12 essential strategies to boost your hotel sales (+how to build a hotel sales team) (2023)

Let’s face it, hotel sales can be complicated. Depending on the size of your property, sales teams will vary significantly, and with lingering labor shortage issues, hotel sales managers are often left with the challenge of hitting their sales goals and ensuring consistent occupancy with limited resources.

Finding the right people to be part of your sales team is critical so you can achieve more with fewer resources. Sales jobs require diverse skills, from engaging with in-house guests to cold-calling corporate clients. Sales teams need to be able to collaborate with other hotel team members, such as general managers and revenue managers, to develop and reach realistic revenue and sales goals.

Read on to learn more about what hotel sales teams do and strategies to help boost your hotel sales.

What do hotel sales teams do?

The number one goal for hotel sales teams is to sell more rooms and secure business throughout the month, quarter, and year. Most sales teams can be split into three market segments:

Leisure/corporate business.

This market often has the highest success rate of all three sources and includes relationship-building with corporations to host its business travelers. For this market, sales teams will benefit from having a strong business relationship with their local OTA market managers to get information about local market trends and other hotels’ promotions in order to be more competitive. Corporate biz can yield a decent ADR and usually offers a steady stream of occupancy during the shoulder nights.

Contract business.

This market involves establishing contracts for a minimum amount of room nights per month at an agreed-upon contracted rate. Airline and construction crews are great groups to target for new business. Contract business usually has the lowest ADR but the longest LOS.

These groups aren’t ideal for urban markets that already have high demand, but are perfect for suburban and highway hotels because they guarantee a minimum occupancy for a long period of time, sometimes a year or more! This is why extended-stay hotels often yield a higher RevPar and save on operating costs.

(Video) Build a Hotel Marketing Plan (FREE Template) | Hotel Marketing Strategies Guide Step-By-Step

Group business.

This market includes booking hotel business for large groups like weddings, family reunions, bachelorette parties, and more. Typically these are one-off events and do not ensure consistent revenue; however, they can be pretty profitable depending on the type of hotel group. While these groups are typically one-off events, they commonly yield the highest ADR and can help build a solid base business during shoulder periods.

Hotel sales members are responsible for finding prospects through cold-calling, email, and social media, attending conferences, tradeshows, and other events to promote their hotel’s brand and network with those in the hospitality industry.

The work doesn’t end for your hotel sales team once the sale is made. Relationship nurturing is another crucial aspect of the job to ensure account retention. Following up regularly with clients can help your property stay top-of-mind when booking again.

The director of sales should prioritize the reviewing of results from the most recent period (monthly or quarterly) with their team to determine areas of success and opportunities for growth. Having measurable goals for your team to hit each period can help them to stay on track.

How to build a hotel sales team

Due to the effects of the pandemic, as of October 2021, there were 300,000 fewer workers in the hotel industry than just two years prior. Hotel sales teams were among the first groups to be laid off during the pandemic, and management is now struggling to find qualified talent to fill these roles.

While sales teams will differ based on property size and type, when building a sales team, no matter the size, you must take time to hire the right people for your business. Here are some best practices for building your hotel sales team.

(Video) Hotel Ecommerce: 12 Steps to Increase Hotel Online Sales Introduction

  • Ensure you have a well-defined target market. This will help you when interviewing candidates to ensure they have the right experience and proven results.
  • Hire salespeople who can fulfill multiple functions in the sales process. For example, your team should consist of individuals who can prospect as well as form connections with different groups of people and nurture long-lasting relationships.
  • Your team should be hospitable, friendly, and, most importantly, consist of great listeners. The key to a successful sales organization is delivering value to your customers by understanding what’s important to them.
  • Make sure your team members work well with others. Your team will work cross-functionally across the hotel with catering managers, general managers, front desk staff, and more to ensure that a customer’s experience meets expectations once they arrive.
  • Invest in training. During initial training, your sales staff should be educated on your specific room types, room rates, services, upsell opportunities, local offerings, and more. Remember, customers today have access to tons of online information, so your staff should be well-versed in your competitors‘ strengths and weaknesses to successfully handle objections and questions from prospects.

