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The future for hotel B2B sales

29 September 2021
The sales landscape for hotel B2B sales have dramatically changed the past years and yet it has not gotten back to normal. The question is, will it ever be like it used to be and what kind of role will the “traditional” Sales Manager play in the future? 

For the near future the Sales Manager will be one of the most important roles in order to recover as fast as possible from the pandemic period and to stay ahead in the competition. However, the daily work for Sales Manager's need to be adapted into the new sales landscape and a mix of old traditional sales activities together with new more modern approaches will lead to greater success.

We are finally beginning to see an end to restrictions (at least for now) and physical meetings and even sales events are starting to take place. There is a strong demand to meet face to face to do business and these traditional events and meetings will also be important for the near future. However, even before the pandemic bigger trade shows and events had problems attracting quality buyers and the events were for many more used to retain good existing relationships rather than finding new hotels and ventures for their next event, incentives or corporate business. It’s easier and more time saving to navigate online to find the information you need. Even though the buyer journey is getting more and more digital, there will be a place for physical meeting areas even in the future for hotel sales and as already mentioned, the sales people who can combine the digital with physical meeting will have an advantage.

Hybrid sales

The days where Sales Managers could have physical meetings with their potential and existing customers have been very limited during the pandemic. Instead they have been forced to use virtual methods such as phone/video calls, video selling, social selling and emails. Hybrid sales approach is as the name implies when the sales reps interact with customers both in-person visits and virtually. 

According to McKinsey & Companies survey; The new normal in a year that has been anything but 85 % expect hybrid sellers will be the most common sales role in their organization over the next 3 years.

Screenshot 2021-09-28 20.08.29(Picture from McKinsey & Companies)

For Sales Managers in hotels, who are used to working mostly with in-person meetings and events, the hybrid sales approach can be even more effective than traditional old-school sales. Virtual meetings allow you to be more productive with your time. A virtual meeting is also a good way to pre-qualify the potential customer before you actually have a physical meeting. This method allows you to sort out customers that’s not a fit for your product. The acceptance of virtual meetings will also allow you to have more touch points during the year and will contribute to a greater relationship.

Improved quality of data

Relying on feelings instead of data is bad for your business. The hotels need quality data to give your sales team insights regarding your existing and potential customers in order to work more efficiently. Hotels often struggle with bad data such as many different company profiles and wrong information which will make it time consuming and sometimes even impossible to analyze. It’s important to have a well-functioning structure to improve your data quality. Don’t wait, start now!

Modern systems

According to another research from McKinsey & Company sales people that outperform the market are 62 % more effective in using digital tools. Use of technology in the hospitality industry is still lacking compared to other industries and there is much room for improvement. Sales reps need to enhance the use of modern digital systems in order to streamline their sales process to get more productive and increase revenue. Read more about important aspects to consider for hotels when to invest in modern systems.