9 steps to increase the performance and productivity of your hotel sales team
Sep 4, 2014 | 3 min read
1. Streamline sales and marketing
Sales people and marketers are usually quite different types of people and it’s important to bring them together and make the best of what each of them has to offer. Marketers should ensure that any collateral being used by the sales team is on brand and correct – from the website, videos and brochures, down to welcome packs and emails. They should create interesting content so sales can keep reaching out and touching their prospects creatively.
2. Set targets
Trackable KPIs need to be in place to ensure that everyone knows exactly what is expected of them. Agree the ‘why’, ‘when’ and ‘how’ of measurements and stick to them. Breakdown targets yearly / quarterly / monthly / weekly / daily and review.
3. Make them accountable
Once you have set your objectives and targets for the period then take them to your sales team. The head of the department should put a plan in place to citing how the team will achieve the set targets. Individuals within the sales team should then have the goals and the plan communicated to them and help decide how they will support the business and the team. This ensures that all team members feel that they have had an input, but they can also be held accountable for their actions.
Hold weekly debrief meetings to find out what’s working, what isn’t, what has been achieved and what hasn’t and to go through forecasting and pipeline. Always acknowledge successes but also be prepared to challenge the team if necessary.
4. Motivate and incentivise
Find the balance between salary (which will promote loyalty) and commission (which encourages sales). Know what motivates each sales person on an individual level – what management style, but also in terms of rewards. A favourite manager of mine used to keep a little note with each person’s favourite chocolate bar / crisps on it so they knew what to buy them – something very small but meaningful. Always praise successes and celebrate as a group in order to build a great team, not just great individuals. Ensure everyone is kept abreast of all information – a happy and engaged team will be more creative, productive and successful.
5. Make sure they are spending most of their time selling
If they’re not, then why not? They need to be cut free from a lot of admin and internal meetings. They need the backing of the marketing team to provide them with sales support tools and help them create on-brand, relevant and interesting content that they can use and choose from to push out to prospects at each stage of the sales funnel. UpMail can prove invaluable with saved templates, pre-loaded personalised content and automation options, easy to use from within your existing email provider. You are seven times more likely to speak to a decision maker if you respond to sales enquiries within an hour (The Marketing Edge, Harvard Business Review) so having your time freed up to do just that is crucial.
6. Have the right team
Don’t scrimp and save on recruitment and training – sales will only suffer by a larger percentage. Recruit talented people with proven results and that fit in well with your company culture and that will be able to build natural relationships with your customers. Don’t over-manage them but lead by example.
7. Be persistent and consistent
The vast majority of deals are actually closed after six or more follow ups. Prospects don’t want you to keep calling them over and over, asking them if they have made a decision yet; it’s irritating and they will more than likely start to screen your calls. Instead build trust and relationships, gently reminding them that you are there and that you care by sending a variety of content that will be of interest to them (videos, blogs, articles), sort of a ‘I saw this and thought of you’ type email. It’s likely to get a much better response.
8. Use technology
Technology breeds behaviour change and behaviour change demands the use of technology. As more and more businesses use sophisticated CRM systems, build intelligent databases and personalise content, the client is coming to expect nothing less than good looking, tailored communications.
This type of technology is easy to implement and will see sales teams saving time and being more effective almost instantly. Use tools that offer automation and optimisation but still allow for flexibility and for precise results tracking at all stages of the sales funnel.
9. Let them use social media
Depending on your guest profile, having access to networks like Twitter, LinkedIn and event platforms could be invaluable for relationship building and generating leads. Be one step ahead, responding quickly by setting up searches for when somebody asks for a recommendation or has a bad experience with a competitor. Ensure the team are given guidance and training before they are let loose!
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