What is the difference between hotel sales and marketing?

Hotel sales and marketing teams work in tandem with one another to deliver on hotel revenue goals. Marketing teams create brand awareness and share relevant content through social media, paid ads, press releases, and more (take a look at our hotel marketing strategies). Sales teams foster relationships, negotiate contracts, search for new business through outbound prospecting, and nurture inbound leads to close deals.

Together these groups play a pivotal role in the hospitality sales process.

12 essential strategies to boost your hotel sales

While hotel sales can be challenging, it’s gratifying to form new business relationships that can last years. Here are a few strategies for your hotel sales team to use:

1. Implement a sales commission structure.

Incentivize your team with a well-thought-out commission program. Usually, these consist of a percentage of sales paid on top of an annual base salary.

2. Have your sales team be active on social media.

Social channels like LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook, and even TikTok can be a great way to network and connect with prospects. Promote last-minute deals, packages, contests, and property updates to your network, and consider tagging prospects in the comments for ultimate visibility.

3. List your property on venue marketplaces.

Marketplaces can help you promote your property to planners from across the world. These sites often feature hotel workspaces, meeting rooms, group accommodations, and event spaces.

(Video) Hotel Ecommerce: 12 Steps to Increase Hotel Online Sales Steps 1 thru 4

4. Ensure your sales and marketing efforts are aligned.

If your property separates sales and marketing functions, ensure they are in frequent communication to align on strategy, messaging, and target audiences.

5. Set clear expectations for your sales teams.

Set weekly or monthly goals for your sales team and consistently track their efforts. Make sure to celebrate wins and award your teams for a job well done to keep morale and retention rates high.

6. Spend time hiring the right team.

In the hospitality industry, it can be challenging to find qualified talent. Don‘t cut corners to hire; spend time interviewing candidates to ensure their values and strengths align with your property.

7. Work closely with your revenue manager.

Sales and the revenue management person or team should be closely aligned to ensure proper rates are communicated to prospects and customers.

8. Form partnerships with local convention and visitor bureaus (CVB).

CVBs will often recommend hotels and venues to event planners. These RFPs are generally more qualified than regular leads.

9. Attend local tradeshows for tourism and travel.

At local tradeshows, you can make valuable connections across the industry with travel agents and other hoteliers. You can also see what’s new in the industry and ensure that your hotel’s services and amenities are competitive.

10. Track local events that draw large groups to your city.

Stay on top of important events throughout the calendar year, and focus your outreach on event organizers to see if you can bundle your hotel rooms with the event.

(Video) Hotel Ecommerce: 12 Steps to Increase Hotel Online Sales Steps 5 thru 8

11. Offer special group rates.

Incentivize groups to stay at your hotel with special rate plans. Incorporate these rates into your website and booking engine to encourage direct bookings.

12. Create package rates for different groups.

Develop package rates for your different target groups as part of your sales strategy. For example, your corporate group rate could include complimentary dry cleaning and airport shuttle service.

Final thoughts

Hotel sales can be challenging, but it’s also one of the most rewarding lines of work. Working to deliver a guest experience that exceeds expectations and provides life-long memories is invaluable.

To keep your team happy and motivated, ensure that they have realistic and measurable sales goals and are being recognized for their work. Make ongoing training a priority and invest in repeatable strategies that deliver results.

See how Cloudbeds helps tens of thousands of properties grow revenue and sales.

(Video) Hotel Ecommerce: 12 Steps to Increase Hotel Online Sales Steps 9 thru 12

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What strategies can be taken to boost hotel sales and profits? ›

Six essential hotel sales strategies are: group bookings, direct bookings, destination marketing, cross promotional sales, guest rewards strategies, revenue management strategies. Other room selling techniques might include upselling, cross-selling, packages, promotions, re-marketing, and local partnerships.

