BI: Open the Cookie Jar to Solve Your Revenue Pain Points
Data management is an absolutely vital business skill for your company. It helps you increase operational intelligence, strategically target customer relationship management and maximize profits.
NB: This is an article from Rainmaker
Business Intelligence, BI, is the key to your success! In order to use all of the data we as revenue managers have at our finger tips, we must first be able to understand the data that is available to us and then focus our efforts on how to use it.
These days, revenue managers often have the coolest tools in the building and are making some of the biggest revenue driving decisions for hotels. Unfortunately, all too often, we as revenue managers either don’t like to share or fail to inform. We hoard our knowledge until someone is wise enough, dependent on the revenue manager, or brave enough to ask. It’s time to open up the revenue management cookie jar and let everyone have access to the cookies (our data)!
When thinking about how to use your data, the best place to start is by identifying the pain points in your organization. From there, we can begin to put measurements around those pain points. You could be missing a piece of the puzzle that is preventing you from telling a full story.
How often are you taking time to recognize your pain points? In our most recent webinar we covered a few of the most common pain points that we see at hotels.
1. Account Production
Account production is often a mystery. We get total numbers, but the details can be sketchy. Revenue Managers often have more granular details that let us reveal the intimate information that offers better insight into how we should price accounts. Utilizing a BI tool would allow you to drill deeper into specific accounts, day of week production or even booking behaviors by room product. Having this level of data makes it easier for your sales team to open up conversations with accounts/customers to get to a more meaningful negotiation process.
2. Pricing Group Business
When pricing group business, it is extremely important to focus on a couple of key metrics:
- Knowing the Total Forecast
- Understanding Pace
- Historical Data
With this data we can dive into groups that are pacing ahead or behind YOY and can then be compared to forecast and actuals from the previous year. This data will allow you to express to a group sales manager, sales team or leadership team certain month’s that we should not lose business in, where to shift leads, and the rate flexibility we have in order to close deals. Helping the sales team understand how these metrics work together can help them better understand why rates are higher at certain times and why they are likely to get a more favorable group rate over certain dates.
Pace is always a critical component in terms of forecasting. With the proper BI tool, there are a number of pace and pickup reports users can review and manipulate to assist in forecasting.
Are you sharing your forecast data with your marketing team? If not, it’s time to give them access to the cookies! They too should be responsible for understanding how a promotion is impacting your hotel. Once blended with the marketing intel from their own data points (i.e. how many hits have we received, how many open emails etc.) it is easier for the marketing team to know and tell the full story of a promotion.
You will also want to know the daily details at both a high level as well as a granular level. Similar to the group pain points, a high-level day of week pace report can help identify dates to offer a promotion. This information will be helpful as you’re beginning to outline your forecast and anticipate what segment is performing and where you need to apply some love and attention.
Your forecast can show you a lot of detail that will be crucial when planning promotions and having important conversations with GMs or owners – a good forecast will show you past, present and future data and help you tell a good story of what is taking place at your property.