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How to invest in salespeople and CRM systems to achieve your goals

29 March 2022
The turnover of salespeople in the hotel industry was already high before the breakout of the pandemic. Then, many salespersons left the industry, and hotels are now thinking about how to attract them to come back or find a new generation of salespeople.
When people left the industry, hotels lost a massive amount of knowledge that went out the door. Some hotels had sales CRM systems, so they kept some of the knowledge about their customers when their salespeople left. However, less successful hotels did not have a sales CRM and lost all valuable data and knowledge about their most important customers. Learn from past experiences and make a plan to prevent the same thing from happening again in the future.

The short-term thinking culture

The hotel industry is famous for its short-term thinking. We solve today's problems and wait for new issues to solve tomorrow. This worldwide culture in the industry is solid, and it does not help how good top management is at creating clever strategies. The management guru Peter Drucker once said: "Culture eats strategy for breakfast." The quote explains why it is so hard to change the hotel industry.

Keep the knowledge within the hotel

Hotels with long-term thinking would invest in systems before hiring and onboarding people. For example, a sales CRM would keep all information about customers, contacts, activities, contracts, and outcomes. The system contains all the knowledge about the hotel's customers, and the sales team will continue to add valuable information to the system. Practically all CRM solutions in the market are SaaS solutions and charge a monthly fee of between €50 and €300 per user, depending on how much functionality the hotel needs. In addition, suppliers charge a one-time implementation and training fee. In all off-the-shelf CRM solutions, hotels need to invest in adapting and developing special functions needed in hotels to make these systems work in the hotel industry.
The outcome of an investment in a hotel B2B sales CRM is substantial
  • Encourage and keeps track of revenue growth
  • Cost reduction in fewer other systems and waste of time
  • Limited risk of losing valuable information when employees leave the company
  • Higher employee satisfaction when provided with tools that will make the job easier
  • Higher customer satisfaction when salespeople can follow up as promised
  • The hotel owner/top management will be in the loop about sales progress

Hotel salespeople are expensive

Hotels with short-term thinking are now trying to find salespeople that can start to bring in business as they used to do before the pandemic. It is a difficult task, and many hotels will end up with less skilled and knowledgeable salespersons than they had before the pandemic. Once a hotel hires a salesperson, the onboarding only asks them to start calling on potential customers. These hotels do not have a sales CRM, so the sales team has to keep their lists in Excel, Outlook, or similar systems. When the salesperson leaves for another job, most of the knowledge about the hotel's customers leaves with the salesperson. The next salesperson has to start from scratch and call on new customers.
Research shows that acquiring a new customer costs much more than keeping an existing customer. Therefore, hotels need to invest more in maintaining their current customers to save on costs and sell more products and services to existing customers.
The monthly cost for a salesperson is between €4000 and €9000, including bonuses and perks. If the hotel's EBITDA is 40 % of sales, the salesperson needs to bring in between €10 000 and €22 500 extra revenue to cover the cost.
Every investment in a salesperson is substantial. Therefore, hotels need to ensure an excellent return on investment or minimize the risk that the investment will not pay off. The onboarding of a new salesperson is essential for making the person productive as quickly as possible. Hotels need great sales tools and systems to maximize the success of each new salesperson. The outcome of an investment in the onboarding of salespeople is substantial.
  • The salesperson becomes productive faster.
  • Higher employee satisfaction when the company is professional
  • The employee will stay longer if the first week/month is satisfactory
  • Training in the hotel products and services will build confidence
  • Information in systems will give the salesperson a head start
  • The employee will contribute to the build-up of knowledge stored in sales CRM
  • The hotel will set goals for each salesperson to increase engagement and motivation
  • The hotel owner/top management will keep track of sales performance
The minimum cost for the salesperson is €4000 per month. The cost of a sales CRM is around €200 per month, which is 5 % of the cost of the salesperson. The more the hotel pays the salesperson, the lower percentage for the sales CRM. With the right sales tools and systems, it is more likely that the salesperson will cover its costs and bring in additional revenue.

Demand Calendar B2B Sales CRM

We have specifically developed the B2B Sales CRM for hotels to make it easy for salespeople to sell all the hotel's products and services. The starting point is to make all sales work as productive as possible. We have been able to automate some tedious tasks to save time for the salesperson, while the manual tasks that need input from a human are fast and ensure accuracy. The most important outcome of using Demand Calendar B2B Sales CRM is a high productive hotel sales team.