7 Steps for Sales and Marketing to Get Ready—Recovery Is On The Way!

Spring is in the air. For those of us in the north, this is a welcome relief from the cold, dark days of winter. Corresponding to this rejuvenation is the slow recovery in demand that many hoteliers are starting to experience.

Now is the time to get ready for the return of travel. As demand generators for the hotel, the sales and marketing department needs to be getting ready, if it isn’t already in full swing (depending on the market). Here are 7 actions to leveraging the recovery in your area.  

  1. Define a strategy. Develop a brief, 3-to-5-page strategic plan for the hotel that covers the next 12 months. Take time to analyze each market segment and corresponding action steps to capture every opportunity. For example, with the leisure segment returning first, how can you increase the length of stays, sell more suites, and increase occupancy during low-demand days of the week? Be flexible, and adjust when information, trends, or demand changes.
  2. Ensure sales team readiness. Staffing the sales department with the right number of people, targeting the right market segments, and having the right person for the job, is especially important right now. Resilience is a critical attribute for all sellers because markets will continue to evolve in the next 12 months. Do you have the right team in place?
  3. Prepare for group leads. Corporate and social group planners in most markets have continued to send leads to hotels. We are starting to see an increase in conversion, with customers willing to sign contracts, especially for future years. Does your sales team have 2022 group rates? Are they empowered to be flexible with concessions while still protecting the hotel?
  4. Develop plans (which include photos) for social distancing in action. Event planners rely on the hotel to know the local rules and come up with creative alternatives for each situation. For example, if breakfast buffets are gone, what are the options for other meal setups, socially distanced seating arrangements, and flow in and out of the area? Is your operations team set up to brainstorm on issues quickly and respond to the sales team just as quickly?
  5. Turn on (and up) your social media frequency. With most hotels’ marketing budgets cut, social media has become the most cost-effective way to communicate your message. Hotels need to be sensitive to how their target audience is feeling. For example, people may want to travel, but many are still nervous and hesitant to book. How is your marketing team helping customers dream about traveling to your destination?
  6. Flexibility in leadership style. Many sales teams continue to work remotely, finding it more productive with fewer distractions, such as meetings, and no commute time. Leading a remote team requires different skills and even schedules, since salespeople can’t just pop in with a question. This means that daily check-ins and weekly 1x1s are key to ensuring remote team members feel connected. In addition, many salespeople are just returning from furlough and getting back into the groove of working full time, which takes patience and persistence from leaders. Do you have the right sales and marketing leader for today’s environment?
  7. Must-have tools for 2021. All of us are experiencing Zoom fatigue. Planners and travel arrangers are no different as they view hotel after hotel on their laptops. Does your hotel’s virtual tour and webinar stand out from the crowd and inspire them to book? Find an example of ‘best in class’ and then figure out a way to make it better. It may require setting aside some funds for the right equipment as well as training on how to engage with customers in a memorable way. What does your sales team need to be best in class?


It’s great news that we see signs of recovery. But it’s unlikely we will go back to the way things were pre-pandemic. Be strategic, flexible, and resilient.


"The world is going to change, and resilience is our best response." – Seth Godin

Hire Jo-Anne to:

  • Conduct a deep-dive review of your sales and marketing organization.
  • Develop a strategic plan to manage today’s uncertainty.
  • Kick-start your sales and marketing organization to be ready for the recovery.
  • Remove barriers to getting things done.
  • Convert the organization to embrace constant change and to thrive in it.
  • Engage a trusted advisor for consultation and recommendations.
  • Support your leaders with leadership executive coaching.

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.

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