5 Ways to Kick-Start Your Sales Organization in 2021

The new year brings an opportunity to relaunch sales activities that have been long forgotten, continue doing what is working, and eliminate what is no longer effective. In the hotel sales department, this is especially important; the ‘order-taker’ role of bygone years needs to be put into hibernation, at least for 2021, and basic sales skills relearned, embraced, and frequently exercised.

Here are 5 sales basics that are a must for 2021:

  1. Network and prospect more. Gone are the days of getting leads from trade-show floors. Salespeople need to reach out to customers via phone and e-mail to find business for the hotel. In this context, I view networking as connecting with past customers (see point 3 for more about that) and prospecting as connecting with new potential customers. Both need to occur at a minimum of 15 to 25 connections per week per salesperson.
  2. Master the art of developing more meaningful relationships faster, often without the advantage of face-to-face visits over lunch or even during site inspections. Friends buy from friends. Network and prospect using techniques that focus on relationships first and pivot to business later.
  3. Know your best customers and develop a plan to target them. Eighty percent of your business typically comes from 20 percent of your customers. While the 80/20 rule may have been thrown out the window for 2020, stay close to former top clients so that when they do start booking again, they return to your hotel and not a competitor. Figure out which customers were in the 20-percent category for each market and sales territory. Determine the best metric based on the highest revenue or room nights or average daily rate (ADR) or time of year they arrive or frequency (every year) or days of the week they stay. This is a goldmine of information.
  4. Analyze business opportunities. Take stock of 2020 and determine what industry segment, type of business, and market segment were most successful for your hotel. Now look at your competition and figure out theirs. While I’ve seen some hotels adjust by targeting the local market, government groups, finding small weddings, and soliciting the pharmaceutical industry be successful, one of the biggest learnings for 2020 was that ‘one size doesn’t fit all’ and location and geographical variations impact what works for one hotel and doesn’t at another. Bottom line: Think outside the box based on your hotel’s specific situation.
  5. Ask for referrals. You know the saying “Birds of a feather flock together.” Meeting planners, travel organizers, and wedding coordinators all know people in similar roles and will be able to recommend other potential customers for salespeople to talk to. Even executives or administrative-support workers know of other people in the company who coordinate travel and events. All it takes is a simple question: “Who else in your organization or in another company would find value in what we offer at XYZ Hotel?”

Sales leaders play a critical role in making all this happen. In 2021, start by making a plan that brings the team together so that each person is involved and takes ownership of their territory and/or responsibility. Then measure the results and reward those who stay on track and achieve success.


If you would like help figuring out what to do next, schedule a 30-minute confidential session with Jo-Anne. This offer is complimentary during the month of January 2021 for all subscribers to the Strategic Hospitality Report.


Get up early.
Stay focused.
Watch less TV.
Read more books.
Avoid time wasters.
Invest in your health.
Take calculated risks.
Write down your goals.
Work smarter, not harder.
Do something you believe in.
Foster meaningful relationships. – Ruben Chavez, Founder, Think Grow Prosper

Hire Jo-Anne to:

  • Develop a strategic plan for your hotel and/or resort.
  • Kick-start your sales and marketing organization.
  • Conduct a deep-dive review of your sales and marketing structure.
  • Optimize your sales and marketing organization.
  • Turn all your employees into revenue drivers.
  • Engage a trusted advisor for consultation and recommendations.
  • Remove silos and other barriers to employee productivity.
  • Convert your organization so it can thrive during constant change.

If you would like to hear more, simply reach out to Jo-Anne at
[email protected].

About Jo-Anne Hill

Jo-Anne is an industry expert who founded JH Hospitality Consulting to help hotels around the world 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, the Mandarin-Oriental Hotel Group, the Dorchester Collection, and Shangri-La Hotels & Resorts.

Jo-Anne's New Book Cultivating Leadership Buy Cultivating Leadership Book from Amazonnewsletter-footer.jpg

This email was sent to *|EMAIL|*
why did I get this? unsubscribe from this list update subscription preferences