Part Two: The Evolution of the Hotel Sales Team
By: Jeff Bzdawka, CEO, Knowland
As seen in Hotel Business, see the entire article here.
You’ve heard the mantra — everything is different. What has become strikingly clear is the need to re-evaluate everything from back-of-the-house operations to the technology used to create and deliver quality experiences. With a staffing crisis in the industry unlike any we have seen in the past, and one that will likely not go away anytime soon, sales and marketing have taken their share of the hit. Necessary personnel cuts based on hotel closures, and an extended pause on travel and group for most segments and markets throughout 2020 and 2021, meant properties simply didn’t have enough business to support previously sized sales teams.
Today, hoteliers are in the process of pushing the reset button on sales roles. There is more clustering of sales teams, less of a focus on specific markets, and more of a cohesive, blended approach that requires sales teams to become smarter, and more focused in the face of shifting industry dynamics.
We have already seen the need to sell differently in today’s environment. Sales managers at every level are taking stock in how to train their teams to sell differently, ensuring sales staff is adept at and has the tools to, hunt for new business.
As we anticipate the return of group business, the past year has revealed the need to re-structure this critical role in hospitality and it is quickly becoming a top-of-mind priority for management and owners. We know despite the drastic changes in meetings and events, people across industries and geographies are ready to return to face-to-face meetings.
However, with the uncertainty of the pandemic, we also know the hybrid event/meeting is here to stay, at least for a while, and meetings will continue to be smaller. Some hoteliers have incorporated the hybrid meeting model into their technology spend. Moving forward, it is likely meeting planners will view this not as a replacement of the in-person meeting, but rather an enhancement of it, especially pre- and post-events.