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B2B hotel sales: 3 reasons why you’re doing it wrong

B2B hotel sales executive rethinking strategy.

We mean it with love, but it’s time for a reality check. 

B2B sales have changed, and the hotel industry wasn’t granted immunity. In the last five years, we’ve watched hotel sales undergo a metamorphosis thanks to the digital age: More and more resources are available online and we’re encountering the most informed customers we’ve ever seen.  

This shakeup has had hotel group executives from coast to coast backpedaling from old habits, rethinking sales strategies and searching for direction. (Trust us: We’re working with hotel groups nationwide.) Now for the good part: At GitGo, our portfolio of work has allowed us to partner with hotel groups big and small in different markets — last year we helped more than 1,300 properties and had more than 500,000 conversations with decision-makers governing hotel guest rooms and meeting spaces. Along the way, we sharpened our B2B strategies and helped hotel groups realize millions in new revenue opportunities by liberating sales teams. 

Yet, no matter who we’re working with or where we’re helping hotels unearth sales leads, a sense of déjà vu follows. When we begin working with a client, the same three obstacles are always impeding their path to sales glory. Tell us: Do these sound familiar?

1. Your property-level sales teams aren’t being put in a position to succeed.

Time after time, property sales teams are asked to do a lot with a little. The problem? Too much to do and neither the time nor the appropriate resources to do it right. Leads are mismanaged, prospects become misses and revenue is unrealized. It’s a vicious cycle that, for the individual hotel sales manager, unravels into answering RFPs but becoming commoditized in the eye of the buyer. You’re just another price in the marketplace. In 2019, this just doesn’t cut it anymore.

The first time a sales team member engages with a lead is almost certainly not the first time that lead has engaged with the property, having conducted their own research beforehand by visiting the property’s website. This means that same property-level sales team isn’t armed with the resources it needs to be meeting buyers where they are in the buying journey. 

2. You’re missing the boat on channeling your leads effectively. 

You’ve got B2B leads, but how do you make the most of them? It’s one thing to have a bunch of potential business on your plate, but we know how the story ends if you don’t have the process and messaging to steer it through your sales funnel. The frontlines of new business development are not always forgiving, and it’s incumbent on good marketing to fill your funnel.

This is the missing link we see so often. A disconnect between marketing and sales ends in the two operating independently rather than in a mutually beneficial fashion. 

So it’s time to run it up the (organizational) ladder. Help your property-level team thrive by giving them the structure to succeed with a process and messaging for leads. 

(If you can’t make that happen with your organization, don’t worry—there is a solution. More on that in a bit.)

3. Your approach to the buyer’s journey is outdated.

Pushy sales tactics? No thanks. Ultimatums? No way. Buying in 2019 is a process, not a transaction. That means it takes time, diligence and genuine care to see a lead through to conversion. Make no mistake: We’re on the buyer’s timeline—not ours.

At any given time, 3% of your leads are ready to make a purchase, so you have to invest in your follow-up and nurturing strategies.

You may have thousands and thousands of Marketing Qualified Leads, but the actual Sales Qualified Leads in your funnel are probably in the hundreds. That’s because the length of time your lead is in the funnel is a lot longer than you’d think — and much of their time in said funnel is independent. As we alluded to earlier, a lead is spending their time assessing their needs, ideating, researching potential solutions and building their business case — all before engaging vendors.

This is why effective marketing — an informative website, digital ads and a mindful contact strategy — are needed at all times to keep your sales pipeline flowing.

The Silver Lining

Raise your hand if these sound familiar. (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.) Like we said, these gaps are not uncommon. However, we’re pretty good at plug-in solutions and partnering with hotels behind the scenes to lift their sales teams to a new level through leads, conversions, consistency and maximizing their capabilities.

Stay tuned for our three-part series on transforming your hotel sales process by subscribing to our Resource Suite.

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