What is keeping you from hiring a Commercial Manager

15 June 2021
The demand for overnight stays is about to start to return. In the next couple of years, competition will be fierce since supply will be much higher than demand. Hotels need to fight to win each guest and customer. Therefore, a commercial team (marketing, sales, and revenue) is essential because each role is vital for winning revenue.

The pandemic exposed how critical the total revenue is for the survival and success of a hotel. No CEO or GM could balance the lack of income with cost cuts when the guests and customers disappeared. Of course, a hotel should have a good grip on its costs, but everyone in the hotel industry must acknowledge that success comes from how well a hotel manages total revenue. The CEO in small independent hotel companies and the GM in large independent hotels have two options.

OPTION 1

The CEO/GM is the Commercial Manager

The commercial work is the most critical activity right now, so I, as a CEO/GM, will lead the commercial team myself. First of all, this is a full-time job and needs 100 % attention from a leader. There is more to a CEO/GM job than just handling commercial activities. Second, does the CEO/GM have the necessary knowledge on how to create and drive a productive commercial team? Some might have, but most of them do not. Before the pandemic, commercial work was easy because the demand for overnight stays was almost too much to handle. Now, it needs detailed knowledge about all the new ways of attracting guests in the digital world. Most CEOs/GMs are lost. They better stay on top and manage all aspects of a hotel company or large independent hotel.

OPTION 2

Hire a Commercial Manager

The other option is to hire a commercial manager responsible for total revenue, the top line in the profit and loss. The position reports directly to the CEO/GM, and for now, the relationship is tight with daily updates and discussions. A Commercial Manager will assure the CEO/GM that someone is 100 % focused on bringing revenue to the hotel. Of course, there are some obstacles on the way. First, it will be challenging to find the right person since every hotel needs an A-talent in this position. Many talents left the industry during the pandemic and are not coming back from better and higher-paid jobs. Another challenge is that highly skilled people are a bit more expensive, but this is not where hotels should save money. If the hotel cannot find the right person for the job, option one is still an alternative.

Remove all the obstacles

In both options, the hotel will have a commercial team. The CEO/GM should remove any obstacles that slow down any one of the team members. Every working hour spent on non-productive jobs translates to lost revenue, or even worse, revenue captured by the competition. Align all team members to one vision, create a recovery strategy, and let the commercial team execute the plan. Track the progress and respond quickly when the team needs your help.

As a CEO/GM, your job is to support your commercial team in any way you can to speed up the recovery.

For additional ideas, a good starting point is to download the self-assessment test of your commercial team.

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