Trying a new diet program? Starting an exercise routine? Quitting smoking? It’s January, and along with the start of a new year, many people take stock of their habits and resolve to embrace positive changes. Why not do this for the department that single-handedly determines the financial success or failure of a hotel? What’s working? What’s not?
Take the following quick audit to see how your hotel’s sales and marketing organization scores. Does everyone on the team have a sales mindset? Does it need activating to achieve better results?
Respond to each question by ranking on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 being non-existent and 5 being above and beyond, and then check your results with the scoring matrix below.
- Do sales meetings happen regularly? Does the hotel general manager occasionally drop-in?
- Is the Employee Satisfaction Survey (or similar feedback) satisfactory and improving?
- Is the employee turn-over volume acceptable? Are open positions filled in an acceptable time frame?
- Are the sales and marketing team respected throughout the hotel?
- Is leadership effective?
Sub-total Employee Morale_____________________
- What is the TripAdvisor ranking of the hotel? Are you happy with this?
- Is the transient pace ahead or behind same time last year for the next six months? Is this in keeping with the strategy?
- Is the group pace ahead or behind same time last year for the next 12 months? Is this in keeping with the strategic direction?
- Does the hotel have a program to acknowledge repeat guests, including knowing the personal preferences of top customers?
- Does senior leadership (general manager, rooms division manager, etc.) at the hotel know the top five customers for the most important market segment?
Sub-total Customer Satisfaction __________________
Ease of doing business
- Are lost business reports (especially for group) reviewed regularly and comparable with previous year’s lost business?
- Does that hotel have a mystery shop process in place to hear and see how sales people are communicating with customers and their speed of follow-up?
- Does the sales team have recent photos of every room type, suite, and function room that are professionally taken and show the hotel at its best? Are they posted on the website? Do sales people have easy access to them so they can send them directly to a client?
- What is the plan for finding new business (prospecting)?
- Is booking conversion calculated and are you happy with the results?
Sub-total Ease of doing business________________\
- Are there weekly (or more) revenue management meetings? Are they effective? Does everyone have a voice?
- How well is the hotel performing compared to the competitive set? (RevPAR, RGI)
- How well is the hotel performing compared to budget?
- At any time, is everyone on the sales team able to communicate the hotel position and a big picture view of the direction for the year?
- Is there an effective off-season action plan that is in place six to 12 months in advance?
101 to 125 This sales and marketing department rocks! Keep doing what you are doing. Reward and recognize the team and do everything you can to keep the director of sales and marketing!
76 to 100 The sales and marketing organization is doing well; however, some adjustments could have a dramatic impact. Check areas that have a lower score and challenge the team to come up with ways to improve.
51 to 75 Sales and marketing at this hotel is concerning and requires an objective view to get them on track to be effective. It may require coaching and training of leadership,
50 or less This hotel is either in or heading for challenging times. Find an outside expert to quickly get the hotel back on track. It will probably require a leadership change as well as new strategic direction.
Brief Bio of Jo-Anne Hill
Founded by industry expert Jo-Anne Hill, JH Hospitality leads hotels to dramatically improve revenue and profitability in creative ways. Her strategic thinking, skill, and practical approach to problem-solving come from hands-on experience at companies such as The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, Four Seasons Hotels & Resorts, Mandarin-Oriental Hotel Group, Dorchester Collection and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts.