three sales people looking at a group rfp and building a response (1.77)

Meeting your hotel’s sales goals is about so much more than individual sales quotas and collecting bonuses.

NB: This is an article from Knowland

Whether you are a hotel sales manager or operator, booking well-suited groups requires both inbound RFP responses and proactive selling. These strategies enable you to predict group revenue more accurately. As a result, allowing more effective transient strategies for maximum profitability.

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What do you need to have the right breakdown between proactive and inbound hotel sales?

Proactive Hotel Sales

Hotels that are more dependent on inbound leads can’t accurately predict group business because they are at the mercy of if/when leads come in and if/when they convert. Ultimately, this trickle-down economics model impacts every level of your rate mix.

The ecosystem of your revenue management processes should feed itself. Group bookings provide a base that drives up transient rates, in turn driving up group rates. You inherently break the ecosystem if you can’t accurately predict when and where groups will come.

Proactive selling allows your team to forecast when and where groups will come more accurately. This is the fuel that feeds your revenue management ecosystem and ultimately leads to stronger performance by your hotel.

A few ways to approach proactive sales are:

  • Looking at accounts that are meeting in your market at competing hotels and reaching out.
  • Understanding the segments meeting in your market or a similar market to see who would be a good fit for your meeting space.
  • Researching accounts that have traditionally booked at a property that may be higher in chain scale than yours but offers a comparable quality of amenities and services. These are good targets to reach out to because they may want to save money on future events while still enjoying a high-quality property and the features of your market.

Strategic Inbound RFP Responses

You get a lot of RFPs. And you may be required to respond to all of them. But some are more valuable to your property than others. Your sales team needs to understand the piece of business beyond the single transaction that fell into your inbox.

They need to be able to understand the following:

  • How many meetings does this group plan?
  • What types of hotels do they book?
  • What chain scales do they prefer?

When you find the RFPs in your sweet spot, use data about this group’s previous events to create an RFP that will be more likely to hit the mark with the meeting planner.

Remember, not every lead is a good fit. So, have a process to prioritize them. Send a more “standard” reply to those less likely to book your property based on their needs or preferences, and spend more time on those more likely to choose your property or one like it.

Let the sales team do this research in a mandated time frame. Additionally, the right tool will help influence the rates offered and allow them to respond (or not) more meaningfully.

Read the full article at Knowland