The Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) and Knowland present The New Sales Team, a white paper that discusses how the evolving tactics of hotel sales teams are in turn changing the dynamic between hotel management companies and owner groups. The new sales team is focused on direct selling, fulfills multiple functions across a tiered organization, and does not rely on inbound leads.
Through interviews with industry leaders, the white paper examines how sales teams are moving from an overreliance on inbound leads to a renewed commitment to hunting and data-driven selling, and how this affects the type of data that sales teams, management companies, and ownership groups need and how they use that data.
NEW APPROACHES, NEW NEEDS
In order to have these meaningful conversations, HMC sales professionals need access to the right type of data about their potential customers. ‘Our belief was always that we’re an outbound direct sales organization,’ said Chris Kenney, senior vice president of sales and marketing for CoralTree Hospitality, which manages 22 branded and independent lifestyle hotels and resorts in the United States. This means that Kenney’s teams must be targeted in their approaches, needing to know ‘who is that customer that will, or will have the propensity to, do business with us and why?’
To create experts, CoralTree’s sales teams — which often include one person selling multiple properties — deploy against vertical industries rather than geographically. They must have access to data to understand details about the groups that are coming to their markets, so they can research each specific industry and its behaviors and inclinations around things like preferred meeting season. This way, teams will be better equipped to proactively approach those groups that have the propensity to do more business in a market than others, or to recognize that the verticals they used to rely on for their business may not be the ones they need to focus on now. ‘Knowing that,” Kenney said, ‘I can deploy against that and be more targeted in a market than others might.