Be a Hunter in 2021.
In today’s challenging hotel group sales environment, sellers must take a proactive approach to drive the group business bookings that are key to maintaining and growing hotel profitability. In the past, brand reputation and service standards – as well as high demand – attracted inbound leads that helped keep hotels at high occupancy levels with healthy margins, but they will need a more proactive approach in 2021.
As hotels begin to bring their sales teams back, successful sales leaders are taking this opportunity to redefine their teams – from their skill sets to how they go after new business. These savvy leaders are essentially developing sales hunters – proactive sellers that go get new business instead of waiting for it to come to them. Hunters are proactive sellers that go get new business instead of waiting for it to come to them. They define their targets, identify the best opportunity, and go in for the close.
Key best practices for proactive selling in the COVID-19 era:
- Allocate 25% of your sales team’s time to do new business prospecting (remember, this is not hard selling but getting on your prospect’s radar and learning the state of their business).
- Define what “new business” means for your sellers – catching up with previous customers is always good business, but it’s not new business. Sales leaders need to set standards for new sales leads and provide the resources for efficiently sourcing that business.
- Focus on local accounts within your drive market. These are the meetings being booked today, so this should be where your team spends most of their time.
- Target meetings of 50 or less that can be split into multiple rooms. Depending on local guidelines, successful meetings can separate tracks and/or speakers in different rooms. These smaller groups foster discussion and engagement.
- Develop success stories of how people are meeting at your hotel. From small sales kick-offs or corporate planning sessions, using virtual meeting software to connect distributed locations, hybrid virtual and in-person meetings, and more.
- Share good news by showing meetings in your hotel today with photos and videos in your sales kit and social media/email campaigns.
- Define what success looks like for your sellers. How we define success today doesn’t look like what it did a year ago. The old metrics simply will not work in this environment. Develop new metrics and set new activity goals. Then measure your prospecting outreach by setting a weekly goal and reporting on performance.