHC, Principal
David Brudney & Associates
Carlsbad, CA 92009
760-476-0830 Fax 760-476-0860
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Also See Owners & Asset Managers: Need Expert Advice, Referral? Ask A Trusted Consultant / David M. Brudney, ISHC / May 2005
Larry May: The Passing Of Another Hotel Soldier / David Brudney ISHC / April 2005
Hotel Owners: Better, Worse or About the Same? / David Brudney ISHC / December 2004
Let’s Put Bush and Kerry Through the RFP Process / October 2004
Bev Kordsmeier, Hyatt Sales’ First Lady / April 2004
Message to Hotel Sales Associates: “It’s Not You!”/ January 2004
What Innkeepers Want Every Christmas? Fill Those Empty Rooms / December 2003
Uncertain Times Call for Return to Backyard Basics / April 2003
Time to “Group Up”?  Maybe, Maybe Not / May 2002
America’s Front Desk  Fights Back! / January 2002
Front Desk Fails To Catch America’s Hospitality Spirit / David Brudney ISHC / November 2001
A Very Good Time For That Sales Audit / David Brudney ISHC / Sept 2001 
More Theater, Less Zombies / David Brudney ISHC / Dec 2000 
It’s The Experience, Stupid! / David Brudney ISHC / Nov 2000 

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