Remember the days when you would gather around a table and sales managers would bring their group inquiries to hash out which business to accept and at what rate?
Sales managers would be anxious to take as much business as possible, F&B managers would be concerned if minimums or rental weren’t high enough, and general managers would question whether the rates were too low.
Oh, and remember those days when someone was on vacation and people didn’t know what to do? It’s hard to believe someone would call you for a group rate and then they’d have to wait 24 hours to get a quote while you were getting it approved.
This was just asking for another hotel to swoop in, quote a rate, send a contract and close the deal…all before you got your coffee for that morning’s sales meeting.
Looking back, you probably wondered if this really was the best way for a sales team to stay competitive.
Then came the days when you would load minimally acceptable rates (MARs) into your sales & catering system or provided them in a spreadsheet to the sales team. This gave sales managers the power to quote instantly, but all we really provided was the minimum price we were willing to accept.
Never mind these MARs were probably only updated a few times a year, and were based off transient pricing, when the demand for group and transient varies significantly.
How could we really expect to enable the sales team to quote optimal prices for their prospective groups?