What are 5 selling techniques to sell hotel service? ›

11 Hotel Room Selling Techniques To Boost Revenue
  • Use Digital Upselling Software. ‍ ...
  • Showcase Rooms Across Channels. ‍ ...
  • Package Deals. ‍ ...
  • Digital Marketing. ...
  • Leverage Group Business and Room Blocks. ...
  • Build Strategic Partnerships. ...
  • Improve Your Online Reviews. ...
  • Implement a Loyalty Program.
Feb 25, 2023

How can hotel industry increase sales? ›

While there are many ways to increase your hotel revenue depending on your property's needs, here are 15+ tactics to get you started.
  1. Build a road map. ...
  2. Segment your target market. ...
  3. Sell the experience over the transaction. ...
  4. Maximize online reach with a Channel Manager. ...
  5. Build your direct channel with a booking engine.
Dec 10, 2022

How do you build a team of hotel staff? ›

5 Team Building Tips for Hospitality Staff
  1. Begin ASAP.
  2. One Step at a Time.
  3. Emphasize Mission.
  4. Motivate Your Team.
  5. Give Guidance.
Jul 2, 2021

What makes a successful team in a hotel? ›

Communicate, communicate, communicate. Communication is the most crucial skill for a hotel team. A hotel manager should train their employees to communicate to reduce errors and miscommunication. Good communication means that you're listening to your guests, understanding their problems and valuing their feedback.

What are the best strategies to increase sales? ›

13 strategies for increasing sales
  • Understand your customers. A business's most important asset is its customers. ...
  • Use the sales funnel model. ...
  • Interact with customers online. ...
  • Give a variety of payment options. ...
  • Create a referral program. ...
  • Offer discounts. ...
  • Bundle products. ...
  • Audit pricing structures.
Feb 27, 2023

What strategies is the most effective to increase sales? ›

Strategies to increase sales revenue
  • Make sure your prices promote an increase in profit margin. ...
  • Have clear, well-defined goals. ...
  • Communicate more with your customers. ...
  • Create more incentive. ...
  • Bundle and upsell your products to raise revenue. ...
  • Lookout for new distribution channels & opportunities. ...
  • Focus on your brand.
Aug 7, 2019

What are the strategies to improve sales performance? ›

5 Tips to Improve Sales Performance
  • Embrace Technology and Digital Transformation. ...
  • Understand & Optimize Revenue Generation. ...
  • Tailor Incentives to Strategies that Increase Sales. ...
  • Maximize Your Forecasting Accuracy. ...
  • Make Customer Experience Your Top Priority.
Sep 16, 2022

What are the 4 selling strategies? ›

There are essentially four selling strategies: script-based selling, needs-satisfaction selling, consultative selling, and strategic partnering.

What are the 4 basic selling techniques? ›

The four types of selling
  • Transactional selling.
  • Solution selling.
  • Consultative selling.
  • Provocative selling.

What are the 3 basic selling techniques? ›

The Top 3 Selling Techniques--Which Is Best For Your Business?
  • Product Selling. Product selling is exactly what it sounds like: selling the advantages or features of a specific product or service. ...
  • Solution Selling. Solution selling goes beyond simply selling products or services. ...
  • Insight Selling.
Mar 1, 2017

How do you attract customers to hotels? ›

10 Effective Ways To Attract Hotel Customers
  1. Impress Visitors before their arrival.
  2. Train your staff to deliver world-class service.
  3. Maintain Excellent Room Services.
  4. Offer better rates with recreational facilities.
  5. Establish an online presence.
  6. Take advantage of peak booking seasons.
Mar 17, 2023

What is a perfect sell in hotels? ›

Determine your current perfect sell % and revenue opportunity. To do this, a potential sellout is typically considered any night when your hotel was able to hit at least 95% occupancy.

How can I improve my hotel performance? ›

Boost group business with easy personalization software
  1. Follow your event leads. ...
  2. Use social media to spread the word organically. ...
  3. Make your hotel photo-op worthy. ...
  4. Gather success stories and promote them. ...
  5. Partner with local businesses. ...
  6. Keep a pulse on changing hospitality trends. ...
  7. Incentivize longer stays.

