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General Managers Workshop: Managing Today's Hotel Sales Teams

publication date: Jan 8, 2013
author/source: David Brudney, ISHC
General Managers Workshop: Managing
Today's Hotel Sales Teams

By David M. Brudney, ISHC, July 2005

I conducted a Sales-oriented workshop recently for a group of G.M.s from a medium sized hotel management company on the West Coast.

In an effort to create a program whereby all the participants might have a stake in the exercise, I polled each G.M. asking what questions, issues, challenges they would like to see addressed.

G.M.s Want to Know

Here’s what they submitted - - if you were participating in the session, would you have listed any of these issues?  Which ones?  What new issues, questions and challenges would you have added?  Let me hear from you and then I’ll do a composite and then let’s begin a series with some good, topical dialogue. 

  1. What percentage of time should a G.M. spend directly in Sales?
  2. What percentage of revenue should be devoted to Sales and Marketing (S&M)?
  3. What realistic R.O.I. should we expect from S&M expenditures?  5-to-1?  7-to-1?  15-to-1 or higher?
  4. What metrics should be used to measure Sales activity?  Are there any industry benchmarks?
  5. Authority to quote group rates: when should the G.M. know it’s “safe” to empower Sales to do so?
  6. What types of incentive programs work the best?
  7. How long should a G.M. give an under-performing Sales associate?  Is there a timetable?
  8. In interviewing potential Sales candidates, what are some “good fit” questions to ask?
  9. What intrinsic qualities should a G.M. look for in the best potential Sales candidates?
  10. Time management: can it be taught?
  11. How to deal with Sales associates’ lament: “not enough hours in the day to do all I have to do”
  12. Bonding and socializing with the Sales team: how much is too much?
  13. Sales office systems for smaller, limited service hotels: are there any good alternatives to costly software programs?

Okay, let the dialogue begin!  Let me hear from you: G.M.s, owners, corporate staff, Sales associates, e-mail me your comments on the issues above and in my next article we’ll share answers, opinions, ideas - - maybe even start some debates.  This should be fun for all!

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