By Kaitlin Dunn, writer, Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI)
While many sales executives expressed optimism at HSMAI’s Executive Roundtables on Oct 27, they also shared that there are many unique challenges they are facing right now as well.
The two roundtables included one for Chief Sales Officers in partnership with ZS and one for Hotel Management Company (HMC) Sales and Marketing Executives in partnership with Knowland in conjunction with HSMAI’s Sales Leader Forum.
Participating companies in the CSO roundtable included Accor, Associated Luxury Hotels International (AHLI), IHG, Marriott International, Preferred, Radisson Hotel Group, Rosewood Hotels & Resorts, and Sonesta. Participating companies in the HMC Sales and Marketing roundtable included CoralTree Hospitality, First Hospitality Group, Greenwood Hospitality, Kessler Collection, M&R Hotel Management, Makr Hospitality, NCG Group, Pacifica, Parks Hospitality Group, PM Hotel Group, Prism Hotels & Resorts, Regency Hotel Management, and Remington Hotel Corporation.
Here are a few of the top concerns on participants’ minds right now:
- Many companies are still dealing with limited resources, forcing them to tighten their budgets and continue to attempt to do more with less going into 2022.
- Some companies are concerned that there will be another economic downturn, due to the increased cost of labor and products, which could turn into a full-blown crisis.
- Many customers are frustrated with the increased rates being charged and have no empathy toward the hotels.
ON COMPANY CULUTRE
- Employee well-being and mental health is still a top priority for many companies.
- Many employees are demanding flexibility and a better work-life balance, making it a struggle to retain top talent.
- There is a lot of frustration and a lack of empathy between salespeople and operations.
- Many people have hit their breaking points with the lack of resources and support. It’s important to help everyone within an organization navigate the through the difficutlites and stay positive to come out stronger as a company in this environment.
- Organizations are redefining their structure and the division of responsibilities is changing as jobs continue to evolve.
ON STAFFING AND COMPENSATION
- Sales teams are struggling to attract the right people to the job, who aren’t going to leave for operations or for other opportunities outside of the industry. However, the struggle to attract good talent isn’t unique to sales, or even to the hospitality industry.
- It’s crucial to get GM support and engagement with sales initiatives in order to develop a strong compensation package for sales teams.
- Sellers need more motivation to make their goals. There is less joy in the sales environment, and it’s important to make salespeople feel good about what they are doing jobs in order to both retain them and have them succeed in their jobs.
- It’s a struggle to keep global sales relevant in an environment that is driven by digital.
- Sales is still trying to reinvent itself as a discipline in the post-pandemic world and meet the expectations and needs of customers.
- It still could be another year before salespeople start to see the same numbers that they were seeing in 2019, and it’s important to make sure that they don’t get frustrated and still feel that they are contributing to the team.