By Chelsea Madden
Calling all hotel operators and owners! In order for your hotel to remain relevant through 2025 and beyond you have to think differently than you do today. On a recent webcast, we asked the attendees to classify their group sales organization into Farmers, Order-Takers, or Hunters. 70% classified their group sales teams as mostly Farmers or Order-Takers. In order for your hotel to survive a downturn, and for success in all economic times, you need to recognize, nurture and retain a group sales team of Hunters as well.
We see Farmers focusing on harvesting the repeat business, looking for new ways to grow that existing book. We see Order-Takers becoming more prevalent as a result of the economic boom – waiting for RFPs to land in their laps, never needing to proactively pick up a phone or send a proactive email. But this robotic order-taking could also be replaced by AI one day. In order to not be extinct, the hotel group salesperson must evolve their sales skills into a Hunter.
Here are a few tips to help you create a more Hunter-focused sales team:
- Distinguish between your Harvesters (Farmers), Proactive Sales People (Hunters) and Reactive Sales Administrators (Order-Takers):
- Put your Farmers on nurturing repeat business to grow their initial investment with your property.
- Put Hunters on proactively sourcing new business and put your best Hunters on your most profitable segment.
- Put Order-Takers on responding to RFPs.
- Help sales people think like a revenue manager (RM) by using data to source the best-fit group business and presenting that piece of business to your RM for consideration.
- Unpack your group metrics. If they are all focused around the Cvent activity measurements, then you will not have a true picture of performance.
- Give your group sales team access to the right solutions to enable the Hunter, like Knowland.
- Use the Knowland SmartSearch capability with the most cutting-edge search technology which stacks and ranks accounts and events by “best-fit” to your property.
The tips don’t stop there. We partnered with Doug Kennedy with Kennedy Training Network to develop a :15 minute video clip. Doug shares even more tips on challenging the status quo metrics to protecting your salespeople’s time in order to create a Hunter-focused group sales team. If you follow this advice you will be more successful and more profitable.