What makes a good team in hospitality? ›

Effective communication skills, a positive attitude and a supportive approach is everything when it comes to working as part of a hospitality team, and it isn't just about smooth, efficient service – colleagues who support one another to do their best work and offer help when things get tough also happen to make ...

How do you build good teamwork in the hospitality industry? ›

Fortunately, we've assembled some tips that can improve teamwork in a restaurant while helping employees work together to produce successful results.
  1. Hire wisely. ...
  2. Establish effective communication. ...
  3. Clarify roles. ...
  4. Outline expectations. ...
  5. Don't micromanage. ...
  6. Encourage feedback. ...
  7. Reward excellent teamwork. ...
  8. Encourage social events.

How do you lead a team in a hotel? ›

Lead by example to be a good motivator. Be an active listener and accept ideas that aren't your own. Be decisive and clear in any communication or decision making. Be flexible and don't panic when things don't go to plan.

What are the keys to building an amazing team? ›

How to build an effective team
  • Set SMART goals. ...
  • Perform well-defined roles. ...
  • Experiment regularly. ...
  • Embrace diversity. ...
  • Share a common culture. ...
  • Be accountable to the team. ...
  • Communicate effectively. ...
  • Welcome strong leadership.
Feb 28, 2023

What is the key to a successful team? ›

Open communication and mutual support are two key characteristics of good teamwork that contribute to increased job satisfaction. In other words, inclusivity and the active encouragement of idea sharing among employees can directly improve retention rates.

What is the number 1 thing you must do in sales? ›

1: Understand what the buyer wants. Understanding the buyer is the foundation of effective selling, but it involves more than just knowing who the buyer is. Instead, it's about identifying the experience the buyer wants to have as they consider making a purchase in your market.

What are the five steps to building your sales strategy? ›

5 steps of the sales process
  1. Approach the client.
  2. Discover client needs.
  3. Provide a solution.
  4. Close the sale.
  5. Complete the sale and follow up.

What is a winning sales strategy? ›

Successful sales strategy requires you to understand your real competitor—the status quo. Help your prospects make the decision to change before you try and convince them to choose you. Answering these questions is what differentiates your solution and sets the tone for your buyer's entire Deciding Journey.

How do you inspire a sales team? ›

7 ways to motivate your sales team
  1. Build trust. ...
  2. Get in the trenches. ...
  3. Set goals — and celebrate when they're accomplished. ...
  4. Optimize your leadership style. ...
  5. Offer opportunities for growth and development. ...
  6. Offer financial incentives. ...
  7. Say thank you often.

What are the five ways of improving sales personality? ›

Developing a Powerful Sales Personality
  • Take Charge of Your Life. ...
  • FREE REPORT: Everyone is a Sales Person.
  • But I'm Not in Sales. ...
  • View Yourself as Self-Employed. ...
  • Winners Versus Losers. ...
  • Don't Waste Time. ...
  • Develop Empathy and Understanding. ...
  • Keep Your Word.

What are the 5 selling strategies? ›

5 Sales Strategies for Businesses
  • Define your buyer.
  • Tell a story.
  • Target a niche market.
  • Sell your brand.
  • Focus on internal growth.

What are the 5 major strategies? ›

In this article, we'll explore the 5 Ps in more detail and the tools that you can use in each area.
  • Strategy as a Plan. Planning comes naturally to many managers and as such, has become the default first step. ...
  • Strategy as Ploy. ...
  • Strategy as Pattern. ...
  • Strategy as Position. ...
  • Strategy as Perspective.

What are the 7 keys of selling? ›

There are seven key selling habits you must develop as a sales expert. They are prospecting, establishing rapport, identifying needs, presenting solutions, answering objections, closing the sale and getting resales and referrals.

