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All hotels need a head of commerce to align the team

30 March 2023
It is easy to agree that all roles in the commercial team should work toward the same goal. If they do not, it is a problem that needs to be solved. It is also easy to agree that hotels need marketing, sales, and revenue management knowledge. Hotels without skills in these areas are likely less successful, so they must acquire them. It is easy to agree that hotels want their commercial roles, such as marketing, sales, and revenue management, to be highly productive in growing revenue and profits. If productivity is low, hotels need to fix this to become successful.

The general manager's job is to align all team members toward the same goal, find relevant knowledge and skills, and make the team highly productive. A young and ambitious general manager would like to fix these things himself. In contrast, a more experienced general manager would recruit a commercial manager to head the marketing, sales, and revenue management team. Let's outline the tasks for the commercial manager to align the team toward the same goals, build knowledge and skills, and finally make the team highly productive.

Align all roles toward the same goal

Aligning a hotel's marketing, sales, and revenue management toward the same goal is crucial for maximizing profit and delivering a consistent customer experience. Here are ten action points to help achieve this alignment:
  1. Set clear, shared objectives: Establish common goals and key performance indicators (KPIs) that all three departments work towards, such as revenue targets, occupancy rates, or customer satisfaction scores.
  2. Regular communication: Schedule regular physical or virtual meetings for team members to discuss progress, share updates, and address any challenges or concerns.
  3. Cross-functional training: Offer training opportunities for staff to learn about the roles and responsibilities of other team members, fostering a better understanding of the bigger picture and encouraging collaboration.
  4. Develop a shared target guest/customer profile: Collaborate on creating a few detailed guest/customer profiles, including the reason for travel, demographics, preferences, and booking patterns, to help inform marketing campaigns, sales strategies, and revenue management decisions.
  5. Coordinate promotions and campaigns: Work together to create and launch marketing campaigns, special offers, and discounts that align with the hotel's overall goals and target audience and optimize revenue generation.
  6. Collaborative pricing strategy: Develop a joint pricing strategy that considers market demand, competitor rates, and guest/customer expectations to maximize total revenue.
  7. Share data and insights: Regularly share insights from each role's analytics based on the same data, such as demand patterns, booking behavior, conversion rates, or customer feedback, to make informed decisions and adjust strategies and tactics.
  8. Implement a centralized B2B Sales CRM: Use a B2B Sales CRM to centralize and share customer information, streamlining communication and ensuring a consistent experience throughout the customer journey. Use the PMS as a B2C CRM to keep track of individual guests and their behavior.
  9. Incentivize collaboration: Create performance-based incentives or rewards for team members that encourage teamwork and collaboration across departments in achieving shared objectives.
  10. Monitor and adjust: Continuously monitor the results of your alignment efforts and make necessary adjustments to strategies, communication, and collaboration based on the data and feedback collected. This will help maintain alignment and drive ongoing improvement

Build knowledge and skills

Building knowledge and skills within a hotel's marketing, sales, and revenue management team is essential for achieving business objectives and staying ahead in the competitive hospitality industry. Here are ten action points to help foster a culture of learning and development:
  1. Identify skill gaps: Conduct a thorough skills assessment of your team to identify areas where knowledge or expertise is lacking and prioritize these areas for training and development.
  2. Develop a training plan: Create a comprehensive training plan that addresses identified skill gaps and supports the overall goals and objectives of the hotel.
  3. Provide on-the-job training: Offer practical, hands-on training opportunities for staff to learn and apply new skills directly in their roles. This can include job shadowing, cross-training, or task rotation.
  4. Offer external training: Invest in external training programs, workshops, or seminars that cover topics relevant to marketing, sales, and revenue management in the hospitality industry.
  5. Promote online learning: Encourage using online learning resources, such as webinars, e-learning platforms, or industry-specific courses, to build knowledge and skills at the team's convenience.
  6. Establish mentorship programs: Pair experienced team members with newer employees for one-on-one mentoring, fostering knowledge transfer and personal growth.
  7. Support professional certifications: Encourage team members to pursue industry-recognized certifications, such as those offered by the Hospitality Sales and Marketing Association International (HSMAI) or universities focusing on hospitality.
  8. Attend industry events: Participate in industry conferences, such as HSMAI ROC, trade shows, and networking events to stay informed on the latest trends, best practices, and emerging technologies in marketing, sales, and revenue management.
  9. Foster a culture of continuous learning: Encourage team members to take ownership of their professional development and embrace a mindset of lifelong learning.
  10. Evaluate and adjust: Regularly review the effectiveness of your training and development initiatives, gathering feedback from team members and measuring the impact on performance. Use this information to make necessary adjustments and continue to build knowledge and skills within your team

