What do you do when you’ve spent the last 10 years taking inbound leads for granted — and you’re facing the possibility of an economic slowdown? Pivot to proactive selling. A new white paper from HSMAI and Knowland, Finding the ‘Right’ Group Business, explains how. Read an excerpt below:
This proactive strategy — centered on smart, data-driven outreach — should be the new normal. For many hotels, it means a shift from a transactional mindset to one of business development, in which salespeople are focused on the long game. This can pay huge dividends down the line, when your team doesn’t have to scramble to keep up with potentially irrelevant leads.
For relatively smaller brands, such as Rosewood Hotel Group, proactive selling allows for a more consultative approach, especially as it looks at overall long-term spend. Thanks to powerful intelligence on its potential customer needs, Rosewood Senior Corporate Director of Global Sales SiuYin Ko’s team is able to have more candid conversations with key clients about how best to secure more business. “We can also have honest conversations when there isn’t a fit,” Ko said, “so that we can be respectful of their time.”
Through this model, traditional sales roles become a thing of the past. Already, some hotel companies are testing an overhaul of their teams. Take Prism Hotels & Resorts, where an upcoming beta change to the sales-organizational structure will see sales managers dedicated to proactive selling and administrators redeployed to respond to inbound leads.
“Was it broken before? Absolutely not,” said Allison Handy, Prism’s senior vice president of sales, marketing, and revenue optimization. “But success in this market is about strategic changes you can make for incremental improvements, and this is one of them.”