What are the six steps of effective selling? ›

Cultivating relationships are a vital part of the sales process steps
  • Define and refine your book of business. You might think prospecting is the first sales process step. ...
  • Prospecting and outreach. ...
  • Discovery conversations and meetings. ...
  • The sales presentation/demonstration. ...
  • Close the deal. ...
  • Post-sale follow-up.
Aug 16, 2021

What is the most powerful selling technique? ›

Effective sales techniques: 7 tips for more consistent sales
  1. Be systematic about generating leads. ...
  2. Know your sales cycle. ...
  3. Know your numbers. ...
  4. Actively seek referrals. ...
  5. Focus on securing appointments. ...
  6. Get ready for objections. ...
  7. Follow up and listen.

What is the 5 why technique for sales? ›

The 5 Whys is a simple problem-solving technique that helps you to get to the root of a problem quickly. Made popular in the 1970s by the Toyota Production System, the 5 Whys strategy involves looking at any problem and asking: “Why?” and “What caused this problem?”

How can a beginner improve sales? ›

With this in mind, here are 11 valuable sales tips for beginners.
  1. Think About Who You Should Be Selling to. ...
  2. Don't Think About Your Goals – Think About Your Customer's Goals. ...
  3. Sell Value, Not Specs. ...
  4. Don't Take Rejection Personally. ...
  5. Honesty Is the Best Policy. ...
  6. Research Is Key. ...
  7. Personalize Everything.
Apr 14, 2023

What makes customer happy in a hotel? ›

Offer beer, wine, and snacks and the availability of the concierge and other hotel staff to plan excursions or set up itineraries in the city during their stay. After a long day of sightseeing or an all-day conference, being able to sit down and relax with a free glass of wine leads to very happy hotel guests.

How do you attract a lot of customers? ›

10 Ways to Get New Customers
  1. Ask for referrals. ...
  2. Network. ...
  3. Offer discounts and incentives for new customers only. ...
  4. Re-contact old customers. ...
  5. Improve your website. ...
  6. Partner with complementary businesses. ...
  7. Promote your expertise. ...
  8. Use online reviews to your advantage.
Apr 6, 2017

How can I impress my hotel guests? ›

15 Ways to Make Hotel Guests Feel Special
  1. Offer the little extras. ...
  2. Offer some amenities free of charge. ...
  3. Always be fully-staffed. ...
  4. Show you care by listening and responding to your guests. ...
  5. Make all guests feel that your hotel is concerned about their special needs. ...
  6. Train your staff. ...
  7. Offer complimentary items.
Mar 11, 2019

What is the 10 5 rule in hotels? ›

The 10 and 5 rule is a simple guideline that is widely used in the hospitality industry. The rule dictates that when a staff member is 10 feet from a guest, the staff smiles and makes direct eye contact, and when they are within five feet, the staff verbally greets the guest.

What is the 5 10 rule in hospitality? ›

The idea behind the 10:5 rule is that anytime you find yourself within 10 feet (3 meters) of someone, you should smile and make eye contact. When you are within 5 feet (1.5 meters) of someone, you should greet them with a friendly hello or other greeting.

What is the 10 20 rule in hospitality? ›

When the customer moved to within 5 feet, you greeted them. I believe we need to go beyond the 10-5 Rule and institute the “20-10 Rule.” If someone gets within 20 feet of you, they get a smile and a wave. If a person gets within 10 feet of you, they get a smile, a wave, and a friendly hello from you.

How do you make guests happy? ›

  1. Personalize, personalize, personalize.
  2. Post-booking communication.
  3. Offer freebies and complimentary services.
  4. Implement in-room technology.
  5. Be proactive in your service.
  6. Reward repeat guests.
  7. Offer multiple communication channels.
  8. Create an inclusive experience for all.

What is a key factor when looking at hotels performance? ›

Hotel benchmarking often involves three key top-line performance metrics: occupancy, average daily rate (ADR) and revenue per available room (RevPAR). RevPAR, regarded as the gold standard top-line performance metric, factors both occupancy and ADR, with each capable of driving movement.

How do you make a small hotel successful? ›

Must-have features to be successful with a boutique hotel
  1. A great website.
  2. Easy booking and check-in.
  3. Incentives and loyalty reward programs.
  4. Free wifi and other in-room technology such as app-based customer service.
  5. Group activities.
  6. Food and beverage options.
  7. Comfortable beds.
  8. Clean rooms and quality furniture.

