There’s a science to gaining consistent, more predictable B2B sales revenues—and it starts with your pipeline.
We have more than a dozen years of experience helping hotel sales leadership and their teams make the B2B buying process work for them. However, we encounter hotel sales teams lacking an effective process to how they approach new business development.
Misalignment takes many shapes:
- The way hotels go about finding new business is off-kilter or non-existent.
- Their lead-generation focus is off-target.
- Expectations need to be reset about new business development.
- And generating new leads should be consistent, not sporadic.
These same issues have plagued hotel sales teams for years. (Seriously—I wrote about this very thing a few years ago and it still rings true today.)
But what’s different between then and now is the progress we’ve made in teaching hotel sales groups. We help implement strategic approaches (internally or outsourced) and shift their thinking based on true voice-of-the-customer insights we’ve gathered.
According to Hubspot, over 40% of salespeople identified prospecting as the hardest part of sales—more than closing or qualifying leads.
Stockpiling leads through prospecting is key to keeping business coming, even if it’s one of the more challenging things we’re asked to tackle. You reap what you sow—that’s why new leads are always worth pursuing.
Not just during the slow times when desperation sets in. Not just when schedules free up and managers take time to make a few calls and poke around on LinkedIn. Say it with me one more time: New leads are always worth pursuing.
Make a long-term investment in your B2B sales pipeline.
You’ll have to hurdle some obstacles with some good old-fashioned hustle along the way. Today’s buyers know what they’re doing—and chances are they know you too. Sixty percent of their journey happens without you even knowing it as they educate themselves, research their options and define their needs on their own.
That sets you up to respond to their request in a compressed time frame where you have few, if any, chances to make a good impression.
On the flip side, think about all of the benefits of reaching out before the buyer needs or even wants to do business with one of your properties.
1. You’ll avoid commoditization.
No property or group of properties want to be seen as just another option. We know your properties are more than just words and numbers in an RFP response, but it’s going to take proactive work on your part to flip that narrative.
When you reach out early (and we’re talking early) in your potential buyer’s journey, you control the messaging. You can explain your property on your terms. You can position it as a solution to a current or future need. Best of all, you get to make your pitch without competing for attention.
2. You’ll give yourself a legitimate shot.
When you beat buyers to the punch (before they’ve researched and defined their scope), you’ve got a fighting chance to win their business down the road. Sometimes that materializes in a few months, sometimes it takes more than a year.
But the point is that with a consistent, concentrated effort on new business development at all times, you’ll keep the pipeline flowing nice and steady.
3. You’ll control your B2B sales destiny.
And in this business, how elusive is that feeling? We know as well as you do sales isn’t for the faint of heart, so put your fate in your own hands instead of leaving it up to the RFP rollercoaster.
Focusing on lead gen on a regular basis can add up. You could be making thousands of calls and emails over the span of several months to convert your Marketing Qualified Leads into Sales Qualified Leads. But if you stay the course, we promise you’ll be happy with the health and regularity of business you start receiving through your B2B sales pipeline.
Pulling in new leads is a science rooted in good marketing, good process and good partnerships. Let us know if we can help you make the most of your touchpoints with new leads or evaluate how your sales teams are doing.
This is the first installment of a three-part series on our blog to help you hit the reset button and bring new life to your hotels’ new business development. Stay tuned for our next post, coming next week.