5 questions every GM needs to ask in a sales pipeline meeting

02 August 2022
The general manager's job is to understand if and when the salespeople will win the deals in the sales pipeline. Therefore, the sales pipeline meeting is critical for GMs to determine the probability of sales bringing business to the hotel. Unfortunately, deal reviews can be all over the place, and they rarely follow a formal structure to help salespeople win the business.

The five questions

In many hotels, the general manager leads the sales pipeline meeting. Therefore, the GM must ensure that the salespeople get ahead in the sales process and accurately predict the likelihood of winning the deal. Here are five questions that GMs should ask in every sales pipeline meeting.

1 What problem is the customer trying to solve?

This question aims to ensure that the salesperson understands the potential customer's motivation to sign a contract for future room nights or make a reservation for an event. Customers do not buy products or services. Instead, they buy a solution to a problem. One example is a corporate customer that would like to have a hotel near their headquarters to make it convenient for people visiting. Another company might focus on cutting the expenses for accommodation and therefore look for a cheaper alternative.

2 What is the customer trying to accomplish?

What is the customer trying to accomplish by staying at a hotel? After the pandemic, the way of working has changed. People can now work from anywhere, but working alone also creates a need to physically meet with customers and coworkers (at least if you belong to an analog generation). As a result, companies try to build a company culture and improve collaboration between coworkers. Other examples are how to reward their most valuable customers or train their employees. If hotel salespeople understand how customers' priorities have changed, it will be easier to create offerings that will attract customers and win more deals. Then, the salesperson could propose additional products and services the hotel provides to achieve the customer's desired results.

3 Which options do the customer have?

The salesperson needs to understand how customers do things today and which hotels they use to help them find a better and more valuable solution. If the customer has many other options, it will be much harder to win the business for the hotel's desired room rate or deal value. Therefore, the value of the deal might not be possible to realize. In this situation, the revenue manager's rate advice, including considering the total revenue, is vital to winning or deciding to walk away from the deal.

4 What are the decision criteria and process?

What are the most critical factors that the customer will consider? Will it be the convenience for the guests or the price? Will it be the meeting room or the food? Salespeople that understand how the hotel needs to customize the offering will most likely win more business. Furthermore, salespeople need to know who is involved in the decision process so they can meet with the decision-makers to present the final proposal and asses when and if a deal is going to close.

5 What is the next yes?

This last question is critical and reveals the salesperson's deal strategy. A salesperson must win many yeses along the way to get closer to winning a deal. What does the salesperson need to get the potential customer to commit to that drives the sale? It could be to agree to a meeting, a site inspection, an essential part of the proposal, or introduce the decision maker. The salesperson needs to be working on getting the potential customer to commit to something that indicates their interest and desire to move closer to signing an agreement or making a definite reservation.

Weekly sales pipeline meetings

At first, asking all these questions in a sales pipeline meeting is probably overwhelming. However, after a few weekly meetings, the salespeople already have answers to all these questions. They have gathered the correct information to predict the likelihood of closing the deal. After a few of these weekly meetings, the win rate will start to increase, and the hotel will grow its total revenue.

Demand Calendar Hotel B2B Sales CRM

All hotels that sign agreements for future room nights, such as corporate, travel agents, and tours, need a B2B sales CRM. Demand Calendar has a sales pipeline where the salesperson can easily add activities to win many yeses to win the deal ultimately. Once the salesperson wins the contract, the salesperson needs to keep track of the production and ensure that the volume and revenue the customer promised in the agreement will also materialize. Together with the revenue manager, salespersons can evaluate each contract and, before a renewal, discuss the tactics based on the value of the contract. Demand Calendar has all the features hotel salespeople need to bring more business to the hotel.