How do you build a sales development team? ›

7 Steps to Building a Superstar SDR team
  1. 1: Choose a Clear Strategy: Lead-Based vs Account-Based.
  2. 2: Recruit SDRs Who'll Go The Extra Mile.
  3. 3: Update Your Onboarding & Training Plan.
  4. 4: Incentivize Performance With A Motivating Compensation Package.
  5. ‍5: Define Your Sales Development Process.
Apr 29, 2022

How do you grow a sales team? ›

Ten Essential Tips for Building a Successful and Scalable Sales Team
  1. Hire right – choose the same successful sales person every time. ...
  2. Train new hires in a consistent, measurable way. ...
  3. Align sales and marketing. ...
  4. Work leads with the same process every time. ...
  5. Ensure your CRM allows you to grow. ...
  6. Encourage remote working.
Mar 30, 2016

How do you create a sales team process? ›

Sales Process Steps
  1. Prospect.
  2. Connect and qualify leads.
  3. Research the company.
  4. Give an effective pitch.
  5. Handle objections.
  6. Close the deal.
  7. Nurture and continue to sell.
Aug 10, 2022

What does the sales department do in a hotel? ›

Sales coordinators achieve sale goals through client contracts, bookings for rooms or event spaces, vendors, great guest service, and with the support of other departments.

What is the key to a successful sales team? ›

They must be well trained, passionate, positive, empathetic, with great listening skills, the ability to multitask, think on their feet, and provide quick solutions. The team must stay up-to-date with the latest sales trends and technology, so they can actively incorporate them into their jobs.

What is a growth mindset for sales team? ›

A growth mindset means being curious by trying to understand your customer's problem and become their trusted advisor instead of forcing your products to close the sale. It means becoming open to feedback to improve and become better at what you do and gain new skills that will help you become master in your field.

What is a sales development strategy? ›

A winning sales development strategy covers three key elements: people, process, and technology. The sales development strategy should focus on delivering high performance on relevant metrics that ultimately translate to higher topline figures. Thus including recruitment to training and even software adoption.

What are 4 general ways to increase sales? ›

If you want your business to bring in more money, there are only 4 Methods to Increase Revenue: increasing the number of customers, increasing average transaction size, increasing the frequency of transactions per customer, and raising your prices.

What are good sales techniques? ›

Effective sales techniques: 7 tips for more consistent sales
  • Be systematic about generating leads. ...
  • Know your sales cycle. ...
  • Know your numbers. ...
  • Actively seek referrals. ...
  • Focus on securing appointments. ...
  • Get ready for objections. ...
  • Follow up and listen.

What is a sales team strategy? ›

A sales strategy is a structured plan that outlines the actions, decisions, and goals necessary for a sales team to position a product or service and acquire new customers. It outlines sales procedures, activities and product placement to help B2B sales teams achieve sales targets.

What are the 7 stages of sales cycle? ›

In a sales cycle, there seven steps you take to complete a sale with new customers—from first contact to signing the contract:
  • Find leads.
  • Connect with leads.
  • Qualify leads.
  • Present to prospects.
  • Overcome objections.
  • Close the deal.
  • Nurture new customers.
Jul 29, 2022

What are the five functions of sales department? ›

Some sales department functions are:
  • Preparing sales plans. The sales department identifies sales goals and objectives and prepares a sales plan that acts as a guide to achieving them. ...
  • Prospecting. ...
  • Researching. ...
  • Handling sales issues. ...
  • Building customer relationships. ...
  • Training and onboarding.
Mar 29, 2023

Is hotel sales a stressful job? ›

It's incredibly common for employees to become stressed on the job when working in the hospitality industry. After all, your job is to make sure customers are happy, and sometimes there are things going wrong that make them unhappy. Unfortunately, it just comes with the territory.

What is the responsibilities of a sales representative? ›

A sales representative, quite simply, sells products or services for a company and represents their brand. They manage relationships with customers, serving as the key point of contact, from initial lead outreach to when a purchase is ultimately made.


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