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Sales is the most important role for a quick recovery for hotels

30 June 2021
The demand for accommodation has started to increase. Now is the time for sales to prepare for re-negotiations of all contracts and find the most critical information about each customer's future travel pattern. In addition, hotels need to rebuild trust through their salespeople.

Many hotels think about when is the right time to re-start sales activities to bring back business into their hotels. But, as always, it depends on the type of hotel, size, location, and primary target groups. Hotels with a large share of contracted business need to put their salespeople to work immediately to prepare to re-negotiate contracts. Hotels that laid-off salespeople need to rehire and retrain new talents.

Re-negotiate contracts

The main job of hotel salespersons is to build long-term relationships with customers that can provide room nights in the future. The standard procedure is to agree on volume goals, negotiate rates, terms, and conditions for these contracts. The pandemic has not changed the way of doing business through these types of deals and contracts. Hotels on one side and corporations, travel agents, and tour operators on the other side extended the contracts for 6-12 months. All these agreements will soon be up for re-negotiation for the next calendar year or season. Hotel salespersons are experts in this area, and this time around, they have an additional significant task - to understand the future estimated production from these contracts. The primary question is how many months the recovery of each contract production will take. It is probably a matter of time rather than no recovery at all.

Collect vital information from customers

By sending out the salespeople, hotels will collect vital information about their customers and can, after that, assess the need for replacing missing room nights with other business. Analyze the contracted business is as essential now as it was before the pandemic. First, monitor the pick-up for each contract closely to understand how quickly the room nights will recover. Then, assess the total contracted business and discover deviations before the hotel loses any additional opportunities.

Prepare to become more productive

Many hotels pride themselves on how flexible they have been during the pandemic. In some hotels, sales, marketing, and revenue management professionals have been cleaning rooms and working in other operational positions unless furloughed. Maybe a better use would have been to prepare for the recovery by implementing new tools and systems to make the team more productive. Every hotel also needs updated sales materials, how-to guides, best practices, ready-to-deploy promotions, and other high-value resources to position the commercial team to win more guests than the competition. Unfortunately, most hotels panicked when the revenue disappeared, making it easy to make judgments in hindsight.

Give sales your full support

Do not underestimate the skills, knowledge, and experience required of a hotel salesperson in bringing in revenue. Hotel salespeople have a busy time ahead of them. Make sure they have full support from top management.

Download the job description

We have put together a comprehensive but not too detailed job description for a sales manager. You are welcome to download the job description and adapt it to your hotel company and your salespersons.