HSMAI’s Sales Leader Forum

Key Takeaways

Jan 31st, 2020 | 3 min read

The Sales Leader Forum is organised by the HSMAI Sales Advisory Board

How to make Revenue Management find its second wind by integrating Sales and Marketing?

Breaking down those Silos
A “commercial team” is far more powerful than as individual disciplines.  Revenue, Sales, Marketing and Distribution must work as one if to truly benefit from the collective knowledge, innovation and spirit of their team.

Man vs Machine
Learning how to leverage AI to the benefit of your strategic goal, freeing up your commercial talent (people) to nurture relationships and embrace a culture of innovation.


A 360 VIEW | Focus on cross-functional strategic thinking and expansion of traditional roles

PANEL SESSION |  Amanda Elder (Kempinski), Anant Vithlani(Nordic Choice), Michael Simon (Marriott) and Niels Mekenkamp (Cendyn). A lively discussion on the role of the General Manager and traditional hotel sales.




  • Collaboration, Innovation and customer centricity were the overarching themes 
  • GM is still very much responsible for his/her property.  They own their P&L and their results 
  • Trust is still so important in B2B sales
  • Customers are still making decisions based on meaningful relationships


WHAT’S ON THE HORIZON | The Changing Landscape of B2B hotel sales

A real thought provoking round table session moderated by Antoine Asselin (UpMail) 

  • Audience of approx 45 pax from hotel sales leadership 
  • Asked what are the top 3 changes/threats in Hotel B2B Sales over the next 5 years?
Notes from round table discussion were:

Technology disruption
A real belief amongst the forty strong audience that tech will continue to disrupt travel and therefore impact the role of the traditional B2B hotels sales

An evolving client profile
– Change in buyers
– GenX to Millennial Gen Y and Gen X
– Wanting and having different needs in business travel and event planning
– Impacts the way they want to buy

Freedom within Travel Policy
Acceptance that the traditional RFP process will slowly fade in importance due to the changing landscape of travel procurement!

Total revenue focus
Sales managers will be tasked on selling total hotel revenue rather than just room nights and M&E

Heightened skill set requirement
There could be a reduction in headcount for both ‘on’ and ‘off’ property sales due to continued tech disruption, the skill set would change, needing to be able to multitask and become a real expert of their own industry, but equally of their prospects/ client.

A change in KPI’s
A changing role equally impacts the way the sales person will be measured – so organisations must adjust the KPI’s to maximise the output from their talent


Common acceptance that the traditional hotels sales role has adapted to present day changes but to remain successful and relevant to their customers, they must be savvy with the use of tech in their role that will enable them to achieve more.

Be an organisational learner and staying current with industry movements and above all, be the salesperson that is remembered for what they do and take ownership in finding a solution.


The Future of Business Travel
Shelly Ransom

Shelly Ransom

Director Global Lodging | Egencia

Peter Grover

Peter Grover

Managing Director | Tripbam Europe

Jason Grist

Jason Grist

Area Manager Business Travel - North Europe | Booking.com

  • Corporates are changing the way they buy into corporate travel programs wanting dynamic pricing rather that than fixed LRA rates (trend confirmed by all suppliers)
  • Egencia are focused on the SMEs where TripBAM is working with 40 of top fortune 500
  • Booking.com continue to base their business model on:
    • Customer led decisions
    • Innovation
    • Scale
  • CWT are Booking.com’s largest corporate customer!
  • Through a year long study Booking.com recognised that 60% of their business travellers were rouge bookings, booking out of travel policy
  • A changing audience, Business travellers are wanting freedom of choice, not a fixed travel policy
Exceed Planner Expectations With Exclusive Global Insights

Speakers Karla Pearce (Marketing) & Oscar Carty (Sales)

Insightful session from Karla and Oscar who shared the results from a 2019 UK study from 500 qualified meeting planners

Key Notes:

Top 3 PAIN points that bookers experience:

  1. Comparing proposals
  2. Making a final decision
  3. Negotiating with venues

Why don’t planners return?

  1. Variety of event space 
  2. Limited experiences
  3. Location of venue

Note: Price not mentioned!!


How can Hotels and venues can help secure the booking?

Top 3 Results!

  1. Attention to detail, follow the brief
  2. Speed of response
  3. Trustworthiness (COMMON theme from today’s conference!)

Top 10 factors influencing the bookers decision:

10. Mtg Space lay-out
9. Availability
8. Venue cost
7. Free amenities
6. Customer service
5. Brand / chain
4. Location
3. Ease of staging the event
2. Unique atmosphere of venue
Top. **Existing relationship with venue / hotel**

Key Takeaways!
  • Speed to market 
  • Personalise, Personalise and Personalise more!
  • Leverage your story and pull through USP’s – What makes you special?
  • UK Buyers like automation and speed.

The HSMAI Europe Awards

We completed the day with the HSMAI Europe Awards 2019, which recognise the people and companies that deserve to be awarded for their great work in Hospitality, travel and tourism in 2019. 

The full list of nominations and winners will be published on the HSMAI website.

Key Takeaways:

Great company and great connections make these evenings even more memorable!

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