Make the team highly productive

Making a hotel's marketing, sales, and revenue management team highly productive requires effective leadership, strategic planning, and a supportive work environment. Here are ten action points to enhance productivity:
  1. Establish clear goals and expectations: Set well-defined expectations, objectives, and KPIs for each role, ensuring they align with the hotel's overall goals. Communicate these expectations clearly and consistently.
  2. Encourage collaboration and communication: Foster a culture of teamwork by encouraging regular communication and collaboration between commercial roles. This can include cross-functional meetings, team-building activities, and shared workspaces or tools.
  3. Prioritize tasks and projects: Help team members identify and focus on high-impact tasks and projects by setting priorities and providing guidance on managing their time and resources effectively.
  4. Streamline processes and workflows: Regularly review and optimize processes and workflows, eliminating unnecessary steps and automating tasks where possible to save time and reduce potential errors.
  5. Provide the right tools and technology: Equip your team with the necessary tools and technology to perform their tasks efficiently, such as access to a centralized information system for analytics, campaign software, and a B2B Sales CRM to keep track of the hotel's customers and forecasting, pick-up tracking and benchmarking tools for revenue management.
  6. Invest in training and development: Ensure team members have the skills and knowledge required to excel in their roles by offering ongoing training and development opportunities.
  7. Foster a positive work environment: Create an atmosphere that promotes well-being, motivation, and job satisfaction. This can include offering flexible work arrangements, encouraging work-life balance, and recognizing and rewarding team members' achievements.
  8. Monitor performance and provide feedback: Regularly track performance against established KPIs and provide constructive feedback to team members, helping them identify areas for improvement and growth.
  9. Empower decision-making: Encourage team members to take ownership of their tasks and make informed decisions, giving them the necessary autonomy and support to make choices that benefit the hotel's goals.
  10. Celebrate successes and learn from failures: Recognize and celebrate team accomplishments, both large and small, to boost morale and motivation. Additionally, treat setbacks as learning opportunities, encouraging the team to analyze what went wrong and make improvements for future endeavors

One system for the commercial team

Demand Calendar is an intuitive, insightful, and interactive tool designed for the commercial team to support data-driven decision-making in the hotel industry. It can address several action points mentioned earlier, particularly in collaboration, data sharing, and analytics.
The most important action points that Demand Calendar can help with are:
  1. Collaborative pricing strategy: Demand Calendar provides valuable insights on market demand, booking trends, and competitor rates, enabling marketing, sales, and revenue management teams to develop a pricing strategy that maximizes total revenue and profits. Its intuitive interface and interactive features make it easy for teams to collaborate and make data-driven decisions.
  2. Share data and insights: The platform offers a centralized, interactive location for collecting and sharing critical data, such as booking patterns, customer preferences, and historical trends. This helps ensure that all departments have the same information and can make informed, data-driven decisions.
  3. Streamline processes and workflows: Demand Calendar, with its intuitive interface, can automate various tasks related to marketing, sales, and revenue management, such as campaign tracking, pipeline management, demand forecasting, and pricing updates, helping to save time and reduce the potential for errors.
  4. Provide the right tools and technology: As a specialized hotel commercial tool, Demand Calendar equips teams with the intuitive, insightful, and interactive technology needed to analyze data, monitor performance, and make effective decisions that drive total revenue growth and profits.
  5. Monitor performance and provide feedback: With its detailed reporting and analytics capabilities, Demand Calendar allows hotel management to track performance against goals and established KPIs and provide constructive feedback to team members, helping them identify areas for improvement and growth.
In summary, the intuitive, insightful, and interactive Demand Calendar can significantly contribute to the productivity and effectiveness of a hotel's marketing, sales, and revenue management teams by facilitating collaboration, providing critical data and insights, and supporting data-driven decision-making.