I receive phone calls weekly from hotels that have had epic failure in the area of generating new business leads that convert to business. Sure, they receive dozens of RFPs each week from 3rd parties that are bringing them opportunities that might fit their hotel and giving them a chance to respond with rates, dates and space. That’s not what I’m referring to here. I’m talking about hotel sales teams proactively generating their own leads through various forms of prospecting using various tools. Examples: phone prospecting, social media prospecting, sending email blasts to target audiences, using marketing automation, etc.
The biggest reasons I see for the failure and a need for course correction when it comes to new business lead generation in the hospitality industry are the following:
1. HOW hotels are generating new business isn’t working.
- In many cases closers cannot also be the ones finding new business opportunities. The skillset and motivation are different. Also, the nature of these two areas make it difficult to manage time to consistently tackle both effectively.
- The strategy is hodge-podge and not well thought. In many cases there is not a strategy developed and no accountability for the sales teams to stick with any sort of plan.
2. WHY hotels focus on lead generation is misaligned.
- I most often witness properties starting to look for new business when they need it most vs. creating a consistent approach that is yearlong.
- Because there is no strategy in place, no accountability and typically a feast or famine approach, I often see hotel sales managers planning their business development only because they have time. “I’ll do some research, make some calls and review some LinkedIn profiles in the slow months.”
3. Expectations of WHAT lead generation does are out of whack.
- Proactive lead generation is not the same as receiving inbound leads from a 3rd You will not receive a request for proposal in the first few contacts. Expecting it to pan out that way leads to frustration and ultimately I see a lot of sales manager give up too early.
- Lead generation cannot be deployed as a last-minute savior for a hotel that is struggling. It cannot rescue a hotel that is having service, product or location challenges.
4. WHEN hotels deploy lead generation tactics is counter-productive.
- It’s important to deploy a consistent plan for new business lead generation. In many cases we see hotels doing starts and stops. Starting when business is soft and hitting the panic button, and stopping during the busy season because their team is too wrapped up in the immediate attention needed to business on the books or the flock of leads coming in that need attention. Buyers don’t start and stop their search for venues when your hotel is busy, so the efforts must remain consistent.
Over the past 10 years in business, we’ve tested the solutions & perfected the systems needed to make proactive new business lead generation work for hotels. Over the next several blog posts I’ll be breaking each of these points down further. If I could make one final point it is that as hotel sales professionals we must always remember how the tactics we are deploying SERVE our ideal clients best.
As experts in the B2B buying process for hotels, we can help you determine if your strategy and tactics are actually serving you & your clients best, as well as provide the consistency necessary to build and maintain your hotel sales pipeline. Fill out our no obligation Contact Form, or schedule a FREE Call with Amy to start the conversation and see how together we can maximize you hotel sales results!