Where Hotel Sales and Technology Meet

HSMAI Global’s new Certified Hotel Sales Leader (CHSL) certification is designed to recognize the expertise of hotel sales leaders, emphasizing the most up-to-date sales and commercial principles, practices, and strategies.

Here we share excerpts from Chapter 1 of The Hotel Sales Playbook: Winning Strategies for Success.

Chapter 1: Where Hotel Sales and Technology Meet

By HSMAI’s Americas Sales Advisory Board

Technology and Leading Sales Today

Technology has radically altered selling processes, creating new opportunities for sales teams to become more efficient and data-driven, and to deliver highly personalized experiences throughout the customer journey.

Technology has made some of the transactional aspects of sales easier, making touchpoints with customers even more important. Robust customer relationship management (CRM) systems have become essential for managing leads, tracking customer interactions, and analyzing sales performance data to optimize processes. A successful sales leader will:

  • Fully understand the capabilities of the sales intelligence and CRM tools to which their team has access, especially when it comes to lead scoring, sales forecasting, and customer data and analytics.
  • Ensure that their team leverages the hotel’s CRM systems to manage leads and customer interactions, track sales performance metrics, and optimize sales processes.

Made possible by developments in technology, hotel sales, marketing, and revenue management functions have become more integrated. Digital marketing tactics like content marketing, email campaigns, and paid advertising directly support sales pipelines. And advanced revenue management systems allow revenue teams, of which sales is a member, to dynamically manage pricing and inventory in response to real-time market conditions. This integration requires sellers to understand the fundamentals of both revenue management and marketing to make sure the right offer is made to the right customer at the right time. A successful sales leader will:

  • Appreciate the components of, and colleagues who specialize in, digital marketing and revenue management. Understand how they influence the discipline of sales, and vice versa.
  • Ensure that their team knows how and when to leverage which marketing tools — from content marketing to email campaigns, paid advertising, and more — to support sales efforts (see Chapter 10 on Digital Marketing Best Practices & Measurement).
  • Ensure that their teams master the fundamentals of revenue management and can identify the most impactful partnership opportunities for sales and revenue management, including market segmentation, pricing, forecasting, and performance measurement (See Chapter 11, A Sales Leader’s Guide to Revenue Management).

Sales teams now have access to richer data analytics tools, enabling them to better understand customer behavior, communication and buying preferences, and purchasing patterns, allowing for more personalized and targeted sales efforts. These data analytics tools are also used to measure success metrics and make more informed decisions. A successful sales leader will:

  • Recognize the tremendous value — and role — of data for the sales organization and understand how to leverage data to become a more effective commercial strategist.
  • Build the capabilities of their sellers to use data to be more strategic and targeted in their prospecting and customer engagement efforts.

Additional technological innovations impacting sales today — and how successful sales leaders can lean into them — include:

  • Digital Sales Channels: Train and coach sellers to adapt their traditional face-to-face sales interactions to virtual selling environments and digital channels like email, social media, and video conferencing. See Chapter 3 (Effective Communication and Presentation Skills for Sales Leaders).
  • Social Media: Understand the role of social media in hotel sales and leverage social platforms like LinkedIn for your (and your team members’) personal branding, networking, and directly engaging prospects. See Chapter 3 on Effective Communication and Presentation Skills for Sales Leaders (“Your Professional Image and Personal Brand” section) and Chapter 10 on Digital Marketing Best Practices & Measurement. Also, see the section on “Social Selling” later in this chapter.
  • Automation and AI: Investigate opportunities for automation and AI to streamline repetitive sales tasks, enhance lead scoring and personalization efforts, and answer customer queries. See Chapter 13 on Artificial Intelligence and Hotel Sales.

HSMAI members who attain the CHSL certification will gain professional recognition, career advancement opportunities, and the ability to contribute more effectively to their organizations’ success. For more information, visit  hsmaiacademy.org/certification-hotel-sales-leader or contact Kathy Tindell at kathy.tindell@hsmai.org.

Categories: Marketing
Insight Type: Articles