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Five critical selection criteria when buying a hotel B2B Sales CRM

16 November 2021
Every hotel needs a system that makes the job easier and more productive for its salespeople. The right B2B Sales CRM will automate the tedious manual workflows in hotel sales and help make the hotel more successful.
There are many challenges in finding the perfect CRM for a hotel since all hotels are different in location, type, size, facilities, target groups, and sales organization. The biggest challenge of them all is probably the integration to the hotel PMS. Unfortunately, the industry still has too many old legacy systems that do not readily exchange information, which is a considerable obstacle in becoming more productive in commercial work in hotels. Therefore, when selecting a Hotel B2B Sales CRM, focus on the big picture and not on small details.

Requirements for a B2B Sales CRM

The first step in buying any system is to put together a list of requirements that probably ends up as a very long and detailed list with a mix of needs and nice-to-haves. Each item on the list can be assigned a weight to show importance, but it will still be impossible to compare solutions. A better way is to define the five top criteria that the hotel cannot give up. These must-have requirements will become the selection criteria when evaluating potential solutions.

Ranking of selection criteria

The selection criteria list should also be ranked with the most critical selection criteria first. The number one selection criteria is a definite must. There are no buts and nothing else to compensate for not delivering on the first selection criteria. Now, let's look at how the hotel evaluates solutions from ten potential vendors. The first round is to find out if the vendor can fulfill the first criteria. If not, the vendor is out of the game. There is no use in continuing to evaluate a vendor that cannot meet an essential requirement. If five vendors cannot deliver on the first criteria, the remaining five will enter the second round and examine if they can fulfill the second requirement. The vendors that satisfy the second criteria go to the next round, and the others are out. The evaluation process continues until there are a couple of vendors left for a deeper evaluation. Using this evaluation process will quickly eliminate solutions that are not a good fit for the hotel and save time and money in the evaluation process. If the hotel has five well-defined selection criteria, there will only be a few vendors, if any, left for a deeper evaluation.

Five selection criteria for B2B Sales CRM

Based on my 35+ years in hotels, I would consider these as the five most critical selection criteria in that specific order when selecting a B2B Sales CRM.

1 Industry solution

The standard sales CRMs on the market are not suitable for hotel sales. Even if these systems have endless settings, hotel B2B sales works differently from selling traditional products. Therefore, go for a Sales CRM designed explicitly for workflows in hotel B2B sales, which will get the team up to speed and make them more productive faster.

2 Deep integration to the hotel PMS

The missing link for a standard sales CRM is a connection to the hotel PMS. If there is a link, be careful when evaluating the connection because most integrations only get a few data points and sometimes only aggregated data. Select a system with deep integration with the hotel PMS to automatically transfer inquiries, keep the systems in sync, and provide consolidated PMS profiles to fully understand actual outcomes and detailed customer behavior.

3 Multi-property to support a flexible sales organization

Multi-property means that the Sales CRM can handle more hotels in the same system. This is vital for sales management to drive and follow up the performance of the sales team. Therefore, it should be easy to manage local and centralized sales for companies with several hotels with different hotel PMSs in various destinations and countries. In addition, it should be easy to deploy negotiated contracts over numerous hotels regardless of initiated locally or centrally.

4 Superior user experience

Intuitive user interface serving the correct information when required and easy access to additional drill-down functions to gain more granular insights. The key to making salespeople use a sales CRM is to keep it simple and as automated as possible to minimize the effort of using the system. The system should serve the salesperson with reminders and alerts to eliminate wasting time looking for information.

5 Customer success team of hospitality experts

Customer success team of hospitality experts guiding and training hotels and sales teams to become more productive and make better decisions. Implementing a B2B sales CRM for a hotel requires deep knowledge about hotel sales and commercial work in hotels.
Using this method and these five selection criteria when selecting systems will speed up the process and increase the success of finding the best solution.