How to solve the challenges for the commercial manager

23 November 2021
When in a new role there are always new challenges. Some of them are the same in all industries while some of them are hospitality specific. The major challenge is to build a stable foundation for the whole team to make all of them productive in their day-to-day job.
Many hotel companies are appointing commercial managers responsible for all commercial activities in hotels. Marketing, sales, revenue management, and reservations report to the commercial manager. In hotel med size groups, there can easily be 40+ people in the commercial team. The new area of responsibility is not without challenges. Here are some challenges that need solutions in the near future.

Leadership skills

The difficulty with the challenge depends on the commercial manager's experience from leading other teams. It is very different to lead a team of analytical revenue managers and lead a team of extrovert people-oriented salespersons. Another aspect is that leading people remotely demands a different type of leadership, probably built on trust, alignment, and productivity.

Get organized

A group of hotels will most likely need people on-site as well as some experts that share their knowledge with all hotels in the group. The new modern type of organization has people working in the office, at home, or from anywhere else. We are already used to virtual meetings, so this will continue to be used in the future and it is the perfect way to get everyone into the same meeting at a reasonable cost. Maybe it is a much better way to have spread-out commercial teams than everyone in the same place.

One system for the whole team

With a spread-out team working both locally and centrally, it is a huge benefit to connect them in one system and get away from silo-thinking. It might even be better to use a system with basic functionality for all roles in the commercial team, than having some specialist systems that only a few people have the necessary skills to use and the others will feel left out. The challenge for the commercial manager is also to be able to handle a multi-system environment with data stored in many places and not easily accessible for all in the team.

Align the team

When the basics are in place, the next challenge is to set objectives and targets for all revenue sources for the whole team, hotels, and individuals. All objectives and targets must be aligned to avoid suboptimization that has been a problem when operating in silos. With common objectives, all roles will work together to reach the goals. Follow up on the progress in regular meetings and adjust actions when needed.

Report the progress

Top management and the hotel general managers would like to know about the progress and need easy to read and understand. The reporting process should be easy for the commercial manager by predefined report formats and automatic distribution of reports. Within the team, reports can be used to capture learnings, so future decisions will have a higher positive impact.

Demand Calendar solves the challenges

We set out to create a system for the commercial team in hotel companies and can now solve the major challenges for the different roles in the commercial team. This is a good starting point for connecting the commercial team and a foundation for managing a quick recovery in the next couple of years. We pave the way for the commercial manager to become successful as a leader and in reaching the overall goals.